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Half the World

Half the World

Scritto da Joe Abercrombie

Narrato da John Keating


Half the World

Scritto da Joe Abercrombie

Narrato da John Keating

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (34 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
13 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 17, 2015
ISBN:
9781490624013
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Yarvi, second son of the feared King Uthrik and the ruthless Queen Laithlin of Gettland, was born with a useless hand, and cannot hold a shield, or make fast a knot, or pull an oar, or do any of the things expected from a man. Left an outcast, he' s surrendered his birthright and been given a woman' s place as apprentice to Mother Gundring, Gettland' s Minister, training to be an adviser, diplomat, healer and translator. But when his father and brother are murdered by Grom-gil-Gorm, King of neighboring Vansterland, Yarvi is forced to take the Black Chair and become king himself - or half a king, at least - swear an oath of vengeance against the killers of his father, and lead a raid against the Vanstermen. Betrayed, left for dead, and enslaved on a rotting trading galley, Yarvi will need all his Minister' s wit and cunning to escape, and all his diplomacy and knowledge to keep a rag-tag band of other slaves together on a month long trek across the frozen wastes of the utmost north. Among them are Sumael, the ship' s single-minded navigator, Rulf, an ex-raider, Jaud, an ex-baker, and Nothing, a mad old man with a mysterious past and an almost magical skill with a sword. And their owner, the brutal Captain Shadikshirram, will be dogging their heels at every step. Father Peace may be the patron god of Ministers, but to reclaim the Black Chair, Yarvi will have to strike a deal with Mother War, and once you' ve invited the mother of crows to be your guest, there can be no telling whose blood will be spilled.
Pubblicato:
Feb 17, 2015
ISBN:
9781490624013
Formato:
Audiolibro


