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Review: Half The World by Joe Abercrombie

By / February 6, 2015 / no comments

I think Abercrombie has done it again. This is another great book, right up there with Before They Are Hanged and The Heroes. The sequel to Half a King, Half The World is entertaining, funny, frustrating and full of little twists and turns. What is the most genius about this book is that while Father Yarvi takes a back seat in the book, he has his hand in everything and some could say that he “is” the main character.

Half the World mostly revolves around two characters, Brand and Thorn, two young teens wanting to become a Warriors of Gettland but both ultimately failing in different ways. Father Yarvi then proceeds to pluck them both out of thin air and takes them on a journey to help Gettland gather allies in the coming war. On their journey they will endure many hardships, and those hardships bond men (and women) closer together.

What I really like about this book is that Abercrombie is able to move away from what he is perceived to be known for, grimdark books. While there is violence and war as typical of most fantasy books, he has matured as a published author and woven an intriguing tale. I really liked the interactions between the two main characters Brand and Thorn. I would say that they both act like rash teenagers who think they know everything about the world, yet trip over everything they do because of their arrogance. While readers like myself usually, like my characters grey, these two are of the straight and narrow, but the different is, Brand and Thorn are like Yin and Yang, and both of them together help complete the grey character they I desire.

World building is something that Abercrombie still needs to refine, as I feel everything is always centred around the characters at hand and not much else. Places are mentioned but it is hard to imagine without aids like maps. However, his characterisation makes up for the lack of that. There were many favourites scenes in the book, but I love the subtle hints that he gives through the books, they are semi-obvious but it helps to build up to the ending. And the ending is great, I love how from 1 chapter your minds goes to “oh no” to “hahaha what a dumb girl”.

If you haven’t picked up this series, then I would recommend it, as the last of the trilogy also comes out in July. Half a War will be amazing. I’m hoping for something Gemmell like with Abercrombie’s brush all over this masterpiece.

About the author


Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!


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