ARC Video Review: Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

ARC Video Review: Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
Half the World
Shattered Sea #2
by Joe Abercrombie

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: February 3, 2015
by Del Rey

Format: eARC


Amazon | Book Depository

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?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Transcript below the video!

Guys, it can’t get any more Viking than this.

If Half the King was awesome, Half the World was twice as that. If Half the King blew my mind away, Half the World exploded it to smithereens. I’m not sure how Joe Abercrombie did it, and honestly, I’m kinda scared to know, but somehow, he managed to make the second book of this amazing series even better than the first. Who knew?! Especially since Half the World unravels teh plot through the point of views of two people, and neither of them Yarvi, who was the hero in Half the King and 95% of the reason why it was so fucking kick ass. I don’t know about you, folks, but it’s kind of hard to topple a cripple who has the mind and wisdom of a cunning old man.

So who are these characters? Meet Thorn, a teenage girl with a heart of a warrior, maybe even THE warrior. If Yarvi’s strength is his brain, this girl’s strengths is her brawn. She’s a beast in the battlefield and that’s what I love about her. She starts as a snarling, growling, selfish heroine and turns into a snarling, growling, kick-ass knife-wielding Viking, and it can’t get any better than that. Then there’s also Brand, a teenage boy who believed he wanted to be a warrior, but is a good man at heart – a guy who keeps thinking what good is it to be good if it yields unfortunate consequences? But does them all the same because that is simply him.

So there’s Yarvi, the brains, who is more in the background, but a major part of the story nevertheless. And there’s Thorn, the muscle; and there’s Brand, the heart. A stunning combination that may seem pretty whack at first but results to a beautiful narrative of glory, deceit, and lastly, courage.

I hope I don’t seem cheesy and that I’m making you guys SALIVATE FOR THE BOOK.

Now, see, this book is more… character-driven, than plot-driven, I find. Obviously, there is some plot going on, but when I read it, it was more about the transformation of both Thorn and Brand and how they became the people they were at the end of the book, and how the events that happen help shape them into the individuals they will become- and trust me, many of them are pretty blood-pumping. I absolutely adored all three of them, and the side characters as well, and by the end of the book, I kept rolling over and over on my bed because I couldn’t keep still because of my growing excitement! This may not be about Yarvi anymore, but the action is just as great, if not greater, than the previous book.

And I can’t praise the writing enough. It is EXQUISITE. It is ATMOSPHERIC. It’s BRILLIANT. You can really feel the Viking atmosphere through the words and the surroundings and world-building.

You want Vikings? You want to see glory? You want to see the tension and the calm before the storm? This book fits all of the above, and you can’t get anything better than this.

Rating Report
Overall: 5


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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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    • FayeFaye says

      YES! I don’t think we have something like this before. It’s gritty and edgy, but man, the coming-of-age themes really hit it well!

  1. says

    OOOOOOOOHHHH crap….see this is the problem with your reviews Faye. They are too good. I think you need to re-do the video so it’s NOT as good. J.K.

    I really need to read the first. I bought it a long time ago when it released and I still haven’t read it.

    I have one question, though. Do you think this is Young Adult or Adult Fantasy? I’ll read it either way. I love both genres, but this has been a controversy between the YA and fantasy genre. It’s interesting whether this book is adult or YA because it’s not published by a YA publisher and Abercrombie is an adult fantasy author. I know his older fans have grumbled about the fact that people are calling it YA despite the fact that it does fit in the description of a YA. Thoughts?
    Brigid recently posted…Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      HAHAHA you SO give me too much credit, Brigid ;) It’s not THAT good! I watch it again and cringe because I feel like I gave some cheesy one-liners.

      And I also believe you need to take everything else off your Currently Reading pile and finish Half the King. You will thank me when you finish it :D

      I already told you this on Twitter, but I categorize this as Young Adult Fantasy for the mere fact that the characters are teenagers, and there are themes of finding their place in a big world (coming-of-age). By that alone, it SHOULD already be YA. I don’t really get it why people whine about it… it’s just a category; it being a YA doesn’t make its quality any less. Damn elitists :P

  2. says

    HAHAHAH I JUST WATCHED THIS FOR THE VIDEO OF YOU FAYE. I haven’t read Half a King yet so WELL ANYWAYS. I like how you flex everytime you mention Thorn. AND YOU ARE REALLY INTO THIS REVIEW THIS IS HILARIOUS.

    Ok but seriously. I admire your talent of video editing, and also your courage of making a video review. Maybe one day I’ll make a video review. One day.
    Valerie recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #20My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      THIS TRULY PROVES THAT OUR FRIENDSHIP IS AS SOLID AS A ROCK, VALERIE. THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH! And it was hard not to flex if you knew just how much strength Thorn has ;) I’m always into the things I do, thankfully. I don’t it half-assed, my friend. Haha.