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4.3
34 valutazioni / 18 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    I loved how we got two new characters to start off with, and not only that, but one of them is a girl! So much happens in the book that you would think it was 800 pages long, but it isn't nearly that long. That is brilliant storytelling if you can get so many details and adventures packed into a book that isn't outrageously long. With that being said, of course we visit places we have been, but also take adventures to places that we haven't. And there are many crazy and awesome things that happen along the way. There is also a perfect integration of both old and new characters. It was nice having those old characters back. Already knowing their previous adventures and how it changed them. And also how they interact with one another leaving the new characters in the dark about the past they share. I just can't say enough, but I don't want to say too much. I hate spoiled books. However, I will say that once again the ending is fantastic! And I can't wait to see how it affects the next book
  • (5/5)
    You gotta hand it to Joe Abercrombie. Knocking it out of the park on his first venture into Young Adult territory could be seen as a fluke, but when he nails it again for a second time, it’s clearly a testament to his writing skills and versatility. This author is a master when it comes to storytelling, whether he’s writing for teens or adults.Half the World is the follow-up-but-not-really-a-direct-sequel to Half a King, which introduced readers to the land of Gettland and a young prince with a crippled hand named Yarvi. A man grown now, Prince Yarvi has become Father Yarvi, a trusted minister to Gettland’s king, and is no longer the main focus; instead, that torch and its responsibilities have been passed on to sixteen-year-old Thorn Bathu, a girl with a fierce heart and a fighter’s spirit.Determined to one day avenge her father, Thorn has been training for years to become a warrior of Gettland, only to fail on the day of her testing and be condemned to death for the accidental killing of a fellow student. When a young warrior named Brand speaks up on her behalf, Thorn is spared from execution only to be swept up along with Brand into an ambitious political plot devised by the cunning Father Yarvi, which sees the three of them and a ragtag crew embarking on an exciting but dangerous diplomatic mission across half the world.For a society that worships a goddess referred to as Mother War, you would think they’d be more open and accepting of female warriors, but apparently not. It’s an uphill battle all the way for Thorn Bathu to prove herself to her teacher, her peers and even to her own mother, whom Thorn suspects had always wished for a daughter more into sewing and pretty dresses. But Thorn is who she is, and I can’t say I would have preferred it any other way. Not that kickass heroines are in short supply when it comes to the YA genre, but take any of the female protagonists in any of the more popular books in the genre these days, and I guarantee you Thorn will make every single one of them look like fluffy kittens. When I say Thorn is a tough girl, you definitely get a tough girl. That’s mainly because Abercrombie simply does not hold back when it comes to his characters; if he feels that a fight scene calls for his protagonist getting a knife through the cheek…well, she’s getting a knife through the cheek (“Ouch, sorry about that, Thorn, but it builds character!)Not that Abercrombie is infallible. One thing to note is that there was not a full-blown romantic subplot in Half a King like there is in Half the World, and when it comes to writing a YA romance and a teenage girl’s perspective, he manages admirably though not without unintentional awkwardness. Scenes where Thorn is kicking ass and taking names seem to come naturally, but where her softer feelings for Brand are concerned (playing mental games of he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not, feeling jealous of other girls, appreciating the virtues of his well-toned backside, etc.) that’s when you sense that Abercrombie may be feeling a bit out of his comfort zone. It’s not too distracting; the moments where Thorn almost acts like a completely different person are more amusing than they are truly problematic. However, this does make Brand the more consistent character, and I sometimes found myself enjoying and looking forward to his chapters more than Thorn’s.Story-wise, I also found the twists and turns in Half the World to be somewhat tamer and more predictable than in Half a King, though this might have something to do with the fact that we now know the character of Father Yarvi well enough to “expect the unexpected”. Nevertheless, I sailed through this novel loving every page of it, but the highlight was without a doubt the last few chapters that led up to and culminated in the stunning climax. For you see, fight scenes are a bit of a Joe Abercrombie specialty. Once the action starts, it’s impossible to tear your eyes away. The final showdown was one such sequence, with the suspense keeping you on the edge of seat until the moment of reckoning. As climaxes go, that was close to perfection. Before the ending, I was already pretty set on rating Half the World a solid 4 stars, but that one amazing scene alone made me bump it up to 4.5.One thing is clear, though – the scene is now set for the next and final book of the trilogy. Seeing as how things have progressed so far, Half a War promises to be even more intense and exciting. I can’t wait.
  • (3/5)
    Continuation of Shattered Sea trilogy. For much of the novel I slogged through it, having to accustom myself to the idea Father Yarvi was no longer the main character, the new one being Thorn Banu, a girl warrior. She did not impress me for much of the story. Father Yarvi knows of an impending final confrontation between the High King an the Gettlanders, so he wishes to gain allies and the novel tells of that search with fights and also negotiations along the way. Thorn matures before our eyes. They even gain the king who had killed Thorn's father, as an ally. Thorn seems able to put the past behind her. Not until they reach the First of Cities [a faux Constantinople?] and the Empress of the South, did the story pick up for me. Then, Brand, the main male character, goes on a raid and is disgusted by what he sees and has to take part in. We see his peace-loving personality; he was my favorite in the story. I had to get myself out of folklore mode; this book was more "typical" fantasy.
  • (4/5)
    From the title, I expected this book to be a direct sequel to Abercrombie's 'Half a King.' It's not - it picks up some years later, when 'Half a King''s protagonist, Yarvi, is well-established as a minister and cunning-man: a feared and respected player in the political schemes of this world. (This also makes the book work 100% as a stand-alone read.)

    However, here we see Yarvi through the eyes of a new young protagonist: Thorn (much to her objection, her mother insists on calling her Hild.)Thorn's one ambition is to become a warrior like her famous father, and to avenge his death.
    However, although she is driven and talented, her weapons-master is set against her, and forces her into a test she cannot win.
    A promising young warrior, Brand, who's always disliked Thorn for her arrogance and prickliness, must face his own, internal test of courage and honesty when he witnesses a tragedy and an injustice.
    The way things play out puts both Thorn and Brand at Father Yarvi's disposal, and a journey toward his own, opaque, agenda ensues...

    This book is more YA in feel than the previous 'Shattered Sea' book. It contains a lot of familiar coming-of-age (and even young romance) tropes. However, they're all executed really, really well. I challenge any reader to not be won over by Thorn's character. I was even rooting for the romance, and that's not even usually my thing! (Don't worry, though, there's far more ass-kicking than kissing.)

    (Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't help imagining Thorn as being what the version of shield-maiden Lagertha portrayed on TV's 'Vikings' might've been like in her youth...)

    Highly recommended.

