Half a King by Joe Abercrombie – Review

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publication Date: July 3rd 2014  
Pages: 416 
Series: Shattered Sea
My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis (1)

Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.

But first, he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy…

Goodreads link: here


Another book that I picked because of booktuber Holly Hearts Books (link to her channel) and once again a book that I really enjoyed.

The main story plot is a very basic and simple one: a young prince betrayed by his own family and now seeks revenge. We’ve seen that many times, by what makes it different is the execution.

Things I liked

  •  The characters. We have a group of six characters all very interesting, intriguing, well-rounded, they all have their own voice and their own motivations. I love watching them bound and go from hating each other to be willing to die for each other.
  • Yarvi’s growth. Yarvi gowns a lot throughout the story. He goes from peaceful minister to-be, to an insecure king, to hopeless slave and much more. And with every step, we can see the changes to his personality, from a sweet little boy to a man that walks the line of becoming something he hates and much more.
  • Nothing. And when a say Nothing I mean the character Nothing. That’s right, there is a character call like this. And he was one very mysterious and twisted character.
  • But most off all what really makes this book amazing for me was the ending. There were a couple of passages where I could easily predict what was going to happen, but boy I didn’t see the two plot twist at the end! And especially the first one was so good!!!
  • [Spoiler] You don’t get the ending that you would expect. When you have a revenge story, you usually expect at the end the main character to get what he wanted. But not here. It came close, but it didn’t quite end up like someone would assume.

Things I didn’t like

There wasn’t much I didn’t like, so I’ll have to be picky for the section

  • There were mentions of old magic and elves in the past and I would have like to see a little more about that.
  • I was told that Joe Abercrombie is a go-to for grimdark fantasy, so I won’t lie, although I knew that this book it not as grimdark as The First Law, I was still expecting a more “dark” ending. I know I said I like the ending because it was not what you would expect but… it could have being darker.
  • Dear fantasy authors. I know you like creating whole new worlds and come up with some amazing names for your characters and places but, could you please, please think or your dyslexic and non-native English readers before naming a characters Grom-gil-Gorm and Shadikshirram. I spent the entire book without being able to pronounce those names.

Those are my thoughts on this book. I really liked, and I’m planning on picking up the second one very soon. What about you? Have you read it? Do you plan or reading it? Let me know in the comments!

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