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"I swore an oath to avenge the death 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. 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 finds that his path may end as it began--in twists, and traps, and tragedy. Praise for Half a King "Tremendously entertaining . . . lightning-fast and filled with a wonderful collection of rogues, villains and two-faced bastards . . . From the first chapter Joe Abercrombie] wastes no time as the reader is swept up in a gripping tale of betrayal and revenge."--SciFi Now "Once this plot has its teeth in you, it will not let go. . . . Abercrombie's masterful storytelling means that everything, from the characters that you come to love and despise, to the sprawling world that is explored, is enthralling."--Fantasy Book Review "Abercrombie's Shattered Sea is a fantastic yet believable backdrop to Yarvi's struggle, a vivid imaginary land."--The Seattle Times "Intriguing characters . . . nonstop action."--Chicago Tribune
"Half a King is my favorite book by Joe Abercrombie so far, and that's saying something."--Patrick Rothfuss "As in all Abercrombie's books, friends turn out to be enemies, enemies turn out to be friends; the line between good and evil is murky indeed; and nothing goes quite as we expect. With eye-popping plot twists and rollicking good action, Half a King is definitely a full adventure."--Rick Riordan "Enthralling An up-all-night read."--Robin Hobb "Polished and sharp, perhaps his most technically proficient novel yet . . . I dare you to read the first chapter and try not to turn the next page."--Brent Weeks "Half a King can be summed up in a single word: masterpiece. It's a coming-of-age story. It's a Viking saga. It's a revenge tale and family drama and the return of the prodigal son. But most of all, it's this: a short time alongside people as weak and blundering as we are and, in the midst of it all, as heroic. Far too short a time, as it turns out. What a wonderful book."--Myke Cole "Half a King is full of all the adventure I've come to expect from Abercrombie and a tenderness I never knew he had."--Sam Sykes
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-05
- Reviewer: Staff
In this superb fantasy trilogy kickoff, Abercrombie (the First Law trilogy) regales readers with the tale of a young man who is thrust onto the throne by unexpected betrayal. Yarvi, the king’s second son, is not destined for the Black Chair or kingship of Gettland: he has a withered left hand, and is bound to become a minister. But everything changes when his brother and father are murdered. Yarvi is clever and knowledgeable, thanks to the years he spent studying for the ministry, but none of that will amount to much unless he can survive the sheer cruelty of being raised to the crown, nearly murdered, and traded into slavery in the span of days. The one thing he knows is that he plans to live long enough to take revenge on his father’s killer—when he finds out who it was. Abercrombie’s stellar prose style and clever plot twists will be sure to please both adult and teen readers. Agent: Robert Kirby, United Agents. (July)