This is my book series review for the Shattered Seas Series. I really liked this series and would highly recommend. It isn’t too difficult of a read, and very exciting in my opinion.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said…
Shattered Seas by Joe Abercrombie
What I Liked:
The main characters for each book, even with Raith included. I loved each one of them and learning all about them.
I loved the supporting cast who came back.
I loved the countries and the world plus the dangerous politics that were played.
If I had to pick a singular favorite character it is Yarvi. I mentioned in another review that he was my “sweet viper in the shadows.” He is! I love him. He is with his faults, evils, and strengths, and I need more of his story. He was probably my age by the end of the book and has the world in his hands. Yet as it stands, no one trusts him (with good reason). He’s considered one of the most dangerous people in the world and has come so far from being the “crippled son” and second son of a usurper king. In all meanings of the word, he is technically “evil”. In a world where all the characters are grey, he is a dark grey. If Yarvi was in any other world told from any other perspective, I doubt he’d be classified as a hero — I’d say he’d be a villain or evil. I love it. I love it no matter how much he tries to seem good. He did everything for vengeance, and his oath. I stand with him.
If I had to pick secondary, I would have to decide between Thorn and Skara. I loved both of their stories and their transformations. They would probably be tied for first, if I just simply didn’t love Yarvi’s evil so much. Thorn was strong, and her decisions brash. I loved her spark and character. She was strong in a physical and mental sense, perhaps one of the strongest in the world if not the (singular) strongest by the end. Skara, I grew to love her when she really started to stand on her own and picked to be good. I wanted to protect her, but knew she could do it herself. After all, she has Grandfather Yarvi under her control now.
In terms of secondary and tertiary characters, I liked Queen Laithlin. This should come as no surprise from my songs of praise about her in the individual book previews. I knew I loved her at the beginning and I loved her at the end. In truth I thought she should have been High Queen, but I knew that probably wasn’t a possibility.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
I mentioned this before but I will say it again:
Why did brother kill brother in the first book. I understand the greed play, but I do not think it was a thought out move at all. Odem was evil, but he was not Yarvi’s evil, but a more general evil. When you can write evil like Yarvi, why can’t the other deeds be a little bit more developed or explained.
I needed more Isriun (check spelling). It seemed like every time she appeared, she was pushed off immediately. I would have loved to have more of her story, and more of her in general.
More Sumael, and this is a little new, but she had so much going for her and then she was practically erased. As was the Empress Valine (check spelling), but I liked Sumael better.
As much as I loved Skara, Brand, Thorn, Koll, and (yes even) Raith, I didn’t need their stories told as perspectives. This, I am certain, is my bias towards Yarvi. I wanted more of his perspective outside the first book. Trust me, learning about him through the eyes of others was beautiful, but I also wanted things from his perspective. I would have liked a Isriun perspective to learn more of her, or a Sumael perspective for her. I also know that I could have done without them all and simply had just Yarvi. I do believe, however, that i may not have liked the books that much if it were the case. But who knows? Not I. I just wanted more Yarvi.
I want more in general. With such a rich world as it is, I would have liked to learn more about it and the people that inhabit it.
Elf weapons. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, but for all the scheming, and destroying, and power displayed earlier… I feel it’s a bit of a cop out. It was shown earlier, I do understand that, but I feel that it was the only way our cast could win. I would have loved to see them win without the weapons, or if the weapons didn’t work. I didn’t feel that there was enough weight to them, other than the fear of them.
I think I need to explain why I liked the second book better than the first or third. This really didn’t fit into the other sections, so I made a new one! Hurray.
I love Yarvi, adore him, need more of his perspective, but his first book was a bit easy to follow for me. It was pretty standard. Boy becomes king, despite his wishes, something tragic happens, has to fight for his throne, meets a group of great people, reclaims his throne. It wasn’t boring, due to the cast of characters, but it was pretty predictable. That is except for Nothing being revealed as Uthick (check spelling). I did not see that coming. The opening for this book, was in my opinion, the best of the three. All the books start with a murder, but the descriptions in this first one was gripping.
Book three had three perspectives, and after the second book I didn’t feel like most of them lived up to Throne. That was until I started to love Skara. I liked the war in this book, but it was relatively predictable too. I knew they had to win, because it didn’t seem like they would lose. The odds were for them, even with all the turns it took. Plus elf weapons, which I didn’t hate but I would have loved an option where they didn’t get used. Or were faulty. Something.
The reason I loved book two so much when compared to three and one is because of the journey the characters took, the emphasis on the side characters, and the changes to Yarvi from an outsiders perspective. Throw in some great girl getting strong AF, plus a bad ass teacher witch woman for her? I felt as if this book really developed the world, more so than the other two. One created a base, two developed it, and three swam in two’s development. I feel that I learned the most and was invested the most for book two. It is why it is higher ranked for me.
Why You Should Read:
It was a good political fantasy novel set in an alternate world. The main characters change, grow, and become so much more than they are at the beginning. There are some great secondary and tertiary characters. The world building is easy enough to follow and to understand. The stakes are high but not out of reach. The twists, and betrayals are beautiful.
I didn’t write this in my quotes for the other sections but always remember this: “The wise wait for their moment, but never let it pass.” If this quote doesn’t perfectly sum up the series, I know not what will.
Time Taken To Read
8 hours 50 min.
Essentially one good workday. I did read all these books in one day, not that anyone has to.
This was hard for me to rate. I loved the series but my precedent for making a 5/5 is to label it for books that I would take with me if I had to down size my library. I’m not sure I could commit that to this series. It does not deserve a 4/5, however. Thus I tried to give it a rating that balanced with my individual book reviews.