Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Half a King

by Joe Abercrombie
333 pgs  (Shattered Sea trilogy #1)

Half a King is the first book in The Shattered Sea trilogy Joe Abercrombie is currently writing for a slightly younger audience. Book two, Half the World was just published, and book three, Half a War will be out later this year.

Yarvi is the second son of the King and Queen of Gettland. He's young, highly intelligent, and because he was born with one severely deformed hand, he's despised and considered to be half a man by his father and older brother. No one considers him a worthy successor to the thrown, and he's the target of ridicule on the training field because of his inability to use a sword, axe, or shield. On the day he is to take the final exam to become a minister, renouncing his birthright forever, he receives word from his uncle that both his father and older brother have been murdered. He is now King of Gettland. While reluctantly leading his army to avenge the deaths of his father and brother, Yarvi is betrayed by his uncle and barely escapes with his life.

Yarvi becomes a slave, chained to an oar on a ship in the Shattered Sea where he thinks of nothing else but seeking revenge against those who killed his family and betrayed him.

Half a King is a promising first edition to the series. It's reminiscent of one of my favorite books of all time, The Count of Monte Cristo. It's also hard to miss the similarities between it and The Game of Thrones. It's the first book by Abercrombie that I've read and from what I've heard, it's not as good as his books for adults. That bodes well for how much I should enjoy his other books. I'll be trying to get my hands on those as soon as I can.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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