He had always been weak, but he never felt truly powerless until they made him a king.
Spoken by Yarvi, the underdog crippled prince who was never meant to do anything but live a quite life of servitude. Teased and tormented by everyone around him including his family, no one expects anything from him. However, when betrayal comes knocking on his door what’s he supposed to do?
I swore an oath, Mother Gundring, to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.
As Yarvi prepares to take his final examination to enter the world of the Ministry, word reaches him that his father and his brother have been killed which leaves him as the new king of Gettland. Reluctantly he takes the throne, however, not long after he takes the Black Chair he is betrayed, and sold into slavery. Once everything has been stripped from him, Yarvi learns the true nature of human beings. Both their cruelty and their kindness, and what they’re capable of doing to each other, and most importantly he learns what he is capable of. He forms a band of fellow slavers, and they form a companionship built off of mutual suffering and a longing to be free again. They vow to protect each other, and to take back what was stolen from them. With their help, Yarvi plots to avenge his family, himself, and to take back his throne.
This is my second Abercrombie book, and WOW what a consistently good writer. From his motley cast of characters, to his intricate plots, and stupendous world building, his books have it all.
All fantasy lovers know that beginnings are typically slow paced. It’s not the funnest thing in the world, but we accept it and we patiently wait for the story to take off. Half a King breaks this rule. From the first chapter we are plunged into Yarvi’s ever changing quest.
Yarvi wanted a different life, the only one that he was led to believe he would be any good at because he was born a crippled. He trained for it, and accepted his role. Then it is snatched from him in the blink of an eye, but does he rise to the the challenge?
Yes, he does, and beautifully I might add. He goes from being a ridiculed crippled prince, a starving beaten slave, to a ruthless and cunning leader. I have a soft spot for underdog characters, and Yarvi has taken the cake. His character development was a joy to witness.
The secondary characters were also incredibly done. One of the things that I love about Abercrombie is that he has diversified characters. Colored characters and badass females who aren’t just side kicks, or one dimensional quota fillers, but real complex characters that are just as important and central to the story as the main character.
The plot starts off strong (not sword or spells mind you but, I wasn’t bored), and it eases up some in the middle before giving us action and suspense and the mother load of twist. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m usually good at guessing mysteries, and plot twist, but let me tell you I did not see this one coming.
Overall, an epic fantasy read. I highly recommend to fantasy lovers, and if you’re new to fantasy this is a perfect place to start.
Thank you to Del Ray via Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.