- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Half the World (Shattered Sea, Book 2) Paperback – 18 Jun 2015
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'Grips like a bear hug, warms like a bear skin' Daily Mail
‘My favorite Abercrombie book yet’ Patrick Rothfuss
‘Enthralling. An up-all-night read’ Robin Hobb
‘Joe Abercrombie is doing some terrific work’ GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
‘Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else’ Guardian
‘Another great tale from a master’ Sun
‘Joe Abercrombie is fast becoming my favourite writer.’ DEREK LANDY
‘A magnificent, captivating world.’ James Dashner of MAZE RUNNER
From the Inside Flap
Thorn Bathu was born to fight. But when she kills a boy in the training square she finds herself named a murderer.
Fate places her life in the hands of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi as he sets out to cross half the world in search of allies against the ruthless High King.
Beside her is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill. A failure in her eyes and his own, the voyage is his last chance at redemption.
But warriors can be weapons, and weapons are made for one purpose. Will Thorn always be a tool in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path? Is there a place outside of legend for a woman with a blade?
Customers who bought this item also bought
Read reviews that mention
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Not the best book I've ever read, not the best book I've read this year, but certainly above average.
So, what is Half the World about?
The book starts with sixteen year old Thorn (Hild) Bathu, desperate to follow her dead father’s footsteps and be a warrior. Something which is quite the challenge in a male-dominated world. Brand, her counterpart, is a young man who desires to go raiding and become a warrior in order to support his orphaned sister and himself. Of course, things don’t turn out as easy as it seems for them at first, and they find themselves on the ship of Father Yarvi, crossing half of the world to find allies against the ruthless High King. Thorn and Brand are thus forced to grow up and confront who they want to be, as well as face the possibilities of failure and death. Both of the young leads are made outcasts in the first part of the novel, and see the loss of practically everything they had worked for within the first few chapters only to be given an opportunity by Yarvi to succeed whilst furthering his own goals. Thorn and Brand find themselves part of a long journey south to win allies and of the diplomatic group, thus setting the stage for the story of this book.
Half the World sees the reappearance of characters from the first book and tells what has happened to them since the end of Half a King. This is done from the perspectives of Thorn and Brand respectively, making for a different though interesting perspective of them. Yarvi is now a minister to King Uthil and is presented as clever and grumpy by Thorn, and Queen Laithlin is seen without the rose-tinted perception given by Yarvin in the first book.
Much of this book is about their long physical and mental journey, and both of the protagonists absorb new life lessons that change them and grow. It is very Viking in that characters build relationships and muscle generally at the same time, and the details of the travelling make up a great portion of the book. Insights and information is given about the elf cities, and historical details are placed in a bigger perspective. Then there is a romantic subplot between Thorn and Brand, who alternate between hating and fancying each other in what probably is one of the most stereotypical and cliché elements of the story.
So, how good is Half the World then?
It should be noted that this book follows the young adult style of Half a King, and that many of the more criticisable aspects of it are also present in the first book. As always, I found myself loving the writing style of the author. However, despite this and the fact that I loved the story within the first chapters, it ended up being hugely disappointing. The story is compelling enough, and though albeit simplistic it succeeded in being interesting enough to be quite the page turner at first. However it seems to advance at too much of a slow pace in some areas, and too quickly in others. This, only to arrive at what seems that should have been the end of the book around 100 pages before it really finished. Then there is the world building of the book, which seemed like it lacked depth. There are gods, religions, countries, and kings which are all well set from the introduction in Half a King. However, all of these lacked depth and believability, and seemed to be two dimensional and simplistic. Sure, characters are influenced by them and adapt, but the world doesn’t give the sense to be complex as in some other works, and the result isn’t satisfying at all.
Half a World as such starts off interesting, then becomes more normal and satisfying, and finishes off as being truly disappointing. Dissapointing, that is, considering this was written by Joe Abercrombie. The story turns into a Hollywood-esque story which is utterly predictable at every turn, even with twists and ‘deep’ insights of characters such as Yarvi. It lacks political depth and complexity, and lacks excitement on a more general scale, particularly on the second half of the book. This is something which I expect from other authors, but not from Joe Abercrombie. Then there is the romance subplot, which was cliché and poorly handled. Quite frankly one of the most disappointing elements of the story. The main protagonists shift from hating to fancying each other with surprising speed, and though this isn’t bad in itself, even a classical romantic misunderstanding between would-be-lovers takes an important place. Only to be happily resolved months later without any consequences at all.
What can be said in general about Half a World? To put it bluntly, there are much better works out there with similar themes, particularly with the romantic subplot. This is something which I would have expected from other authors, but not from Abercrombie, which is probably why this book failed to impress me so much. It isn’t bad, and for someone who enjoys this type of young adult novel the book will undoubtedly be a great one to read, and the book is entertaining to read in many points. However, for previous fans of Abercrombie and more ‘adult’ or developed fantasy books it isn’t something which I would really recommend, and Half the World will undoubtedly seem underwhelming considering the author. It is cliché and predictable, and lacks the things which made previous Abercrombie books as well as Half a King enjoyable.
The thing that is amazing about this book is the depth of gritty reality that the novel affords. You really feel as though you are there straining at the oars as they journey over ‘Half the World’ to get to their destination, the First of Cities, the Constantinople of Abercrombie’s world. This book mimics real Viking history as the Vikings did sail to Constantinople in the height of their power. You feel every strain as they carry their long ship over land. You smell the blood as Thorn swings her blades in deadly arcs. It is totally immersing.
The ancient elves are also developed as hints and suggestions in book 1 are built upon and you begin to get a feel of who these ancient elves were. All in all, this is one of the best Abercrombie books I have read. It does not read like a bridging book of a trilogy and stands as the middle part of the whole three story arc in its own right. He has made the transition to the YA market effortlessly and has still retained some of the gore and dark humour of his adult novels. If you liked Half a King, then you will love this book as it brings the whole of the trilogy into focus for the epic showdown in book 3, Half a War. A fantastic book and one I will read again and again.