Thorn always wanted to be a warrior and finally her training is coming to an end. But at the duel that is supposed to be her final exam, she ends up killing one of her opponents. She is saved from jail by the intervention of Brand, who trained with her. He doesn’t particularly like fighting or Thorn for that matter, but he just wants to do the right thing. He tells Father Yarvi that Thorn’s hand was forced and Yarvi decides that he has use for her. Since Thorn is now in his debt, she doesn’t have much choice than to be of use. A short while later, both Thorn and Brand find themselves on Yarvi’s ship, ready to sail the world to find allies against the High King.
Half the World was a very enjoyable read and over way too soon. It’s a good thing that the next installment will be here soon, though the book itself could stand on its own and doesn’t really need the series.
Half the World was one of those books that kept me up at night because I just had to know whether there would be FINALLY SOME KISSING OH MY GOD GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER AND KISS KISS KISS. I don’t remember the last time that I felt so strongly about a couple I read about, but here we are. It kinda made me feel like a teenager again.
It was also one of those books where everything is finally fine – but there is still a hundred pages of book left, so you are left with a quiet sense of dread: what will happen on these hundred pages and, knowing Abercrombie, ruin everything good in the world? But to my utter surprise there was just more and more goodness and while the book ends with impending war, it was the most positive way that could have happened. Which probably just means that everything will go wrong in the next book, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.
In any case I really liked not only the couple as a couple, but there was practically no character that I didn’t like on their own. Even if Abercrombie keeps returning to the same character tropes (like the strong abrasive warrior women), they are still all different and distinct. And sometimes it’s nice to get some tropiness.
The plot was fine as well, but probably the weakest point of the book. But then again, it’s also not really central to the story. Much more interesting is the extended world-building, especially with the trip they take and the other cultures we get a much closer look at than in the first book of the series.