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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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1,20910710,008 (3.88)62



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English (106)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (109)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
When you're in hell, only a devil can point the way out.

Some Sundays call for change. Yesterday was dappled in sunshine but shrouded in hangover. Brother sologdin offered a review of one of Abercrombie's books. It shrieked of diversion. I galloped to the library only to discover that the series in question was checked out. They did have this trilogy, which I was quick to discover as YA. Oh well. Heir to the throne becomes king despite disability and --just as quick--is tossed into Hegel's ashbin. Can we muster the mustard for vengeance? Time would've been better spent watching Korean revenge cinema, say, I Saw The Devil or The Chaser. The novel was swallowed without issue, without promise. That is my oath, though I will peek at the reviewed texts when they become available. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Not as much fun as his other books. Dark humour missing. ( )
  morusss | Jan 23, 2019 |
I've been looking forward to this book since I saw it mentioned online: my only experience with Joe Abercrombie's writing has been with Best Served Cold, one of the most fascinating reads of the past few years, and that single one was enough to make a fan out of me. This new work went beyond every expectations I had, even though many articles indicated it would be Abercrombie's first attempt at a YA novel: that's not a sub-genre I enjoy, but I wanted to trust the author, and the gamble paid off handsomely.

First things first: in my opinion, the only reason this novel as been marked as YA (apart from some possible marketing goals) is that the main character is a teenager, and probably because the graphic (but never gratuitous) violence I encountered in Best Served Cold is quite toned down here. But that's about it, because the themes are very adult, and the protagonist reacts in a very adult, believable way, while he travels on his coming-of-age journey.

Full review: http://spaceandsorcery.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/half-a-king-joe-abercrombie/

4,5 stars
( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie was this months book pick for my sci-fi and fantasy book club. We have read the First Law Trilogy which I loved so when I saw we were doing Half a King and that it takes place in the same world I was super excited. The tale of Yarvi is gripping. Betrayed by his family and swearing a oath of vengeance, his journey takes him all around the Shattered Sea and on his journey he makes some friends. I cared for Yarvi and his companions throughout the book and I did not expect one of the twists in the book. The pacing is fast but you learn about the world Abercrombie is building. If you are a fan of the First Law Trilogy you will love these additions to the world and if you are just a fantasy fan in genre you will really enjoy this book. I cannot wait to read Half a World next. ( )
  blaketoren | Sep 19, 2018 |
“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 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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