Author: Joe Abercrombie
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.
The deceived will become the deceiver.
Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.
The betrayed will become the betrayer.
Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.
Will the usurped become the usurper?
But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.
Huge thank you to Del Rey and Netgalley/Edelweiss for this ARC!
When my fiancée told me that Joe Abercrombie was writing a YA fantasy novel, I told him to his face that he was full of crap. Colour me surprised when it was actually the truth. Joe Abercrombie is best known for a lot of black humor and gore, and this book continued all his signatures, and it really didn’t feel like a young adult novel at any point for me.
If there is one thing Abercrombie is the master of, it’s writing awful people. Sinister, malicious, selfish, and yet every character has justification as to why these traits are employed in the first place. he also writes some of my favourite women in fantasy, and the woman in Half A King are some of the most brutally honest ladies I’ve seen in fantasy for a long while. They know their world is a mess and yet they do their best to make the best of a bad situation, and they do it without anyone telling them what to do.
The world-building in this book is fantastic as well, and it feels very much like someone’s journey from start to finish. Yarvi is surprisingly well-rounded as a character, and he’s someone who is easy to engage with despite the situations he’s thrown into. Some of the other male characters were quite terrifying, particularly Trigg, who most of the time gave me the willies. Every time I turned a page in this book, I always felt like I was on the outside looking in on a world that is ready to collapse but has a tiny bit of strength and that’s just enough.
I loved the ending as well and I felt it suited the story. If you haven’t read a book by Joe Abercrombie, this one actually might be a great place to start because it ease you into the world and its characters and you always have just enough information (but not all) to keep you afloat.