09th Jul2014

‘Half a King’ Book Review

by Richard Axtell

Written by Joe Abercrombie | Published by Harper Collins | Format: Hardcover, 384pp

Half-a-King

Prince Yarvi is a boy with a crippled hand. He has dreams of becoming a minister, to be called ‘Brother Yarvi’ and to heal, give advice, to speak truth and know the secret ways. These dreams, however, are shattered when his father and brother are killed. That day he is no longer Prince Yarvi, he is King Yarvi. But who wants a king who can’t fight, who can’t wield a sword, who is weak? Yarvi is not a full king. Yarvi is Half a King. But when he is betrayed, he swears an oath to regain his throne. He may be half a king, but he has sworn a full oath. He will avenge his father and claim what is rightfully his.

Joe Abercrombie is back with his latest book Half a King and boy is it an exciting adventure. Ever so often, a book comes along that when you start reading it drags you in and it devours time as you eagerly push onto the next page, the next chapter. This is one of those books. The storyline is simple enough, crippled king, throne is taken away, swears revenge, but Abercrombie writes it in such a way that it remains fresh and entertaining throughout. Whether the characters are on a ship sailing through a storm or pushing for survival in a seemingly endless tundra, they remain realistic and fresh each with their own flaws and talents to bring to the table.

Don’t expect a detail rich, heavy fantasy such as you would find in Game of Thrones or Tolkein-esqe stories. Abercrombie keeps it light and quick throughout but still manages to slip in little details about the world which paint the picture perfectly. Also, he leave you wondering about this world’s deeper back story, coloured with magic and elves, which are now just ruins and deep secrets. In a way, I am disappointed that he didn’t go into greater detail, focussing mainly on the plight of Yarvi and his adventure but that doesn’t mean that the adventure itself is made any lesser because of this.

The ending as well, which I am obviously not going to reveal, is a good twist. It left me surprised and with a whole heap of other emotions which I won’t go into, as good endings do. It leaves you hungry for more and I wouldn’t mind if Half a King ended up with a sequel or two which, according to the press release, we’re going to get as this is the first in a planned new trilogy of novels from Abercrombie.

If you haven’t got the idea by now, I really liked Half a King. I definitely give it thumb thrust firmly in an upwards direction and suggest that any fantasy lover should add it to their collection.

Half a King is available now from Harper Collins. Check out a preview and buy yours at Amazon.

However to win a copy of Half a King, just answer the following question…

Which of the following is also a book by Joe Abercrombie? Is it:
a) A Feast for Crows
b) The Blade Itself
c) Rogues

Email your answer to NerdlyComps@gmail.com, making sure to include your name and address. You can also leave your answer on our Facebook page, just make sure to like us first or your entry will be invalid.

Competition closes July 31st 2014.

COMPETITION T&C’s
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• The winner will be drawn at random from all the correct entries, and only they will be contacted personally. Prize must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. There will be no cash alternatives.
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EDITORS NOTE: This post is sponsored but all opinions are that of the reviewer
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