Half A King: A Book Review

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Not bad, Joe Abercrombie. Not bad at all. This is the first book of his I’ve read that wasn’t directlt tied to the First Law universe (Although there was a Stranger-Come-Knocking reference), and it was a winner. Joe has a darkness to his work that I’ve always found authentic and real in fantasy settings. Most have a slightly medieval bend, and anyone that’s read a bit of history knows those were dark times (they did call a chunk of them the Dark Ages).
The use of a protagonist with a birth defect (one usable hand) is also a very raw, intriguing concept for a fantasy work. The bitterness and anger we see from Yarvi feels very real, and never contrived, but also isn’t so weighty that it drives the storyline. It’s a key plot piece, yes, but not the entire plot. He incorporates slavery, regicide with a side of usurpation, loads of betrayal, and even (briefly) some romantic longing into this quick read.
The dialogue and descriptors match the bleak setting, and are really the best part of this book. If you aren’t a fan of dark, gallowsy humor, it might not be for you. But any fan of fantasy looking to roll around in the dirt and grit for a few hundred pages would be well served to try Half a King. If you aren’t an Abercrombie fan, this is a very good place to start, and if you end up liking, dive into his First Law trilogy and all the addendums.

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Overall 1.5 thumbs up (only .5 because one was severed, bloody, and malformed)
Signing Off

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2 thoughts on “Half A King: A Book Review

  1. I really liked the First Law trilogy, although I haven’t checked out the related novels. I may pick this up though, or at least add it to the pile of books I want to read.

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