- Page Count: 336
- Release Date: February 17, 2015
- My Rating: 4 stars
Thorn Bathu was born to fight. But when she kills a boy in the training square she finds herself named a murderer.
Fate places her life in the hands of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi as he sets out to cross half the world in search of allies against the ruthless High King. Beside her is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill. A failure in her eyes and his own, the voyage is his last chance at redemption.
But warriors can be weapons, and weapons are made for one purpose. Will Thorn always be a tool in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path? Is there a place outside of legend for a woman with a blade?
I really love this world Joe Abercrombie created!! The story here takes place a few years after Half a King and focuses more on the new characters of Brand & Thorn (but Yarvi is still around).
Brand is basically a giant teddy bear who tries so hard to do the right thing, but isn’t always sure of himself. Throughout the course of the story he grows to question whether “maybe doing good meant not fighting at all.” All of the characters here are just so wonderfully flawed.
Thorn is quite possibly the most unladylike character I’ve ever seen and I love it all. And she’s SO much more than the cliche trailblazing female warrior or angsty misunderstood teen. She’s a super tough warrior, rather disgusting at times, and just felt incredibly real. Plus, the side of her head is shaved, so she’s basically:
Brand and Thorn start out the story hating each other, but Brand tries to do the right thing and save Thorn’s life when she’s sentenced to death as a murderer. They end up on a ship with Father Yarvi (who obviously has his own web of plans going as usual). The whole hate-to-love romance totally worked and the second half of the story picked up a lot.
I think I liked the first book a bit more for its huge plot twists and smartass comments, but this one still had the same kind of funny bits:
“Talent floats to the top,” said Rulf.
“Like turds,” grunted Thorn.
Sumael grinned back. “You must be buoyant, then.”
And there’s the whole other plot going on with the mission to save Gettland and everything, but that’s largely a continuation of the first book (and I don’t want to spoil that). I’m excited to see where the third book goes and would recommend this series if you like high fantasy!!