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.
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?!
WHY NO VENGEANCE?
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
OHMYGOD I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT DAMN I MISSED THE CLUES
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.