    Many thanks to NetGalley and DelRey Spectra for the opportunity to read this novel. As always, my opinions are solely my own.
  • (4/5)
    I’m not sure how to rate this one, but I’m going with 4.5 stars, rounded down. Why not 5? Well, the book lulls terribly in the early parts of the book, but the ending ramps up to screeching heights. There’s a lot of teen angst on both parts (Thorn and Brand), but they have adults that are competent, skillful mentors. There’s a couple terrible love-making scenes, but the fight scenes and battles are something terribly wonderful to behold.

    I am not a fan of YA by any means, but one thing I like about this series (so far) is that Joe Abercrombie doesn’t “write down” to his audience. Most YA books assume that teens and young adults are endowed with the answers to life, the universe, and everything, and that all adults are inept, ineffectual, and downright stupid. This is not the case with this series, far from it.

    One thing that wasn’t apparent early on was that this book didn’t take place immediately after “Half a King”, and that threw me off somewhat. Father Yarvi speaks as a wizened old minister in this book, and this left me lurching along for a bit, as I tried to figure out how much time had passed since the events of the first book.

    Another thing I didn’t like was the awkward dialogue in portions of the book, mostly in the lulls and teen angst I mentioned earlier. Usually strong in Abercrombie’s books, the dialogue felt forced, almost like he was reverting to overused YA clichés and trope.

    Still, this is a very good read. There’s a courageous warrior that has a strong moral compass, a belligerent female character that grows into a highly-skilled, highly-trained fighter, hand-picked to be the queen’s sword and shield. There’s political maneuverings and intrigue, and fantastic, intricate plot twists, double-crosses, and surprises. Looking forward to the next volume!
  • (3/5)
    Subverted YA: "Half the World" by Joe Abercrombie
    Published February 17th 2015.

    I’ve always been intrigued why we read YA fiction. Is it because it deals with first time experiences? Or because it’s all about experimentation? Or is it because we no longer want to be adults? Maybe we yearn for those childhood years without a care in the world… I think some read YA because it helps (some) adults to re-live adolescence. Our adult life is full of constraints/responsibilities: mortgage, job, and family. We read it from the safer distance of adulthood. Reading YA can be something that allow us to believe many things are (still) possible. It allow us to reconnect with the adolescent experience even we are talking about SF.

    The rest of this review is available elsewhere.

