Half A King

Half A King

Book - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND THE WASHINGTON POST • LOCUS AWARD WINNER

“The Shattered Seas trilogy has worked its way into a very exclusive group of my favorite fantasy novels of all time.”—James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner

“A fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go.”—George R. R. Martin

“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”


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 that his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

Praise for Half a King

“Tremendously entertaining . . . lightning-fast and filled with a wonderful collection of rogues, villains and two-faced bastards . . . From the first chapter [Joe Abercrombie] wastes no time as the reader is swept up in a gripping tale of betrayal and revenge.”SciFi Now

“Once this plot has its teeth in you, it will not let go. . . . Abercrombie’s masterful storytelling means that everything, from the characters that you come to love and despise, to the sprawling world that is explored, is enthralling.”Fantasy Book Review

“Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea is a fantastic yet believable backdrop to Yarvi’s struggle, a vivid imaginary land.”—The Seattle Times

“Intriguing characters . . . nonstop action.”—Chicago Tribune

Half a King is my favorite book by Joe Abercrombie so far, and that’s saying something.”—Patrick Rothfuss

“As in all Abercrombie’s books, friends turn out to be enemies, enemies turn out to be friends; the line between good and evil is murky indeed; and nothing goes quite as we expect. With eye-popping plot twists and rollicking good action, Half a King is definitely a full adventure.”—Rick Riordan

“Enthralling! An up-all-night read.”—Robin Hobb

“Polished and sharp, perhaps his most technically proficient novel yet . . . I dare you to read the first chapter and try not to turn the next page.”—Brent Weeks

Half a King can be summed up in a single word: masterpiece. It’s a coming-of-age story. It’s a Viking saga. It’s a revenge tale and family drama and the return of the prodigal son. But most of all, it’s this: a short time alongside people as weak and blundering as we are and, in the midst of it all, as heroic. Far too short a time, as it turns out. What a wonderful book.”—Myke Cole

Half a King is full of all the adventure I’ve come to expect from Abercrombie and a tenderness I never knew he had.”—Sam Sykes

Baker & Taylor
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.

Baker
& Taylor

A debut entry in a new trilogy by the best-selling author of Half a King finds disabled heir to the throne Yarvi prompted by the murder of his father to embark on a kingdom-transforming journey. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Del Rey, [2014]
Edition: First U.S. Edition
ISBN: 9780804178327
0804178321
9780804178419
0804178410
Branch Call Number: FIC ABERCROM BIE
Characteristics: 336 pages :,map ;,24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

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.

Like George R.R. Martin, this series offers world-building fantasy with all-too-human characters.


From the critics


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isaachar
Feb 17, 2017

The first chapter of the Shattered Sea trilogy. On the surface, it's a basic 'brains over brawn' revenge adventure, but there is a lot more going on once you get into the following books. I won't spoil it, but this series is not the genre it seems. There are a few plot twists in each book of the series, including a pretty good one in this book. Some people might have seen it coming, but I didn't. I agree with other reviewers, this book (and its sequels) were very hard to put down once you get started. It's a great read for fans of sword and sorcery adventures.

m
MillieBT
Jul 06, 2016

Excellent series

LPL_CentennialC Feb 22, 2016

This book is the beginning of an epic fantasy series that is sure to delight fans of A Song of Ice and Fire. A young, crippled prince must face his destiny when his father and older brother are murdered--and his journey of revenge takes him much farther than he ever thought possible. Half a King is a little slow paced, but Abercrombie’s complex characters and rich world building keep the story going throughout. My favorite parts of this book? A flawed narrator, compelling supporting characters, and gritty battle scenes. Perfect for young adults and adults alike!

DevilStateDan Aug 05, 2015

I'm now a huge fan of Joe Abercrombie - his action sequences are very well paced & gruesomely effective, his characters are beautifully flawed &/or troubled & his language use & writing style is great. These books are a great way in to his fantasy world, first seen in The Blade Itself & is a good option for young adults to explore his writing.
I'm hoping during this, my #2015ReadingChallenge to complete this trilogy in addition to the other trilogy that I chose.... just because I really like it!
#ABookWithMagic

mvkramer Jul 07, 2015

Be warned, this book is ADDICTIVE. I read it in one day, straight through - I almost never do that. Very fast-paced, exciting, great story for fantasy readers who like political schemes more than dragons and wizards. My one quibble is that the book is almost too fast - the author really could have spent more time with the characters. In fact, this book felt like a prequel volume almost - setting up a world and characters for later. I have the sequel on order, so we'll see if it lives up to my expectations.

f
finn75
May 04, 2015

I am new to the fantasy genre but this book has certainly meant this will change. Great characters and a twist. Can't wait to get my hands on the next installment.

Rbrightone Nov 17, 2014

Well worth reading. It took me a bit to get into it but after about page 40 or so I was hooked. Enjoy

f
FantasyFanatic
Nov 15, 2014

An exciting, fast-paced story of revenge, with a couple of interesting twists thrown in. The main character is a bit of a switch from the standard sword wielding main character, as one of his arms is crippled; he is a schemer rather than a fighter.

KateHillier Aug 10, 2014

This book sort of sneaks up on you. On one hand this tale is very similar to a lot of other revenge, take back the throne, style stories but you do not want to put the book down. Yarvi is headed for the Ministry, an order sort of like the clergy but heavily educated and tend to serve as advisors to kings, but is given news that both his father and brother have been killed - leaving him next in line to the throne. Yarvi has never wanted or expected to be king but when he is betrayed, part for power and part because of him having one crippled hand, he is bent on reclaiming what is rightfully his.

The novel reads a lot like a saga, lots of repetition and cadences that bring me back to medieval literature, but it keeps you turning those pages and hoping along with Yarvi that things turns his way so he can prove what he's made of to himself if no one else.

g
gsbenham1986
Jul 30, 2014

It doesn't have the same scope as his previous novels but I burned through it in just a couple of days nonetheless.

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chaponniere
Feb 23, 2017

chaponniere thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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andreareads
Oct 14, 2016

The wise speaker learns first when to stay silent.

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