Dark (and darkly humorous) fantasy author Joe Abercrombie, Harper Voyager, and HarperCollins Children’s Books have announced that they will release a new trilogy from the author, aimed at younger readers.
Abercrombie describes the books as thus in the Harper Voyager announcement: “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.”
The trilogy will see a simultaneous release in the UK and North America, with the first book Half a King, to be published in July of 2014. Harper will publish the UK edition. The North American publisher has yet to be named. The second and third book, Half the World and Half a War are slated to follow in January 2015 and summer 2015, respectively.
Described as “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.”
The series does not take place in Abercrombie’s First Law universe, the next book of which should be coming some time in 2017, according to the author.
Fans of his First Law books should still find plenty to love in the new books, Abercrombie states. “Before some of you groan in horror at this wounding betrayal of all you believe in, I also wrote this with established readers, and indeed with a wider adult readership, very much in mind. In some ways it’s a very similar sort of book to what I’ve written so far. It’s fantasy, but light on the fantasy, and heavy on the vivid characters, the visceral action, the mixture of wit and cynicism, the twists and surprises. I hope that it will have a wide appeal. But I don’t feel that I’ve compromised on the way I’ve written. I think it’s as tough, surprising, challenging, and morally ‘grey’ as the rest of my output.”
More details are available at the above links.