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Abercrombie’s ‘Half A War’ Cover & Progress Report…

The cover art for Joe Abercrombie’s third and final book in the Shattered Sea trilogy, Half A War, has been released.

This completes the set of US covers, all shown below:

half-a-king-by-joe-abercrombie-493x750half-the-world-by-joe-abercrombie-493x750half-a-war-by-joe-abercrombie-493x750

I know a lot of people have voiced confusion over the covers, but I quite like them. Not only do they stand out and offer something different to the map covers, but they very much suit the Young Adult genre’s shelves. If we look at the Hunger Games covers we can certainly feel similarities in colours, tones and their contrasts that make the symbols pop off the page. See for yourselves:

Hunger_games_3 (Medium) Hunger_games_2 Hunger_games

Fantasy-Faction has a second review of Half A King coming up tomorrow, but we can summarise the previous one and the upcoming one by saying that Joe Abercrombie’s latest series is a fantasy treat for readers from 14 to 114. They may be classified as Young Adult by the marketing teams and bookshops, but what does that even mean, really? That they have to have a young protagonist? OK, well, they have that. That they have to deal with ‘strange’ new emotions and coming of age? Yep. That the young characters have to ‘know best’ and do what adults can’t/won’t? Hmm, yes, there is that too. But, what there isn’t is any kind of condescending watering down. Action, violence, swearing, twisted characters – all your favourite Abercrombie traits are there in abundance. If you’ve enjoyed Joe’s previous books then you will love the Shattered Sea trilogy.

Those who have read book one will be eager to know the release dates. Obviously, Half A King is out already, Half the World is out in February 2015 and Half a War, we believe, will be out in July 2015. Speaking of expectations, Joe has written on his blog that he is well underway with the first draft of Half a War and is hoping to get it finished over the next 3 months. The other thing of note is Joe’s reveal that he’s gone from one point of view character in Half a King, to two in Half the World, to three in Half a War.

A lot of people have asked us about sales and whether the gamble by Joe and Harper has paid off. I guess that is open to interpretation, when we heard Joe was going to give YA a shot we did have concerns that he could possibly alienate his current readers and struggle to sell books to younger readers (should their parents read up on his previous books). Thankfully those concerns were unnecessary, in a recent blog post Abercrombie wrote that:

“Half a King came out in early July and made no. 3 on the Sunday Times hardcover list, and at a competitive time of year too. Even more pleasing is that it then stuck in the top 10 for 4 weeks. Preorders give you a big boost that first week, so you’ll often see books pop onto the list strongly the week of release but drop straight off. Sticking around tends to mean your book is not only selling to your committed fans but also selling strongly off the shelves, which is a very promising sign.”

Congratulations to Joe and all at Harper Voyager’s marketing team – that is one heck of an accomplishment! 🙂

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