Friday, 27 February 2015

Book Review: Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

Title: Half the World
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: 12th February 2015
Synopsis: 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? Is there a place beyond legend for a woman with a blade?

Review: So here we are again back travelling the Shattered Sea with (now a minster) Father Yarvi, older, wiser and a deep cunning man. This time accompanied by a new motley crew and a new mission...find allies! And as the sleek cover suggests, war is on the cards, with Half the World ( see makes sense eh...eh eh) against them so it would seem.

One of the things I really liked here was the symmetry with the first book, how the journey across the seas, reflected the journey of the charters. The role of the ship played a great part in shaping and defining the characters, which was topped up by the crew themselves. Recently I've been going to the gym (fun fact you probably didn't want to know) and 'attempting' the rowing machine, which almost made me feel like I was on back or with Thorn, and in a weird way made me keep going, for fear of Ralph if nothing else.

It was great that we got too see more of the realm here, venturing down the denied and up the divine, through the elf relics and into the first of cities. The history of the elves was a subtle addition, that flowed naturally into the story, rather than being a massive focal issue which was nice, but its still something I'd love to learn more about. Similarly the place of religion was a natural part of the story that added depth to the world, but yet isn't being thrown in your face. That's not what the book is about or trying to do. All these elements, politics, religion, war blend in nicely, woven like a nice tapestry, which a writing style I really enjoyed. What I do love is the personification of elements with proper nouns like Mother War and Father Peace, they helped give character to the world that was created. For those of you that love a bit of action, there's action aplenty, from one on one combat to battles and internal conflicts of the heart.

I still loved Yarvi as a character, and like a fine wine he's aged and grown with books. Actually I loved all the characters, Thorn was tough an feisty, Brand was more soft but has a deep character, Skrifr was eclectic and fun and her elf magic added that level of spark, whereas not so much that it made it a purely fantasy book.

This is a great series that I would encourage everyone to read, I think it appeals to a lot of different interests, and is a well written story. I am very excited (and sort of sad its ending) for the final installment!

Do let me know what you think of it!!



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