Tag Archives: Joe Abercrombie

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie : Review

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Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War.
Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man who trained her to kill.
Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior.
She finds herself caught up in the schemes of Father Yarvi, Gettland’s deeply cunning minister. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh
lessons of blood and deceit.
Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon.
Beside her on the journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill, a failure in his eyes and hers, but with one chance at redemption.
And weapons are made for one purpose.
Will Thorn forever be a pawn in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path?

Half the World is the second book in Joe Abercrombies new Shattered Sea fantasy series. Set three years after the events of the first book in the series, Half the World follows two new characters as they struggle to survive the harsh lifestyle and political turmoil of the kingdom of Gettland.

Thorn Bathu wants nothing more than to be the greatest warrior Gettland has ever seen while avenging the death of her father. But being a warrior is not an easy thing to do on along the Shattered Sea when you are a girl. Brand is as strong as two men and is almost as good as Thorn with a sword, but he does not believe steel is always the answer, and has what the warrior see as the unmanly habit of seeking peace.

A tragic accident during Thorn’s final training session before she stands before her king and takes the warriors oath finds Thorn labeled a murderer and jailed to await execution by those who trained her. When Brand goes to Father Yarvi to tell him the true version of the events that lead to Thorns imprisonment he to finds himself unjustly accused by his trainers an denied his place as a warrior. Thorn and Brand soon find themselves thrown together as they follow Father Yarvi across half the world in search of redemption for themselves, and possible salvation for the Gettland and its people.

I enjoyed this story much more than I did the first book in the series, and I think the reason for that is the characters. In Half a King I found Yarvi and his group of misfits to be a rather unlikable lot, and struggled to really finish the story. That is not the case for Half the World, I loved the characters of Thorn and Brand and found their slowly budding friendship to be the backbone of the entire story.

The only thing I wish we had seen more of was the magic that exists in the world. In Half a King we get a glimpse of the elven ruins, but learn very little of where they came from or what their purpose was. While Half the World does a good job of keeping up this tradition, it does at least introduce us to the artifacts and the brutal blood magic that can be learned from there. I honestly found myself a bit queasy after the first scene in which the magic was introduced.

This is definitely a book you want to read if your a fan of Joe Abercrombie, or of coming of age stories, or if your just a fan of a really good fantasy story. I made the mistake again of starting my read when I had to work early the next morning, and found myself going to work with no sleep at all. It was well worth it.

This book was provided to me free for an honest review.

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie is set to be released on Feb 17 2015 by Del Rey.

 

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Most Anticipated Fantasy Books of 2015

Happy New Year!

Continuing with yesterday’s post (Best Books of 2014), here are the books we’re looking forward to the most in 2015. Descriptions, release dates, and covers have been added where possible.

Shane’s (SJardine):

The Aeronaut’s Windlass (Cinderspires #1) by Jim Butcher:

The Cinder Spires is set in a world “of black spires that tower for miles over a mist-shrouded surface” and follows a war between two of the Spires: Spire Albion and Spire Aurora.

It’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Sherlock meets Hornblower. There are goggles and airships and steam power and bizarre crystal technology and talking cats, who are horrid little bullies. – From Goodreads

I’m not 100 percent positive that this book will be published in 2015, but I really hope it is. Jim Butcher is one of my favorite authors, and if anyone can pull off a great Steampunk novel, he can.

Fool’s Quest (Fits and the Fool #2) by Robin Hobb:

This will be the continuation of Hobb’s the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, and I find myself checking daily to see if any more information has been released about it. I can’t wait to find out what happens after the events of Fool’s Assassin. Fitzchivalry Farseer never seems to catch a break.

Tentative publication date: August 11th 2015 by Del Rey

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews:

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Mercenary Kate Daniels and her Mate, former Beast Lord Curran Lennart, have broken with Pack, but Curran misses challenges of leading, so he grabs when Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild. As a veteran merc, Kate can take over Guild’s unfinished jobs, not knowing they are connected. An old enemy has arisen.Goodreads

The Kate Daniels series is another Urban Fantasy series I’ve discovered in the last few months that I burned through in just a couple days. The name Magic Shifts sounds like it will describe this next book perfect, everything is starting to change for Kate and Curran.

Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Ace

The Iron Ghost (Copper Promise #2) by Jen Williams:

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Beware the dawning of a new mage…

Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith are experienced in the perils of stirring up the old gods. They are also familiar with defeating them, and the heroes of Baneswatch are now enjoying the perks of suddenly being very much in demand for their services.

When a job comes up in the distant city of Skaldshollow, it looks like easy coin – retrieve a stolen item, admire the views, get paid. But in a place twisted and haunted by ancient magic, with the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, making a reappearance, our heroes soon find themselves threatened by enemies on all sides, old and new. And in the frozen mountains, the stones are walking… – Goodreads

I don’t think this series has a publisher in the US yet, so I’m probably going to have to convince one of my friends across the pond to send me a copy. I enjoyed the first one enough that I’m willing to pay international shipping just to get my copy of it.

Expected publication: February 26th 2015 by Headline

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Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie : Review

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“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie was a book that hooked me early on and refused to let me go. For years everyone I know has been trying to get me to read Abercrombie’s books, telling me how dark and gritty and just plain awesome they can be. So I was not disappointed in how quickly the deaths and betrayals began to pile up so early in the book. With how grim Half a King got throughout the story I was really surprised to find out that it is considered YA, which guarantees I will read the rest of his books to find out just how much darker his other books can get.

At its heart Half a King is both a coming of age and heroes journey story about prince Yarvi, who, with a withered and crippled hand is destined to be a Minister of the kingdom of Gettland. When his father and older brother are are killed, Yarvi soon finds himself forced into a role he is ill prepared to fill, that of king, but the question on everyone’s mind is if a crippled boy can truly be king. Yarvi’s life soon takes a drastic turn for the worse and he’s forced to struggle to survive after a bitter betrayal with the help of a ragged group of misfits and former slaves.

The best part of this book for me was the characters, Yarvi was a complex and realistic person who made made mistakes and did what he had to to survive. Everything he did was aimed at fulfilling his oath and he wasn’t going to let anyone or anything stop him, but that line of thought did not stop him from feeling the guilt or regretting his actions. Then there was the cast of outcasts and misfits he soon finds himself thrown in with. The story would not have been anywhere near as good without them, with Sumael and Nothing really shining as examples of how side characters need not be merely backdrop. No matter how little time each character got in the story they all felt fully fleshed out and believable.

While the story itself may seemed a bit cliched and overdone, Abercrombie puts his own twist on it which makes it seem new again. With all the twists and turns Half a King takes, and all the betrayals Yarvi must face, I found myself constantly wondering just where the story was going to go, and just who Yarvi could trust on his journey. I’m already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, and eyeballing all the rest of Joe Abercrombie’s books with interest.

I received a free copy of this novel for an honest review.


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