Half a King
By: Joe Abercrombie
Joe Abercrombie was on my list of authors I want to read this year. For some reason he had always made me a bit nervous because I have the impression of long and dense series that will take a while. Half a King came highly recommended however and the main character was compared to Tyrion Lannister so I thought I’d give it a try.
And I am so happy I did!
Yarvi is a Prince in a warrior culture with one good hand- which makes it hard to impossible to fight (if only someone would make him a golden one). It’s all fine with Yarvi though. He’s not fond of killing. He’s smart and training for the Ministry to take his position as his brothers counselor when the time comes.
Only- his brother and his father are killed and Yarvi must take the throne and that’s only the beginning of the treachery.
I really thought the Tyrion comparison was apt. Yarvi is a teenager but I couldn’t help picture Peter Dinklage playing him. The characters voice is so strong that it’s one of the reasons this book mainly flies by. Yarvi is smart but he’s also far from perfect. He’ll do what he needs to survive including sacrificing who he must- though he does feel guilt over it.
Secondary characters were strong and I liked the relationships and back and forth that built up around them. I actually cared about every single one of them by the time the finale plays out. Furthermore props to some strong female characters especially Yarvi’s mother the Queen- legendary treasurer/businesswoman.
That being said I do feel like the book moved a little too fast at times and as much as I liked the friendship between Yarvi and Sumael (and I very much hope to see her in further books) not sure how I feel about the idea that she must be a romantic option simply because she’s a female in close vicinity to him. But I admit that opinion could change in further books.
I called who was responsible for the deaths right away. But then I didn’t see the last twist so good job on that book. It’s a fun quick read. I’ll definitely be continuing with this series and likely reading more Abercrombie.
The only thing that worries me about book 2 is that it apparently doesn’t follow Yarvi but a whole different character.