Worldbuilding Through Characterization
 

Worldbuilding Through Characterization

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One Way by S. J. Morden
 

One Way

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Cover Reveal: Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Half A War’

When Joe Abercrombie announced that he would be working on a ‘Young Adult’ series of novels a few years back, no one really knew what to expect. Would the books turn out to be watered down versions of his First Law novels? Would they end up being too tame for current readers to enjoy? Too violent and swear-y for parents to gift their kids with?

Well, in hindsight, I think we can label Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Seas trilogy as a true success. Memorable characters. Storylines that were Epic and yet full of Tragedy. Battles (oh so many battles). Witty exchanges. It seems that in addition to satisfying adult readers – many of whom enjoyed the increased pacing and younger cast of characters – Joe was able to reach younger readers who aren’t always quick to pick up secondary world Fantasy novels. Certainly, not too many Young Adult books make it onto The New York Times Bestseller list, do they?

We’ve blogged before about how much we liked the choice of covers too – those abstract scenes with dark twists to them. They had a kind of Hunger Games feel to them, but at the same time had more than enough on their own spin on things to ensure they stood apart from those books too. That said, I’ve always had a fondness for traditional Fantasy covers – battle scenes and heroic looking characters or villains doing something action-y – and the guys over at Harper Voyager have kept me more than happy by offering this alternative with their paperbacks. You probably remember them: a hooded man for the first, people struggling at sea for the second.

Excitingly, Harper Voyager got in touch this week to ask if I’d like to reveal the cover for Half A War (the third and final paperback). I, of course, said yes… so here it is:

JA-Half-A-War

Pretty cool, isn’t it? All of the themes covered in the novel: loss, war, ideas of leadership and manipulation can be seen hinted at. There’s soldiers, castles, swords, shields, flags – all the things us traditional fantasy fans look for. Certainly, it works perfectly to put emphasis on the wording on the back of the cover, which you can read here:

Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright.

Only half a war is fought with swords

The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death.

Sometimes one must fight evil with evil

Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.

Half A War is out in Ebook and Hardback already here in the UK (and US too). You can pre-order the paperback using this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0007550286

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One Comment

  1. Avatar ScarletBea says:

    Oh, I’d forgotten about this paperback to buy, hehe – I read it from the library on hardcover last year, but since I have the other 2, I should get this one as well (even though it ended up being my least favourite of the trilogy).

    It’s a very cool cover and aligned to the others, I just don’t like the DM quote and reference to GoT…

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