Thursday, April 24, 2014

Half a King Book Review

Half A King

Joe Abercrombie

Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra

Pub Date: Jul 15 2014

5/5 Stars


           Yarvi has only one hand.  Which in his mind makes him half a man.  His father and just about everyone around him has been telling him this since he was a small child.  How Yarvi managed to survive his birth and early childhood in this situation, in a relatively realistic medieval setting where a baby with such a deformity would most likely have been killed; is NOT the subject of Half a King.  It is basically just the main thing you have to get past if you’re going to like this book or get into it.  I found it quite easy to do this.  Especially considering the EXCELLENT writing by Mr. Abercrombie.

           Half a King is the best novel I’ve read this year.  It is fast paced, complex, engrossing in every way, and a REAL page turner.  I often found myself slowing down reading so that I could enjoy the story for a little while longer.  Especially toward the end, where I could see my remaining page count dwindling.  I wanted to stay in that world for as long as I possibly could.  There were no throwaway characters, everyone of them seemed lovingly crafted and gave you the sense that they were all real people.  Not just cardboard cutouts that were created for a scene or a chapter.

         The way that the author weaves a little politics into the book just to make some aspects of the story relevant but then never returns to the subject is masterful.  The setting was impressively created, everything had a real sense of brick and mortar.  Which essentially means that nothing seemed to be created just for a scene or just for a series of scenes.  Every where the characters went seemed to be there waiting for them, not created for them.  Very few books pull this off with any kind of regularity.

         I know that this book is a the first in a series but it definitely reads like a standalone.  There are VERY FEW novels these days that do that.  I was very impressed at how the author handled the ending.  Once you read the ending, you will look at the entire book differently and I love books that do that.  Half a King will make anyone with an even remote interest in fantasy happy.  I would say that if you love the Game of Thrones television show you will love Half a King.

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