    YA = Young Adult

    SF = Speculative Fiction
  • (5/5)
    4.5 StarsA great sequel to Half a King, this novel has all the key ingredients that made the first book such a good read: a daunting and adventurous journey, excellent world-building (similar to Vikings), cool fight scenes, and some well-written and interesting characters. A few characters come back for this installment, but some new ones are the focal point. For older YA and adults. Read the first book in the series before this one.Net Galley Feedback
  • (4/5)
    With well-rounded, strong characters, an exciting plot and detailed world-building, Joe Abercrombie has cemented his place as one of my favorite fantasy authors with this second installment in the Shattered Sea trilogy. Things started off a little slowly for me because it had been a while since I had read the first book, Half a King. It took a little bit for me to get my bearings and remember who's who and where they are. It also threw me a little that this book does not center on Yarvi, but rather on two other characters, Thorn and Bran. Yarvi is now Father Yarvi and is the minister to his uncle, now the King. He is just as cunning as ever and everything he does has an underlying motivation. Thorn and Bran are young people training to become warriors. Through various circumstances they end up following Yarvi across the world while he's trying to gain allies for his country in what looks to be the coming war with the High King. Thorn is a seriously bad-ass chick. Everything she has she gets by hard work. She's a flawed character who sometimes jumps to conclusions and makes bad decisions, but you can't help but cheer for her. She's impetuous and acts without thinking. She gains some serious fighting skills. Bran is the opposite. He's the strong, silent type. He's more slow and thoughtful and aims to "do good" above all else. Both characters are well-written and complex. The supporting characters are a mix of new and familiar faces from Half a King. They round out the cast well and even offer some comic relief.We learn a little more about this world and there are more details peppered throughout that hint that this may be set in the far-future and we, the reader, might be these elves they speak of with such reverence. It's an interesting concept. The setting are described in enough detail that you can visualize them but not so much that you're bogged down. This book really shines in it's action scenes. This book would translate really well to the screen and I could absolutely "see" all of the battle scenes while reading. They were completely enthralling and I couldn't pull my eyes away. Overall, while it started out slow, this book quickly built to a fast-paced, exciting read with strong characters and settings. I am very eagerly awaiting the third book in this trilogy. This book has definite crossover appeal and adult fans of fantasy would enjoy as well as YA readers. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    The first book in this series (Half a King) sets up the world and could be read stand alone. Half the World is where the story for the series really starts. You follow two different characters as they move up in the Shattered Sea world, which heavily involve interactions from characters in the first book. The book is good but doesn't really seem to have a purpose till about the end. The majority of the book follows the two characters, but at times you don't see the point. At the end it all makes sense and the story really begins. It is written really well and Joe created characters you really care about. There is even more of a love story in this one too. I have high hopes for this series, as this book really set it up, it just seems that after 2 books the story should be well under its way.I listened to the audiobook narrated by John Keating. He is an excellent narrator and does excellent accents for different characters. My only qualm is that he does a poor job at female voices, which is particularly a problem in this book since one of the main characters is female. But overall it is a good production.
  • (5/5)
    Note: There will be spoilers for Book One, Half A King, but none for this book, Book Two.Half the World continues the fantasy saga that began with Half A King. I re-read Book One before reading this one even though I really didn’t need to, but Half A King is so good - and even better the second time around! In Half A King, we met Yarvi, the youngest prince of Gettland, who was training to become a minister (a celibate advisor and healer in service to the King). But when both the King and Yarvi’s older brother were ambushed and killed, Yarvi was required to step up the plate and serve as King. He was an unpopular choice however, because he had a hand with only one finger (considered anathema for a would-be warrior/king). Yarvi’s Uncle Odem led him away from the palace and tried to have him murdered, but Yarvi escaped. Unrecognized, he was captured and made a galley slave on a merchant ship. There, he met those who would become his most faithful friends when they managed to escape. At the end of Book One, the small group makes their way back to Gettland, and together with Yarvi’s mother, Queen Laithlin, they wreak vengeance on Odem who was now King. Book Two begins with a focus on two new characters: Thorn Bathu, a 16-year-old girl who wants to be a warrior to avenge the death of her father who died in battle, and her training mate Brand, who is after the riches of raiding to help support himself and his sister Rin. After Thorn defeats Brand and others on the training ground, Master-at-Arms Hunnan set Thorn against three others at once. It was not only unfair to do that to Thorn, but in a tragic accident, Thorn killed one of the boys with her wooden training sword which had splintered and become needle-sharp. Hunnan accused her of murder, and it was decreed she would be crushed with stones. After the sentencing, Brand went to Father Yarvi and pleaded for Thorn's life, explaining what happened. Yarvi rescued Thorn from the prison and told her she was now in his service. He took her with him on the ship "South Wind" on a mission to win allies for Gettland’s battle against the High King, who aspired to have hegemony over all the kingdoms around the Shattered Sea. Brand, despondent after being thrown out by Hunnan for talking to Yarvi about Thorn, was also recruited for the voyage.Both Thorn and Brand were put together at the oars of the ship, but Thorn had other duties as well. When she wasn’t rowing, Yarvi insisted she train with a mysterious old woman on board named Skifr to be a better fighter. Skifr may have been a grandmother, but she had extraordinary skills, and worked Thorn hard until no one on board could best her. Brand, too, proved his battle worthiness when the crew had to fight natives of other lands during their quest. Discussion: Abercrombie is just excellent at creating characters, especially those who need to prove worthy of inclusion in an “epic” saga. Yarvi has grown in many ways since the first book, but still retains humility and humanity in addition to his universally acclaimed “deep