I picked up this book because it kept smiling at me when I would walk into the book store. More than once did I ALMOST buy it, only to put it back down. I don’t know what possessed me to finally make the purchase but I am so glad I did. As I started reading it, I was shocked to find out that it was a Young Adult novel, as it gets a bit gruesome and gritty, and while many YA have that stuff in there as well, it is not done like this.
I will make this a spoiler free review, whatever I describe has already been put in place on some of the synopsis I have seen for the book.
The story follows Yarvi, who is a prince, and the second in line for the throne, but none of that really interests him. As he is born with a disability (he has one hand that was not formed well, and he can’t quite use it like everyone else), many people do not take him seriously as a prince. He wants to join the ministry and give up all rights to the throne. When he is readying himself to take the ministry exam, he finds out about a situation beyond his control that actually forces him to give up his hopes of the ministry and take the throne.
He sets off on a plot for revenge when he gets pulled into a situation and world he never in a million years would believe he would be a part of. With his wit and logic, he finds a way and meets so many amazing characters on the way.
This book has such wonderful world building. Yarvi is an incredible character that you will definitely root for, but you also get to see a bit of a darker side of his character,which is quite refreshing in YA which is usually so focused on the “chosen one” or the “perfect flawless” characters.
The writing of Half a King put most Young Adult fantasy to absolute shame. Joe Abercrombie knows how to bring you into this world he has created and keep you hooked. The beginning may seem a little slow, but the pace picks up dramatically and it was a quick read for me because I just wanted to know what happens next. While Yarvi is great, you meet a bunch of characters who are just as interesting, and with so many twists and shocking revelations within the story I absolutely recommend this, if you are a fantasy fan.
This book get 4 out of 5 Metal Horns from me!!