Book Review -Half a King

Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1)Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, my sincere apologies to those people who kindly gave me the ARC for this a couple of years ago. I neglected a good book, and I’m sorry.

But here I am, fairly impressed with Half a King, which is not unlike its title – half a good read.

A very impressionistic review follows.

Starts reading

Whoa! People are dead already?

Cue fight scene where hero has someone else curbstomp the bully

Snicker, Yarvi is smart, I like him.
Also, he doesn’t want to be king. Plus points for you, buddy.

Yarvi gets slightly moony over a girl

Hmm. Yarvi, don’t trust this brat, something is off.

Also, why is that uncle of yours nice to you?

Things happen, Yarvi is betrayed and tossed into the sea

Ha! Told you so.

Yarvi ends up on a merchant ship

(rubs hands together) I can’t wait for the revenge to start!

Wait…why is he on a ship? Whatever, this is just temporary, he’ll get to the fun part soon.

LOOOOOOOOOOOTs of rowing later

What is happening?!
I want action!

Yarvi and his motley crew make plans to escape

Yes! Finally! The lady pirate captain and the navigator girl are cool and all, but I want my getting the kingdom back plotline.

They escape, only to spend ages trekking

Yarvi and co decide to take down the pirate captain in a strange tower

Oh, now you’re making a stand? I’m happy for you.
Also, this setting reeks of world-returning-to-medieval-age-after-technology-goes-bad airs. Reminds of another pretty annoying book… #PrinceofThorns

FINALLY Yarvi gets back to the capital and reunites with Mom

Hmm, I’m not entirely liking this character turnaround they’ve given the queen, but ok.
So will you please start revenging now?

Yarvi confronts the traitor, more friends die, a lost hero comes back

Whoa, a lot just happened.

Yarvi sensibly abdicates

I like thiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssss.

Yarvi becomes minister and the real real villain is revealed


Well played, Mr. Abercrombie.

So yeah, that’s how my reading experience went. I was going to give this a three star for most of the book and then BAM! The ending was so out of the left field I made it a 3.5 star and rounded off to 4. I especially enjoyed that Yarvi is essentially a self-preserving hero from beginning to end. The middle was kinda predictable and dragged on, but overall, I’ve been left wanting to read the next one.


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