cunning.” His old friend and ally Rulf is also a great character, and Brand proves himself a staunch defender of right and wrong that transcends political advantage. It is the women, however, that stand out in this series. In Book One, we met very powerful women - Yarvi’s mother; the Captain of the ship on which Yarvi had been taken captive; and the navigator, Sumael; not to mention the ministers to the Kings, all of whom were female except Yarvi. In this book, we encounter women no less powerful but in different ways. Safrit, a wonderful surprise character, serves as the storekeeper and cook on the South Wind. Skifr, who trains Thorn, is like no grandmother you ever knew. And Thorn, with her perfectly appropriate name recalling the blustery sensitive rose from The Little Prince, will win your admiration and your heart as well. And OMG! A female character who actually has to deal with her period! When has this happened before - in this male-dominated genre, at any rate? Queen Laithlin appears again, taking over with commanding grace when her King is ailing, and even Brand’s sister Rin is a force to be reckoned with, and stands out along with Thorn in one of the most memorable scenes of the book. Abercrombie employs common enough themes from epic fantasy sagas, such as the voyage that tests the characters and brings them to new worlds - both physically and mentally; the heart-stopping battle scenes in which the heroes fight against seemingly insuperable odds; the quest for power; romance; the inevitability of loss and grieving. Yet he adds such richness to his characters, and heart to their actions, that he elevates his stories far above the run of the genre.If you have avoided fantasy for whatever reasons but are considering trying it, I think Abercrombie is an excellent way to start. I recommend beginning with the first book, even though this one, like the first, can be read as a standalone. But it would be a shame to miss the first, although the series has absolutely no diminution in quality with the second book. Abercrombie’s characters are unforgettable, as are the stories they tell.Evaluation: Half The World is the second book in the Shattered Sea Trilogy, and all I can say, is What! There will be only THREE?!!!! Nooooooooo!
  • (5/5)
    f you thought Half a King was an addictive read, just wait until you read Half the world. Yarvi, Sumael and all your favourites return for the second book in the Shattered Sea series.Half the World picks up some time after Half a King finishes. Yarvi is minister to Gettland and war is stirring between Gettland and the High King, but Gettland is only a small country and is in desperate need of allies if they are to win a war against half of the shattered sea. Father Yarvi is extremely cunning and he enlists a crew of misfits – Thorn, the would be woman warrior if not for her murder of a man, Brand the poor orphaned soldier who does not enjoy killing people, Safrit and Koll, the wife and son of the deceased Ankran and Rulf – Yarvi’s oar mate from his days entrenched in slavery. Together they must embark upon a long and dangerous journey across the shattered sea, in order to stop Grom-gil-Gorm and the High King invading Gettland.I am a massive fan of Joe Abercrombie’s work. His First Law trilogy is one of my favourite trilogies of all time, and I devoured Half a King reading almost all of it in one train journey. I was absolutely thrilled when I got the opportunity to read this, and it is a really great story. There are so many aspects of the book that I enjoyed, and I’ll try not to go into too much detail because I know the book doesn’t come out till February, and I don’t want to spoil such a terrific story.This book literally has something for everyone, there’s plenty of fights, there’s mystery and intrigue, revenge and murder plots, a dash of politics and some some romance and of course a great deal of wit. It is in essence a coming of age story and a great part of it is about growing up, taking responsibility and finding your place in the world. One of the things I really enjoyed about Half the World is the strong women characters, Thorn is a great character, she’s strong and determined, but she isn’t the all perfect heroine of many young adult novels, she has her fears and her doubts and she very often makes mistakes. I also find it really interesting that the gods the characters prey to are “Father Peace” and “Mother War”, I love the subversion as in most fantasy worlds, the god of war is so often male. In so many fantasy novels the women are expected to sew, look after the children and stay at home, but I love the idea in Half the King that the women are in charge of the economy, they wear keys that symbolize their household, and they deal with the money that flows through their family. The most shrewd businesswoman of all being Yarvi’s mother, the golden Queen Lathlin.One of the things that continue to keep me hooked on this series is the mystery of the elves, and the elf magic. We know so little about them in Half a King (except that they broke the one god into many using magic) and it continues to be the same in Half the World, little tidbits of information are dropped, but it just leaves you desperate for more details on what happened to them. I for one am now absolutely desperate for Half a War, just to know more – and see if the elves actually make an appearance!I also really enjoyed the romance aspect of the novel. So often in young adult books the romance is love at first sight and happens over night. It is the complete opposite in Half the World and it particularly adds to the realism of the world. The romance is awkward, they make mistakes, they fall out and as they discover once they actually get together, that’s when the hard work truly begins.Abercombie’s world building is terrific, and the writing is incredibly well done, the story is pretty fast paced, there’s never a dull moment in the story. This is one I definitely stayed up way past my bed time to read. If you haven’t had a chance to read Half a King yet, I highly recommend it, and get your pre-orders in for Half the World, because it’s even better.
  • (5/5)
    I've been in the reading doldrums lately and this book snapped me out of it. As always Mr. Abercrombie writes great characters and Thorn and Brand our two point of view characters from "Half the World" are a lot of fun.
    The overall plot of the series is advanced to the point where you cant wait to see how the conflict between the Golden Queen and the High king will be resolved. I imagine with a lot of bloody action and deep thinking.
  • (2/5)
    I think this installment seriously lacks inspiration. I liked Half a King. Yarvi grew on me, the supporting characters were interesting and I liked the twists and turns of the story, so I picked this up looking forward to read a well structured YA book, and learn more about the Shattered Sea. Half the World, instead, feels flat. Nothing happens in the first half, and little happens in the second. It is easy to see how most things are going to play out, with plain consequences; in a few words, it’s repetitive, predictable and a bit stretched.

