Title: Half a King
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Series: Shattered Sea, #1
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra
Imprint: Del Rey
Publication date: July 15th, 2014
My rating: 5 of 5
(Book read from July 2nd to July 15th, 2014, from the eARC received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)
“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 his path may end as it began — in twists, and traps, and tragedy.
My Thoughts on the Book:
I've wanted to try Joe Abercrombie's books ever since The Blade Itself was published, but haven't gotten around to them. So, of course, when I saw his first YA novel on NetGalley, I had to snatch it up. And I'm so glad I did. I was afraid it will be the typical YA fantasy, but I'm glad that I was wrong.Half a King is one amazing & mind-blowing YA fantasy story. From the world-building, to the characters themselves, to the very ending, it was perfect. Definitely one of the best books I've read so far this year, and amazing beginning to a new series, and I can't wait to see where the story will go with the sequel Half the World. But, back to Half a King now.Yarvi is the younger son of King Uthrik - the king of Gettland. He's Mother Gundring's apprentice, and he's just about to take the Minister's Test, renouncing his right to the throne when his father & older brother are killed. So, all of his plans & hopes for his future life are changed, he's now the heir to the Black Chair & crowned as king. He swears an oath to revenge the deaths of his father & brother. But, while thinking that he's avenging them, he's actually betrayed by one of the people he trusts & loves the most. After this the reader follows everything that Yarvi faces while trying to stay alive & survive, meeting new friends & foes, lots of hardships, and changing while doing it all, and hoping to get his revenge.There were lots of interesting characters: Yarvi, Queen Laithlin, Nothing, Jaud, Rulf, Sumael, Isriun, Odem, Shadikshirram, Ankran, Grom-gil-Gorm, Hurik, Keimdal, Mother Gundring, etc. And they were all unforgettable in their own way, no matter if they were good or bad, or something in between. I loved their complexity, and cheered my favorite characters to their goal. But, my most favorite without a doubt was Yarvi, and lets just say, I wouldn't want to be his enemy now. He's smart, cunning, nice, resourceful, loyal and deadly. And lots of times my heart was breaking for him, both for what he went through, and for what he lost.I loved every second of the story, and I didn't want it to end. That's why I postponed reading the final part of the book until today. But, even though I thought I know how it will end, I was so wrong. Joe Abercrombie managed to surprise me, and it was a brilliant ending, and I was left hungry for more, even though it didn't end with a cliffhanger. The writing style was amazing, and I loved the way it brought the story, especially the dark & gritty, the dangers, the action & bloodshed, and the friendship & bonding between unlikely people. I also kinda adored all the different settings.Half a King is unique & unforgettable YA fantasy, with unique main character and a story that will get under your skin, and will stay with you long after you've finished it, so I highly recommend it! This book is a must-read to every fan of fantasy!