Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Half a Crown

Half a Crown

A Story of a World that Could Have Been

Small Change (Volume 3)

Jo Walton

Tor Books




In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain's upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried "undesirables" across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east.

Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain's distinctly British secret police. It's his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, and to discover Jews. The midnight knock of a Watchman is the most dreaded sound in the realm.

Now, in 1960, a global peace conference is convening in London, where Britain, Germany, and Japan will oversee the final partition of the world. Hitler is once again on British soil. So is the long exiled Duke of Windsor—and the rising gangs of "British Power" streetfighters, who consider the Government "soft," may be the former king's bid to stage a coup d'état.

Amidst all this, two of the most unlikely persons in the realm will join forces to oppose the fascists: a debutante whose greatest worry until now has been where to find the right string of pearls, and the Watch Commander himself.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Prometheus Award Nominee


Chapter One

A week before she was due to bring me out, I overheard Mrs. Maynard saying I was "not quite..." That's just how she said it. "Elvira's not quite..."

When she let her voice trail off like that I knew precisely what she meant....


Praise for Half a Crown

“Stunningly powerful…. A standout. Mainstream readers should be enthralled as well.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on Farthing

“If le Carré scares you, try Jo Walton.” —Ursula K. LeGuin on Farthing

“A literary Guernica--a top-notch thriller set in a terrified Britain that is all too willing to trade freedom for security, and which gets neither.” —Cory Doctorow on Ha'Penny

“Haunting…. Like meticulously nested Matroyshka dolls, both Farthing and Ha'penny reveal complex arguments layered in their elegantly structured narratives.” —Sarah Weinman, Los Angeles Times

Reviews from Goodreads



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