Half a King by Joe Abercrombie: Book Review


Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.

But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy… -Goodreads

My Review

My Rating: 4/5


Yarvi’s journey in this book is a hell of a ride, and unlike a lot of fantasy, the events that he is a part of affect him deeply. It was refreshing to see a character like Yarvi thrust into a world he was totally unprepared for and then fight his way through it.

As a YA book, there is little graphic violence or gore in this book, however the darker themes and elements are still there – the graphicness is hinted at, so it is for the reader to gauge how much they want to imagine. I like that. It makes this book accessible to a whole range of readers.

In many ways, ‘Half a King’ is a standard adventure story, but the characters and the world make it stand out – this book is well worth a read.


I loved the comradery, and the growth towards it, between Yarvi and the other escaped slaves. Before that, Yarvi felt quite alone, and it was difficult to read at times, but when they escape together and have to lean on one another to survive, it was a pleasure to read.

So much happens in this little book it’s kind of amazing. First Yarvi is betrayed, then he is enslaved, then is escapes, then he fights in a battle, and then he turns down the throne to become a Father. It’s a fantastic ride and the ending was a surprise which is always nice.

I feel like there was a lot of this world hinted at throughout that Abercrombie is going to (possibly) come back to in later entries. I’m looking forward to the next one!

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