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Review: Half the World by Joe Abercrombie


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? (less)

My thought

Half the World is the second book in the Shattered World series and even though I didn’t fully enjoy it right from the start, I liked this even more than the first book in the series.

The first maybe 50 pages were somewhat troubling for me and I couldn’t really get into the book. It took some time until I could make the connection to the previous book and until I felt comfortable reading about new characters. It was mainly my own fault, because I forgot who all the old characters were and what part they played in the previous book as well as what the overall situation of this world was like. As new POVs are introduced in this one, it took some time until certain characters mention things that made me remember again. I also had a rough start with these new POVs. Even though I knew it would be about new characters this time, it took me longer than usual to feel like I know them and start to care about them.

Once I was past that point though, I was in love with these characters again. I always love when there is a decent mix of adults and young adults and they get along so well. This crew is so much fun with both their banter and their friendship.

I was surprised what a big part the characters from the first book played, as I thought this would only be a companion that just played in the same world. I was glad to see so many of my old favorites again and having them present all the time. Mixed with the new characters, this was just as much fun as the previous book. It was also interesting to get to know the old characters from a new perspective as well as knowing more about them than the two main characters. I especially liked Thorn, one of the main characters. Her characters development was great. I liked to see how she changed over the year that this adventure takes place.

I was also glad to see a lot of exciting fights again. This crew has to fight some battles that were bloody thrilling and made me not want to stop reading. I nearly read this book in just one sitting. Yarvi with his cunning also provides some interesting plot twist, and even though I learned from the first book and knew they were coming, I was thrilled when I found out that I was right.

As I liked the Yarvi, the main character of the first book so much, I was glad that he played such a big role again. On the other hand though it was interesting to read another adventure set in this world from the point of view of different characters. I pretty sure if it had been told from Yarvi’s POV again it would have felt more like a repeat of the first one. Half the World is an great sequel that is just as exciting as the first book, has a bit more romance than the first one but just as many thrilling fights. I can’t wait to read the last book and see how everything will play out.

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Feb 10, 2015