    The plot is linear, it flows nicely, the prose is good and it's a quick read, even paced, the geography is varied, fascinating, there is no shortage of unsavory characters and reflections about the pitfalls of entrenched beliefs and cowardice, light cynicism and quotable phrases. But the execution is lukewarm, I was never engaged.

    The first part introduces the new characters, their hopes and consequent loss thereof, and Gettland’s precarious position under the High King’s long-reaching shadow. Yarvi is back of course, with an agenda of his own. The protagonist, Thorn, is a young girl who wants to avenge her father and tread the battlefield as a sanctioned fighter. This in a spartan-like society founded on the prowess of its warriors, whose symbol is the ability to form a shield wall with one's brothers-in-arms, a society that allows the training, but looks with contempt at women who want a man's place.
    Brand is an orphan boy with the fine dreams of youth, of glory and booty as full-fledged soldier of Gettland. I was not impressed with the characterization. For a coming-of-age quest, there are too few working elements, no inner angst, no outer drama and no development at all. I avoid spoilers, but it is too quick, too easy, the motivations are too shallow, the resolutions too convenient. The themes of longing for a family and a place to belong or mastering anger and redressing losses are fine starting points, but dismaying if there are no maturity stages, only start and end.

    After the introduction comes the traveling part, Brand and Thorn embark on a journey to gather allies for their homeland, along with Yarvi and a motley crew. At first, predictably, they are not taken very seriously but after a while, opinions start to differ. I love to read about ships but again, the characters are mostly inconsistent, weak then strong, or cunning then over-explaining. Also too many swings from cynical and grim to buddy-buddy selfless goodwill and ready acceptance, from ineptitude to kick-assism.

    On the whole the only one I appreciated was Brand, nothing original but at least there is a little depth in his motivation, and some inner development beyond the outset. Experience leads to the discovery of the reality beneath the gild paint of ideals, and it is interesting to see how he copes with the loss of his youth and looks for different answers.
    “There’s no disappointment like getting what you’ve always wanted.”
    Queen Laithlin also has a few tricks up her sleeves, but her role doesn’t get much spotlight, she simply serves the purposes of the story. Yarvi…ah, he has his moments, but fortunately I was reminded at constant intervals that he is a “deep cunning man”, because he mostly felt very shallow, a far cry from the character of Half a King, or the one he’s supposed to have become here.

    I never thought the day when I did not enjoy a book with Abercrombie on the cover would come. My irritation grew when I noticed I was mid-book and not only were the characters not intriguing, there was little action, either. Apart from some witty sentences, which are Abercrombie's trademark, not even humor. Page after page seem to be centered on steering the plot in a certain direction, but with no sense of anticipation, I thought something was bound to happen because it would have been hard otherwise, but there was no indication, no building of tension towards the delivery. There were some engaging moments in the second half, a little sense of déjà vu, then very few surprises on most of the outcomes: plain predictability on how some loose ends tie up and a perplexing climax. I am ok with that but with some limits. The setting, the political situation and the religion theme are absorbing but it’s –basically- just the parts that have a direct connection with the events and characters of Half a King.

    Thorn is the main liability of this book. Let me get this straight, I like strong women, I like women who can fight, I like women whose experiences, whose choices have led them to pick men’s habits and I like revenge. However, the main character is very one-dimensional, she changes but does not evolve.

    It’s sad because the theme of women’s careers in a male-dominated world can be engaging. So is the way their biology is a hindrance because it pushes their merits in the background. Thorn is allowed to take fighting lessons and train with the other kids (which is in itself is a double-edged opportunity), but being a woman, no matter her competency, she will never be considered an equal, not her, not any girl. They are humored so they can be beaten into understanding what a woman’s role in their society is. I can draw many parallels with the society I live in and the obstacles for a woman who wishes to defy tradition. Thorn is different, she wants a different path for herself, the other women look at her with contempt, and the men despise her. She has to endure from prejudice to outright cruelty. Even the powerful Queen Laithlin has to excise some caution when she wants to tread male ground.

