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Joe Abercrombie To Write a YA

Hey guys, got some awesome and surprising news for you:
Joe Abercrombie is writing a YA in the vein of Twilight!


Well, actually, no…that’s a lie.


But he is writing a trilogy aimed at younger readers!


I know, right?

Certainly, it comes as quite a surprise to us here at Fantasy-Faction. Joe’s work has always been popular due to its dark and gritty nature, but also, I think, because of how deep and philosophical his writing can be.

That said, Joe seems on a mission to write a little something in just about every genre – something that continually impresses me, because he could have quite easily have played it safe and stuck to epic fantasy after the success of the First Law trilogy.

Also, I’ve heard on the grapevine that Joe is set to earn a decent amount of pennies for this work, so I’m wondering whether Joe came up with the story or Voyager asked for it and offered him a decent sum. None of my business I guess, but either way it’s a great thing for fantasy authors. It shows that the high profile ones are very much in demand and that the publishers have a lot of confidence in them and their ability to sell across genres.

When all is said and done, it will certainly be very interesting to see how Joe approaches a book written for younger peeps – I guess being a dad he already has some beta-readers lined up and knows roughly how far he can push things before boarder-lining ‘irreversible damage’ to the innocence of the world’s children. 😉

Anyway, here is the official word from Voyager / HarperCollins:

HarperVoyager and HarperCollins Children’s Books acquire crossover trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

We are thrilled to announce that, along with the HarperCollins Children’s Books team, we have jointly acquired three books from Sunday Times’ bestselling author Joe Abercrombie.

“I’ve never experienced such universal enthusiasm for a project in all my years at HarperCollins,” said Jane Johnson, Publishing Director for HarperFiction.

“We received the submission on a Wednesday and by Thursday afternoon everyone had read and adored it – the whole building was buzzing with the huge potential for this series. Nick Lake (Children’s), Emma Coode (Voyager) and I discussed a cross-divisional strategy and on that basis offered immediately. Both Nick and I have been fans of Joe’s adult work since THE BLADE ITSELF, but I had no idea he had so many other fans in-house.”

Joe Abercrombie said, “With this trilogy I’ve set out to do something a little different – shorter, tighter, and with a broad, page-turning appeal – while still giving readers the vivid characters, crunching action, twisting plots, and black humour that I’m known for. They’re books that’ll deliver a slap in the face with every page, and I’m delighted to be working with HarperCollins to bring them to every possible reader.”

Nick Lake, Publishing Director for HarperCollins Children’s Books said “I’ve been a huge fan of Joe’s work for ages – his vivid imagination, unparalleled action scenes and dark humour are perfect for the crossover audience: indeed I said as much to him some years ago! I’m so excited about working in tandem with Voyager on this utterly brilliant trilogy, and the many creative opportunities it presents.”

HALF A KING – the first of three standalone but interconnected novels aimed at younger readers – will be published in summer 2014. A classic coming-of-age tale, set in a brilliantly imagined alternative historical world reminiscent of the Dark Ages with Viking overtones, the book tells the story of Yarvi, youngest son of a warlike king. Born with a crippled hand, he can never live up to his father’s expectations of what a real man should be and his destiny is not the throne but the Ministry, not the sword and shield but the book and the soft word spoken.

But when his father and brother are killed, Yarvi is propelled to kingship and must sit in the Black Chair, between gods and men, and half a man must find a way to rule as half a king. Thus begins a gripping switchback ride of a tale that will carry Yarvi far beyond his kingdom, from the heights of royalty to the depths of slavery, during the course of which he must find better ways to fight than with a sword, and learn the lessons that will make him a man.

I’d like to say a huge congratulations to Joe and, considering the limited fantasy literature I had in my teens, just say to school children: “You lucky, lucky bastards!” 😉



  1. Avatar Gareth says:

    quick question; thought he was contracted for another trilogy with Gollancz, whats happened to that?

    • Avatar Overlord says:

      I believe he spoke about taking some time off of full-time writing to let his creativity refresh itself and generally rest – the last book really stressed him out I think. I guess he sees the YA as a way to write a light book whilst he does that. The Gollancz deal is still active 🙂

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