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Publisher's Summary

A classic coming-of-age tale set in a vivid and richly imagined world from Sunday Times best-selling author Joe Abercrombie.

Words are weapons.

Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright.

Only half a war is fought with swords.

The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships only Death.

Sometimes one must fight evil with evil.

Some - like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith - are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others - like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver - would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness....

©2015 Joe Abercrombie (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else." ( Guardian)
"This is my favourite Abercrombie book yet." (Patrick Rothfuss)
"Joe Abercrombie is fast becoming my favourite writer. Half a King is a remarkable achievement - thrilling, enthralling, and relentless. The action is frenetic, the characters are as sharp as the blades they wield, and the humour is biting. It's sure to garner him a whole new legion of fans." (Derek Landy)
"Enthralling. An up-all-night read." (Robin Hobb)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Profile Image for Robyn
  • Robyn
  • 10-11-15

ok

Yes, it's a little predictable, and a few disappointments with the characters, but overall still a worthy spend of a credit and as good as any wrap-up to the series (naturally, there are a few threads which have been left open).

Abercrombie's gritty style continues, and there's enough blood and gore to satisfy if that's what you're after - this story just doesn't have the same depth as his adult series usually offer.

Narration is good, and consistent with the previous books in the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 07-21-15

Not his usual Genius

I know this was aimed at young adults but even at that it was a very predictable storyline with overly childlike narration. Ben Elliot is a disastrous choice of reader. While the first two books were ok, this last one just didn't do it for me at all. It felt full of half answered questions, like he was rushing to wind it up.

I hope he will return to form with another adult book, hopefully featuring Sand dan Glokta. Joe was a breath of fresh air in the fantasy world and I hope this is just a blip on the way to greater things.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Justin Coyne
  • Justin Coyne
  • 02-26-16

very good

good conclusion to the trilogy, themes of the first law trilogy all over this trilogy, but different in a lot of ways. if you have read the draft law trilogy you will enjoy this (read the books in sequence of course)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-18

Something less predictable, please.

Acceptable plot spoiled by heavy handed activism.

I wish at least one, literally one, character’s “likeability” wasn’t entirely predictable and based on his/her gender, age, ambition level.

Recipe:
Women are more virtuous than men.
Young and passionate are more moral than cunning oldies. Ambition leads to corruption. Few romantic events. Few diplomatic events. Few military events. Reversal of archetypes (pantheon: “caring” male gods, “dynamic” female goddesses). And that’s it.

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Profile Image for Niall
  • Niall
  • 12-18-17

Not as good as first book in series

I did not enjoy the main characters as much as in book one and two

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Profile Image for Dallas Winston 9
  • Dallas Winston 9
  • 09-14-17

Ending in style

Would you listen to Half a War again? Why?

Yeah, a great series. Would like to listen to all the books in this series again.

What did you like best about this story?

There's lots of curveballs. It's not just a straightforward good guy bad guy adventure. There's treachery and politics at play. A good veraity of chatacters as well.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There always seems to be a good dual scene in Abercrombie's books. I enjoy them the most.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Just a tap bit too long for a single sitting. But if I could I would.

Any additional comments?

Joe Abercrombie is a writer who seems to find the heart of the story. Characters resurface but he pursues the story perfectly.
Expected more swearing though haha

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Profile Image for benjiyoung81
  • benjiyoung81
  • 08-08-17

Good, but just not greatness

Firstly I did enjoy this book...the characters, most of the plot and definitely the narrator. I wasn't overly keen on how the elves and their magic fit in...but overall a good ending but to a good, but not great series.

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Profile Image for J. Grove
  • J. Grove
  • 06-29-17

good finish to the trilogy

up to the authors usual high standards, great characters and a real depth to the world where the story takes place. A little bit too much teen romance for me at times, but an excellent plot that keeps you on edge

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Profile Image for Lucy
  • Lucy
  • 05-09-17

Vengeance gets you nowhere

Yarvi vengeance could have ended in book one, it felt a little dragged on, for a father and brother who didn't love him. And I kinda knew how his character would be from the first chapter. Sad 😣😭. I felt sorry for thron and run, no vengeance for them.

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Profile Image for Matt
  • Matt
  • 11-28-16

Another great book from a great author.

Intrigue and cunning throughout, the third book focuses on Skara and almost forgets Thorn who was my favourite from the second book but brilliant ending to the trilogy. I would like to see more from the Shattered Sea.

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  • Thomas
  • 03-26-18

A good end...

....to a good trilogy. I think the second book was the peak, but there are plenty of intrigue, twists and morals to keep you wanting more.

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Profile Image for Chris
  • Chris
  • 08-19-15

Better by half!

A very satisfying end to another excellent series by Joe Abercrombie.

While this trilogy lacks some of the wry humour of previous books, it is packed with the engaging, well-named characters, bloody adventure and smart turn of phrase that Abercrombie excels at.

Ben Elliott's performance is spot on.