    I eagerly anticipated the developments of the premise, pity that the execution is wanting: Thorn suffers injustice, whines about the unfairness of the world, then simply becomes a flawed man to win the power struggle. She is a young woman, yet no depth, no rounded inner conflict, few questions and less answers. Her behavior and skills are simply made to fit. In the badass-women compartment, I liked the character of Skifr better, she surely is more intriguing (and reminds of Ishri of the First Law books). Another element I liked is that the book addresses some issues rarely broached, like the dynamics of nature calls when you are a female on a ship, or bloodstains in your trousers that have nothing to do with wounds. I thought it was an interesting take, but those ended up as one-time details thrown in to enhance the impact when Thorn exercises her right to become the best warrior around, or to allow her to make lewd jokes to match her male peers’.
    You see? She has monthly courses, all of you big men are better at taking a leak standing than her, but she is better at blowing snot!

    “She blew snot out of one nostril, wiped it on the back of her hand”
    “she pressed a fingertip to one side of her nose and blew snot into the mud out of the other.”
    “She pressed her thumb on one side of her nose and blew snot onto the sand.”


    Dismayingly, no tension. Little characterization. No pathos. No humor. No drama. The romance as cliché as it could get. The phrase "half the world" occurs 14 times in the book. "Deep-cunning" 20 times.
    The last 15% of the book served the twists Abercrombie is very good at weaving in his stories, but a sequence on the finishing line can hardly save an otherwise forgettable ride, not to mention the very last chapter eventually undid me and chipped away another half-star. Story-wise, the overall plot about the political situation on the Shattered Sea countries has moved very little, I think I could have safely skipped this one. I hope, when it is out, Half a War will be a solid YA with the same touch of Half a King. But I am not in a hurry to find out.
  • (4/5)
    A great coming of age story. While is a continuation of the shattered sea series, it has a different protagonist than half a king.
  • (4/5)
    Once again, Joe Abercrombie creates an epic story. In this continuation of the Shattered Sea trilogy, Yarvi, now Father Yarvi and minister to the King of Getland, saves a life and sets into motion a series of events that will change the course of history. The life belongs to a young girl named Thorn, who wants to follow in her father's footsteps and be a warrior. Even as she proves herself, she is denied her dream. Accused of murder, she is facing certain death until Yarvi steps in. This story is a stand-alone and it is better than Half a King, if that's possible. (more to come)
  • (4/5)

    It's good. Needs more Glokta, but otherwise good.

  • (4/5)
    In this second book of the series, the main character from Half a King is now a minister "of deep-cunning" to the Queen of Gettland, his mother. But the real focus of the novel is an unlikely warrior - young but fierce Hild "Thorn" Bathu, a girl shunned by her male peers and motivated by the death of her father and her mother's unrealistic expectations. Yarvi, committed to doing the work of Father Peace, sees Thorn's potential as a child of Mother War. He invites Thorn and Brand, a boy less sure of his role as warrior, to join his motley band of brothers in traveling halfway around the world to far and dangerous lands, seeking alliances against the High King, who believes in One God and has been sowing the seeds of war with those who do not. Abercrombie fills his tale with adventure, detailed sword fights, and sly political scheming, all told with touches of humor, love and despair. Very entertaining.
  • (5/5)
    This is the second book in the Shattered sea trilogy and I have to say, I think it was better than the first. Father Yarvi is back but the main characters in this tale are Thorn Bathu, a girl who wants to be a warrior where it is an exclusive men's only club. And Brand a man who tries to do his mother's wish to 'do good'. They are young and don't often see the consequences of their actions. Which causes both of them no end of trouble. Both were planning on becoming warriors of Gettland. Neither got what they wanted, but what looked like a resounding defeat, turned out the better for both of them. Though it took a long time for them to figure it out. Together they just might save Gettland from the powerful machinations of the High Kind and Grandmother Wexen.Great book, and the reader did a great job in my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, even more than the last. Father Yarvi IS a deep cunning man and willing to do what ever he thinks is necessary to protect Gettland, and even more important, to avenge his father.