Jo Walton’s Half a Crown concludes the alternate-history series begun in Farthing, and does so in a way that will satisfy those concerned about an excess of unremitting despair, yet without betraying the essential character of the novels.

The book is (as you’d expect from Walton by now) excellently written, the characters are interesting and distinctive, and the story progresses in a way that’s inevitable but surprising. It’s a satisfactory conclusion to the series, and every bit as good as Ha’Penny.

Still, like Ha’Penny, it lacks some of the punch of Farthing, which gained its power from subverting genre norms in an unexpected way. But “not as good as Farthing“ is a pretty large category into which many excellent books fall, so that’s not a stinging criticism.

If you’ve been waiting for the series to finish before starting Farthing, you can rest easy that it finishes satisfactorily. So go read it now.


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