Half a King (Shattered Sea #1)
by Joe Abercrombie
published by Del Ray
genre: YA, Fantasy,
Summary (Goodreads): “I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers 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 itself. 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’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy...
My Thoughts: This is the first time I've read anything by this author and will be looking into his other series. I could not put this book down and read it in a day (this is great for me lately).
I really enjoyed everything about this book, from the world created to the characters that lived in it. There is a character for everyone.
Yarvi was born with a crippled hand, which made him less in the eyes of his father, the king, as well as everyone else in the castle. Since he wasn't good at any of the things princes usually do (and being second born) he decided to go into ministry. The training for this gets Yarvi and his friends out of many a tight spot later on. I liked seeing Yarvi grow into himself and figure out that while he might not be a strong physically as others he could use his brains to sometimes get the same results.
From this point on the action does not stop. From betrayals, to slavery, to escaping with the most unlikely group of individuals the story just flowed across the pages. I was surprised how much the group of slaves that ended up helping Yarvi avenge his families deaths grew on me. Each one was unique and added something to the group.
Overall, while I enjoyed this book from beginning to end there was just something that made this not be a five star for me. I can't quite put my finger on it. Whether it was the reveal of Nothing (person) towards the end or how Yarvi's life (as well as everyone else left) just seemed to fall into place, something felt off. This did not take away from my need to get my hands on the second book of this series that just came out recently.