Review: Half the World, Joe Abercrombie

Rating: 4 out of 5

Now this was interesting. I was not the biggest fan of the first Shattered Sea, but I liked it enough to pick up the next one, though not immediately. This one was more varied — the characters are more varied, that is, but also what’s going on. In a lot of ways, I think the First Law series comes through more here. Perhaps Abercrombie could no longer write a very simple (though smart) child or perhaps this was a natural development.

Perhaps, however, the benefit in this story is how we move away from Yarvi and to other characters. Invariably, of course, Yarvi plays a great role but others have their part now, and it is these characters who I enjoyed more than the minister. Of course, there’s plenty of more discussion here about values, right and wrong, etc., but this feels like it belongs more than previously. These new debates also come through very nicely in how the new main character Thorn develops and what changes go on with her.

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