Title/Author: Half the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercrombie
Publisher/Date published: Del Rey, February 17th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: 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?
***WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES***
I totally LOVED Half a King, the first book in this series, so I did many happy dances when I was approved for Half the World, and it absoluted lived up to the high expectations I had!
It was amazing to dive back into the world of the Shattered Sea, Joe Abercrombie just has this way of describing things and people that gets excited about it and the story and just a whole lot of YES! I have some serious love for Yarvi, the main character in Half a King, and even compared him to Tyrion, who is one of my favourite characters ever, so that's some high praise for you right there. I was a bit sad that Yarvi isn't the main character anymore, but I was very pleased with his two replacements as storytellers. Both Thorn and Brand are interesting and amazing and managed to get me to root for them as well.
Thorn is very strong, physically and mentally. She's smart and determined and she might be rash at times, but I kinda loved that about her. Sometimes she jumps into situations without really thinking them through and it makes for entertaining reading. I loved how there's some real character growth with her, she learns that there can be more than one side to everything and she learns to make friends and I loved seeing her go through all of it. And how she grows to appreciate the love her mother tries to give her, they're both so different and really do not see eye to eye on a LOT of things that are important to them.
Brand is basically just a really good guy and he actually reminded me a bit of Neville Longbottom, he doesn't always make the easy choices, but he does try to do what's right. And I totally loved the awkward, slow-burn romance that developed between him and Thorn, it was just adorable. There's some hate-to-love going on and it made me smile.
The story moves along and I was excited to see more of the other countries in Yarvi's quest for allies against the High King. There's so much intrigue and plotting and ministers basically seem to have more power than the actual leaders of the countries and it's AWESOME! The only thing that would have made all this better is if we could have been seeing this from Yarvi's POV, because he's just this master plotter and I love diving into clever people's heads.
The stakes are very high and OMG, there was just all this excitement and two VERY edge-of-my-seat fighting scenes featuring Thorn being a badass and I was really not sure about the outcome, because I can easily imagine Joe Abercrombie killing off a main character, so nobody feels like they're safe.
I loved reconnecting with old friends from Half a King and getting to know a whole new set of new characters for me to love, flaw and all. A special shout out goes to Skifr, because she was crazy and awesome! I'm thinking Joe Abercrombie has some excitement in store for us in the final book in this series, I can't wait to get my hands on it!
My rating: 5 stars