Half the World - Joe Abercrombie

Brian G Turner

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Have started this now, and the first chapter is a wonderful example of using a sense of unfairness to make the reader root for a character - very clever.

And very important from the start, as we're now following a main protagonist named Thorn - though Father Yarvi is still very much in the picture, so far as a major secondary character.

Engaging and pacey - enjoying it. Will put spoilers in tags later.
 

Brian G Turner

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I'm really enjoying this book - a couple of slight niggles - namely the question of why use Thorn as the main protagonist instead of Yarvi, and some of the supporting cast don't seem easily defined. However, the prose often sings in a way I don't recall Abercrombie's work doing before - perhaps that's because this one has a feeling of being more concise. The chapter Behind the Throne, when they enter the First City, is absolutely wonderful for it's sharp descriptions and observations.

I had a suspicion that the First City might be Constantinople, as soon as it was mentioned. Once they dragged the boat between rivers and we ended up in Russia I knew it. And was well-pleased - especially as Abercrombie described it so well. Also, the origin of the "elves" is now clear, and makes for a very interesting twist. Compared to a lot of fantasy on the market, this series is proving masterful. The fact that it's labelled as "Young Adult fiction" seems a marketing distinction, rather than anything significant in terms of storytelling.
 

Juliana

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I actually really enjoyed the change in POV, as we get to see Yarvi through other people's eyes. As we (readers) know his story, it gives us this edge of superiority where we know more than the main characters, and personally I found that rather fun. I liked both Thorn and Brand as new protagonists and I liked the way he switched between them. Wondering what he'll do for the third, though. I'm guessing he'll use all three POV's.
 

Brian G Turner

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I really enjoyed Half the World overall - the writing was strong, and Thorn and Brand especially really established themselves well as characters.

My only real niggle was the romance element - at first I felt it was a little forced, and simply to justify a YA title (this has been a stand out fantasy series so far to me, with no real suggestion that it's for "younger readers"). However, the awkwardness was well done, and the characters carried it naturally and well.

I did actually think at one point that:
Brand was going to get killed on the raid near the end, leaving Thorn to face Grom, beat him, then forgive him as Fror did her. Luckily, this is Abercrombie we're reading, and he doesn't like to fall into easy and predictable patterns.

Yarvi is a wonderful character - and this time, he didn't come across as like Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon. :)
 

The Neon Seal

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I really enjoyed Half the World overall - the writing was strong, and Thorn and Brand especially really established themselves well as characters.

My only real niggle was the romance element - at first I felt it was a little forced, and simply to justify a YA title (this has been a stand out fantasy series so far to me, with no real suggestion that it's for "younger readers"). However, the awkwardness was well done, and the characters carried it naturally and well.

I did actually think at one point that:
Brand was going to get killed on the raid near the end, leaving Thorn to face Grom, beat him, then forgive him as Fror did her. Luckily, this is Abercrombie we're reading, and he doesn't like to fall into easy and predictable patterns.

Yarvi is a wonderful character - and this time, he didn't come across as like Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon. :)
Hay! Don't knock Hiccup! :mad:
 

JoanDrake

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The writing is technically masterful, and it makes you feel as if you're actually listening to real people in the era without descending into anachronisms and accents. The characters are strong and well-developed if a little angsty at times. There is some genuinely funny and very snarky humour. Story is a little thin, but very interesting overall. Definitely recommended.
 

biodroid

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I am almost finished with this, it's not bad. I feel the first book was better hopefully the pace and story pick up in the third book. I felt that Thorn had this annoying hate for everyone in the book.
 
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