HALF BAD is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.

Half Bad

Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.

Winter 2015

Nathan’s cage, in Scotland

You can open your eyes now and there are a few minutes to savor the sunrise, which today is a thin pink line stretching along the top of a narrow ribbon of cloud draped over the smudged green hills. And you’ve still got a minute, maybe even two, to get your head together before she appears.

Liverpool

Liverpool is a place with few witches, because there’s a gang of fains there that are on to them and don’t like them one bit. Gran told me White Witches try never to go there because there’s a sort of agreement: the Scouse fains won’t out the witches as long as the witches keep away from Liverpool.

Gran’s house, where Nathan grew up

We are in the woods near Gran’s house. The air is still and damp; the autumn leaves lie thick on the soft, muddy ground. The sky is flat and gray like an old sheet laid out to dry over the black branches of the trees. Jessica is holding a small dagger, her hands flat in front of her. The blade is sharp and bright.

Wales, where Nathan prefers to spend his time

The first time I’m away by myself I lie on the ground. Lying on a Welsh mountain is special. I try to work it out: I am happy when I’m with Arran, just being with him, watching his slow and peaceful nature. That’s a special thing. And I’m happy with Annalise, really happy, looking at how beautiful she is and forgetting who I am for the time she’s with me. That’s pretty special too. But lying on a Welsh mountain is different. Better. That’s the real me. The real me and the real mountain, alive and breathing as one.

Council building, where Nathan goes to be assessed, in London:

The assessment room is long and high, with bare stone walls and arched windows above head height along each side. The ceiling is arched too. The furniture is wooden. A huge oak table reaches across almost the full width of the room, keeping the three Council members to their far side. They sit on large, carved wooden chairs like ancient royalty.

A History of the Witch Factions

Hundreds and thousands of years ago, when the world was not split into countries but was inhabited by different tribes, each tribe had a healer: a shaman. Few of the healers had real power, but one called Geeta was special: powerful, good, and kind. She healed the sick and wounded in her tribe but also people from other tribes.

This didn’t go down well with the tribe leader, Aster, who ruled that no one outside the tribe was to see Geeta without his permission. He kept her a virtual prisoner in the village. Geeta wanted to help everyone, so she escaped with the assistance of one of her patients, Callor, a wounded warrior from her tribe.

Callor and Geeta lived in a remote cave. Geeta healed those who came to her. Callor hunted and protected Geeta. They were in love and had children: twins, two identical girls, Dawn and Eve. Geeta trained them both in witchcraft, gave them both three gifts and her blood on their seventeenth birthday. They would become great witches.

The old leader from Geeta’s tribe, Aster, was ill and he sent a message requesting Geeta to return and heal him. Although Geeta wanted to help, as she helped everyone, Callor didn’t trust Aster and he persuaded Geeta to send their daughter Eve, the younger of the twins, rather than go herself. But instead of healing Aster, Eve, the hateful vicious twin, put a curse on him and fled. Aster died after a month of agony. Aster’s son, Ash, took revenge by killing Callor and capturing Geeta and Dawn.

The story goes that Dawn, the compassionate twin, fell in love with Ash and they had a daughter. This daughter was the first of the White Witches.

Eve roamed from tribe to tribe. She also had a daughter, who became the first of the Black Witches.

Today Blacks mock White Witches for living closely within fain communities, for pretending to be fains. They see White Witches as becoming weaker, more fainlike, needing guns to kill, using phones to communicate.

And Whites hate Black Witches for their anarchy and lunacy. They don’t integrate within fain communities but don’t have a community of their own. Their marriages never last, often ending in abrupt violence. They usually live alone, hate fains and fain technology. Their Gifts are strong.

Eye Color Guide

“Well, you’re not going to believe this but it’s all in the eyes…”

When I look in the mirror I don’t see silver glints, but that my black eyes have dark triangular glints that ro­tate slowly and aren’t really glints at all. They aren’t shiny black, but a sort of hollow, empty black.
Photo of Sally Green

About Sally Green

Sally Green lives in north-west England. She has had various jobs and even a profession, but in 2010 she discovered a love of writing and now just can’t stop. She used to keep chickens, makes decent jam, doesn't mind ironing, loves to walk in Wales even when it's raining, and will probably never jog again. She really ought to drink less coffee. Half Bad is her first novel. Follow her @Sa11eGreen

News

A Stunning, Magical Debut.

An International Sensation.

Rights Sold In 45 Countries!

Finally, a young adult novel that I’ve just read in proof, published next year, called Half Bad by Sally Green. A book about witches with no owls and not a pair of round spectacles in sight. The new Hunger Games, I suspect."

-Kate Atkinson

New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life

Edgy, arresting and brilliantly written, Half Bad grips you from the first page and doesn't let go."

-Michael Grant

New York Times bestselling author of Gone

A brilliant debut that is both deeply unique and unsettling, one that chilled me to the bone and broke my heart even as I sped through its pages. This will haunt you."

-Marie Lu

New York Times bestselling author of Legend

This grim and thrilling tale, first in a planned trilogy, features understated prose that lets readers' imaginations fill in the blanks, as well as a well-developed sense of Witch culture."

-Publishers Weekly

Starred review

[Half Bad] pushes the boundaries of what we believe to be good and evil. …Mesmerizing with mystery and heart-stopping adventure."

-Booklist

Starred review