Saturday, August 9, 2014

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

I’ve never read any Joe Abercrombie but was intrigued by the cover on an advance reader copy of Half a King. What a great story! I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The main character, Prince Yarvi, is sympathetic, believable, and imperfect. Although some characters, like the ship’s captain, are stock, Yarvi’s closest companions are well drawn. It was easy to tell them apart.

After about 40 pages of world building and otherwise setting up the story, the action begins in earnest and doesn’t let up. Yarvi is cast into the wild world friendless and alone, and he makes his own new family. The plot took a number of turns I didn’t expect, and there was one twist at the end that both surprised and delighted me.

I enjoyed the dialog, especially when the mysterious man called Nothing was involved.
“If you have a plan,” hissed Sumael from the corner of her mouth, “now would be the time.”
“I have a plan,” said Nothing.
“Does it involve a sword?” asked Jaud.
A pause. “All my plans do.”
“Do you have a sword?”
Another. “No.”
“How will your plan work without one?” muttered Sumael.
A third. “Death waits for us all.”
I fell into this book and just wanted to stay there. I look forward to the next book in the series. I recommend Half a King for any lovers of high fantasy. It will be available shortly at the Galesburg Public Library under the author's last name in the New Fiction section.

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