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Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Half a King

by Joe Abercrombie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Shattered Sea (1)

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English (103)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
“Half A King” tells the tale of Prince Yarvi, the youngest son of the Gettland king. Because he was born with a twisted, deformed hand, he is seen as only “half a man.” Not suited to be a warrior, Yarvi is relgated to studying to become a minister, a position normally held by women. On the night before he’s to take his final Minister’s Test and renounce his birthright, his Uncle Odem brings devastating news: King Uthrik and his heir, Yarvi’s elder brother, have both been murdered by the Vanstermen. With this, Yarvi is thrust into the kingship, something he never, ever desired.

The crown now on his head, Yarvi has to prove that being maimed doesn’t make him only “half a king.” He takes up his father’s sword and leads a raid against the Vanstermen in revenge. As usual with Abercrombie, a lot of things end up having double meanings. Take the oath of vengeance he swears before he sets out, “Let it be a chain upon me and a goad within me.” Oh, the sweet, sweet words of Abercrombie’s foreshadowing.

As expected, the writing is outstanding. The basic story is good, but it does feel a little watered down, although this might be because this series is intended for younger readers. Parts of the book are predictable (if I never read another fantasy set aboard a sailing ship, it will be too soon). There are two HUGE twists at the end, neither of which I saw coming (although, looking back, the clues are there).

This book is aimed at the YA-market, obviously, so it is much less grim and bleak than Abercrombie’s books in the First Law series. Even still, there’s a very thin line between good and evil, and this line is blurred most of the time. His cynical worldview in which everyone is morally ambiguous and his grim, dark humor is prevalent throughout the tale. Although it’s first in a trilogy, “Half A King” would work extremely well as a standalone novel. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 7, 2018 |
Another tale by Joe Abercrombie, focused on a motley band of outcast, downtrodden characters who you just can't help but feel for, each in their own way. This time, though, it's for young adults. And to my delight, I found it was just as crafty and entertaining as his adult books. I loved Yarvi, especially because he was not at all the perfect hero and did not always make the best choices. I also did not see the twists coming at the end, which added up to a marvelous reading experience for me. I'm only left to wonder, since the story felt so complete to me, how it's going to stretch on into a trilogy. But I guess I'll just wait to read the following books and see. I actually can't wait. ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
I listened to this using the recorded books CD version and really enjoyed it. The author and the narrator have collaborated to tell a epic fantasy story filled with lots of action and intrigue. Great characters and world building really highlight the story. A nice twist surprise to finish the story also made this one a lot a fun. Looking forward to starting the second book (also in recorded book CD) this week.

4.5 stars for a really fun read. Recommended for any fans of epic fantasy. ( )
  ConalO | Apr 23, 2018 |
It was bloody. It was nasty. It was full of twists and turns. It was another great book by Abercrombie. Only this one is for teens. Hold on to your hats youngens, it's going to be a bumpy ride. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
4.5 stars. There was something really odd about the first half of this book, something I can't quite place, and it's that something that lost this the half star. But this book was so good, especially the last few chapters, and I'm saddened that I don't have the next one readily available. ( )
  autumnlupin | Mar 26, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Abercrombieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bryan, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, David G.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There was a harsh gale blowing on the night Yarvi learned he was a king. Or half a king, at least.
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Heir to the throne Yarvi, prompted by the murder of his father, embarks on a kingdom-transforming journey to regain the throne, even though having only one good hand means he cannot wield a weapon.

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