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Half a War (Shattered Sea) Hardcover – July 28, 2015
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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“The Shattered Seas trilogy has worked its way into a very exclusive group of my favorite fantasy novels of all time. The pacing is perfect, the characters deep and true and real, the world rich and authentic, the plot full of twists and turns. Perhaps my favorite part is that no one is purely good or evil: Each and every character has layers upon layers that are a joy to discover. I tore through all three books and truly hope that someday Joe Abercrombie returns to this magnificent, captivating world.”—James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner
Praise for Half a War
“Filled with swift battles, quick plot twists and witty dialogue.”—New York Daily News
“A fantasy for all ages, and all times [that] rends the soul as compulsively as anything [Joe] Abercrombie has written to date . . . Half a War is a success in every way, putting a stupendous capstone on the entire Shattered Sea Trilogy.”—Tor.com
“There’s all the sword-swinging and Machiavellian machinations you could ask for in this tale of a final battle between countries and kings.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star
“Engaging, mesmerising and jaw-dropping.”—SciFi Now
“Abercrombie piles on shocking betrayals and charges his characters a high price for vengeance in this powerful and fitting final volume.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Joe Abercrombie’s Half a King
“A fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go.”—George R. R. Martin
“Tremendously entertaining . . . lightning-fast and filled with a wonderful collection of rogues, villains and two-faced bastards . . . From the first chapter [Abercrombie] wastes no time as the reader is swept up in a gripping tale of betrayal and revenge.”—SciFi Now
“Once this plot has its teeth in you, it will not let go. . . . Abercrombie’s masterly storytelling means that everything, from the characters you come to love and despise to the sprawling world that is explored, is enthralling.”—Fantasy Book Review
Half the World
“An excellent page-turner . . . full of drama and energy.”—New York Daily News
“Another entertaining burst of battle, magic and political machinations from the always reliable Joe Abercrombie . . . a thoroughgoing blast, a violent, beautiful rabbit hole of craft that is well worth disappearing into.”—Shelf Awareness
“Compelling . . . [Thorn] makes Katniss Everdeen look like Dorothy Gale.”—Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Joe Abercrombie is the New York Times bestselling author of Half a King, Half the World, Red Country and the First Law trilogy: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings. He spent ten years as a freelance film editor, and is now a full-time writer who lives in Bath, England, with his wife, two daughters, and son.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Half a War begins with the narrative of young princess Skara of Throvenland. After witnessing her homeland put to the torch and her grandfather the king and his minister viciously murdered by Bright Yilling - a ruthless warrior of the High King's army - she narrowly escapes death with the help of the old pirate Blue Jenner. Together they flee to neighboring Gettland and seek refuge with Queen Laithlin, King Uthil, Father Yarvi, and many other characters we met in the previous two books. As Gettland and Vansterland still struggle to look beyond their long-standing wars with each other and try to forge a very shaky alliance against the High King's armies, Princess Skara finds that she may be the glue that can bring them together....if only she can overcome her fears, find her own voice, and become the leader she was destined to be for Throvenland and her people.
We also follow fearless young warrior Raith - a proud, reckless killer and King Grom-gil-Gorm's sword bearer, as he is forced to confront the terrible ghosts of his past and make difficult decisions that may ultimately change the course of his life.
And then there is Koll, the young master wood carver and Father Yarvi's apprentice to the Ministry, who must try to look beyond what others expect from him and decide what it is he really wants - love or the ministry - and how he can change the world no matter which decision he makes.
Through these three narratives, the big picture of the inevitable war with the High King and Grandmother Wexen is told and finally comes to a head. And all hell breaks loose. If you think you know what's coming and if you think you know who the real enemies are, think again. Everything is NOT as it seems. And that's one of the reasons I think this is the best book of the three. Abercrombie spins this tale with superb skill and all of the pieces finally come neatly together, but perhaps not how you might think they will.
As always, Abercrombie is the master of some of the greatest, bloodiest battle scenes you'll ever read, and this book is no exception even though it's YA. These battles will play out in your mind like they would on a big screen as you're reading them, which makes for some bloody great reading if you're heavily into action.
Great narratives, solid, interesting characters, superb writing, a fantastic plot, and rich storytelling made this one of the best books I've read this year. A brilliant ending to a great series! Highly recommend.
The third is good until the very end. In fact, it was headed to "Great!".
Then, suddenly ... within a chapter, the story collapses. The author completely corrupts 3 volume theme of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’. Did the publishers time run out for this 3rd installment? Turn principal characters from 'good' into 'bad' after 3 books? Destroy them in the last few pages? Certainly ends the book fast.
The trilogy makes absolutely no sense in the whole. Most beastly bad ending ever from among the genre’s top writers.
Of no social value. Deceit and fraud is the strength of the ‘heroes’? You gotta be kidding me. No lessons to be learned here. It's just wrong.
Oh, and brutal, non fairy tale, messy decisions and the consequences thereof reverberate again and again throughout. This is intelligent, visceral, thoughtful, murky fantasy. Better than "The First Law" series in the thoroughness of story, accessibility of characters, character development, and presentation of thesis. Great, great fantasy for those that can stomach, accept, roll with a conventional moral and conflict dichotomy which seems evident at first, then fades, and, at last, is crushed. If Abercrombie holds to anything, it is walking in the light? Justice? What's that? Redemption? Go for it. Love and compassion are the yeses. Loss is everywhere. Big ideas well executed. Bravo Zulu.
All the previous protagonists (Yarvi Thorn and company) are still around, but the main protagonists are Koll, Raith, and princess Skara. The problem is that I couldn't connect with any of them. Koll is a too thinly written character who's main personality trait is that he can't make up his mind, Raith is a killer who goes though a Grinch-heart-grows-three-sizes type of transformation that doesn't stick, and the Princess Skara isn't clever enough, bratty enough, or otherwise interesting enough to hold my eye.
The story is predictable in that you know the good guys are going to win out against impossible odds, and no-one is ever really in danger. You know there will be a big battle scene, and it's like every other big battle scene. Since you know the premise of the book you know the ending, and roughly who will die and who will live - even given deux ex machina twists. The well written characters seem to be re-skinned personalities of other Abercrombie characters. This isn't to say they aren't well written - there just isn't enough new material here for me to give it a good or great review.
For Abercrombie, this falls short of the his usual high mark.
Most recent customer reviews
In retrospect I would rank this as the least of the three trilogies he...Read more