      My face is already out there so might as well go all-out, I guess. And it’s actually quite fun! Plus, you feel the enthusiasm more, don’t you? ^_^

  3. says

    Holy potato, girl, all fives? I don’t recall you every doing that since I have been following. I don’t do Vikings, but this almost makes me want to read about them. You did such a great job with the graphics on the video. Do you storyboard where you are going to point to, and motion about the words? Which seems less work for you, doing the videos, or written reviews?
    La La in the Library recently posted…THE SUNDAY POST #FIVEMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Joe Abercrombie is just in a different field, girl. She’s like Brandon Sanderson when it comes to gritty fantasy ;) I loved every book of his The First Law series, too! And thank you so much! I could’ve worked on this more, but I’m still trying to learn the moves and the techniques for this software I’m using.

      And I already told you about this on Twitter, but as well repeat it here: I simply have an outline, and I kind of think of the “gestures” and “actions” when I actually start filming. I don’t do organized, unfortunately. Haha. Less work are reviews, but video reviews are more fun!

    • FayeFaye says

      Yerp, Viking books are far and few between, but it’s so awesome especially if written right. In that case, you need not fear because Abercrombie does everything right ;)

    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you so much, Lucia! I absolutely appreciate it. And Vikings are definitely awesome! We need more of those literature in this world (and hopefully they will be as epic as this).

  4. Laila BC says

    homayghad Faye! i don’t know if my tbr can keep up with your recommending these stellar review books! but you made them sounds so awfully good! gaaah! fine i’m adding this to my list ;) i can never resist you when you get like this…hehehe!

  5. says

    Dang, Faye. Sign me up. I haven’t heard of the book or the author but I’m totally intrigued, a perfect score across the board? I absolutely love character driven novels, especially when the characters are as fleshed out as they sound here and mesh so well not only with each other but in the story. Plus my library has it :D *places hold*
    Alise recently posted…January 2015 Wrap UpMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Woot woot! If this will be your first Joe Abercrombie book, then I am pretty envious of you right now because you’ll be having epic fun in the days to come ;)

  6. says

    I remember eyeing off Half the King when it first came up, but I never looked into this series beyond thinking I might enjoy it. Your review though has convinced me I need to start it someday, preferably soon. Because Vikings and kick ass girls and good characters. I’ll probably love these.
    Bec @ Readers in Wonderland recently posted…January 2015 Wrap UpMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Yup! When would anyone ever associate a girl with Vikings?! It just doesn’t sound like it, but Abercrombie really knows how to be different and make different awesome XD

    • FayeFaye says

      Yup, yup, yup! That’s a rating like no other, my friend ;) You definitely have to see it for yourself to believe it, and I’m telling you right now, BELIEVE IT! XD

  7. says

    Thanks for including the transcript Faye, I can’t see videos on my Kindle sadly. I can’t remember the last time I seen you rate anything 5 Stars. I’m not surprised though, the character transformation sounds absolutely glorious! I’ll hop on the PC and watch you fangirl tomorrow and will definitely pick up a copy. After your review, how could I not! Phenomenal Faye, just phenomenal <3
    Kelly recently posted…Hubby’s Review: Golden Son by Pierce BrownMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I reckon not everybody has the time or the gadget to see it so there you go ;) I can’t wait to see what you think of my little stint. Haha.

  8. says

    I appreciate that you included the transcript of your video review. I’ll probably still circle back to watch it when I’m not on my iPhone with limited data, but at least I was still able to get my Social Potato fix. :) It’s impossible not to get excited about Vikings, and doubly so when there’s a 5-star review to go along with it.
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Early Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: Hunter Reborn by Katie ReusMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      You’re welcome, Carmel! I hope you do find the time to check out the video because I can be very expressive. Haha. Vikings are awesome! There needs to be more books about it.

  9. says


    Now I really want to read this series. I love the fact that the characters break through the old cliched tropes and sound AMAZING. And the fact that they continue to grow throughout the series, well sign me up! I love books that take a character and transform them into someone better and someone that you can root. And Vikings!!! Ahhh I just love mythology, can’t wait to see how they play into it. :D :D Wonderful review lovely xx
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Monthly Wrap Up – January 2015My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Half the World happened, that’s what! Get in with the times, girl! ;)

      And this series rock! You really need to get the first book because even that one was enough to just make me scream at the top of my lungs on how absolutely epic it was!

  10. says

    OMG Faye you have a career in book tubing ahead of you! Man I was absolutely riveted in your video, you were so entertaining and so passionate about the book that really did make me actually want to preorder the book right now, even though I’m not the biggest Viking person! But it sounds totally epic and I just love the differences and strengths in all 3 characters! It wasn’t awkward at all Faye, and I look forward to seeing more videos!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Ring and the Crown by Melissa De La Cruz Review: Historical romance soap operaMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Awww, thank you for the kind words, lovely! I’m so happy to see that you loved my video and you were even riveted by it :D I’m totally continuing making video reviews because they’re just so fun!

    • FayeFaye says

      Absolutely! Jesus, Thorn is such a great character. I loved that she was no-nonsense and didn’t surgarcoat her words and her own persona. That was how she is and she owns it, big time!