The Shattered Sea – A Review (no spoilers).

Driving down to the beautiful Bonita Springs, for a short family vacation, I finished Half a War; book three of Joe Abercrombie’s latest trilogy. As some of you may have gathered by now, this guy has become my favorite fantasy author–beating, or at least standing toe-to-toe with fantasy giants (Weis/Hickman, Martin, Brooks, Rothfuss, etc …).

This trilogy was written after his critically acclaimed The First Law trilogy, but it does not take place in the same world. I actually cannot accurately describe the world to you without causing major spoilers–except that it is a low-magic medieval fantasy setting.

The books: Half a King, Half a World, and Half a War. Interestingly, the second half of each book was substantially more interesting in each installment, and I think this is partially due to the fact that the POV characters change in each volume (essentially adding up to a large ensemble cast).

Meaningful character development, Abercrombie-esque action, wicked plot twists, betrayals, maiming and dismemberment are all the norm, but there is a major departure from The First Law. This series is basically Young Adult, and it really shows in some parts, and just feels confusing and off in others. This work is not on the same level as The First Law (instant classic). But that does not mean it is not really good, and definitely worth reading, because it is. Essentially, if Abercrombie has written it, it should be read enthusiastically.

Sadly, this means I’ve read all of Abercrombie’s long-form work (still have the short in Rogues, and Sharp Ends is coming!). Also, apparently, the next series (in the First Law world. Fuck yeah) is a long, long ways off. Ugh.

Anyway, thanks for tagging along, and if you’re not reading Abercrombie. Go do it. But, if you haven’t read the First Law, read that first. Then read the follow-ups: Best Served Cold, Heroes, and Red Country. Then read the Shattered Sea trilogy.





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