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Half a King (Shattered Sea, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Joe Abercrombie
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

A classic coming-of-age tale set in a vivid and richly-imagined world from Sunday Times bestselling author Joe Abercrombie.

‘A fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page one and refused to let go’ GEORGE R.R. MARTIN

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy…

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description


    ‘Enthralling. An up-all-night read’ Robin Hobb

    ‘My favorite Abercrombie book yet’ Patrick Rothfuss

    'Grips like a bear hug, warms like a bear skin' Daily Mail

    ‘Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else’ Guardian

    ‘Remarkable – thrilling, enthralling, and relentless’ Derek Landy

    About the Author

    Joe Abercrombie was born in Lancaster on the last day of 1974, the son of an English teacher and a sociologist. He spent much of his youth in imaginary worlds, and left school with a good idea of how to make stuff up. He moved to the big city, learned to brew tea, and ended up as a TV editor, working on documentaries, events and concerts for bands from Iron Maiden to Coldplay. But in the darkness of the night he was still making stuff up, and his first book, The Blade Itself, was published in 2006. He now lives in Bath with his wife Lou and their three children Grace, Eve and Teddy and makes stuff up full-time.

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    More About the Author

    UK fantasy writer Joe Abercrombie is the author of the First Law Trilogy: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings, as well as the standalone fantasy Best Served Cold.

    Joe now lives in Bath with his wife, Lou, and his daughters Grace and Eve. He still occasionally edits concerts and music festivals for TV, but spends most of his time writing edgy yet humorous fantasy novels.

    Here are the First Law Trilogy in series order:

    The Blade Itself
    Before They Are Hanged
    The Last Argument of Kings


    Best Served Cold

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great series 7 July 2014
    By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER

    Joe Abercrombie is one of “THE” authors in the fantasy genre, the first law series is one of the best series in the last 10 years. But for me the first law world series seemed a slow decline, maybe it was due to an expectation set too high? but after Red Country i was really struggling to read another book.

    But when the wonderful Jane Johnson starts to spread the word about an exciting new book its hard not to catch that infectious excitement. It was thanks to that lovely lady that i found myself the proud owner of an advance copy of Half a King, even then i had to fight my TBR (to be read) pile and reticence, Then we hit the week of release and i knew i owed both Jane and Joe a read of the book.

    I’m so glad i did, While the setting and the people are not Norse the whole world has a very Norse feel to it, the culture and mindset is very much a Norse / Vikingr group. The men are fighters, honour and blood are key to their world. When Yarvi finds himself first a King, then a slave he must learn to overcome his weakness and fight for his vengeance, too fulfill his oaths. As ever with an Abercrombie book there is never just one great character, we are spoiled, from the main group of oarmates to the side characters, Kings, soldiers and ministers, there are so many great nuances in each and every character.

    This was a trip back to the early writing wonder of Abercrombie, i was swamped with the tale, taken on board and tied to an oar, flung into the frozen sea and driven to my limits with my oarmates. All of this Joe manages in such a way as to entertain and enthrall the reader, at no point did i think the book was a Young adult read, and looking back on it i can see its a book for any age, YA through to old farts like me.

    Highly recommended

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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars An exhilarating, wild ride of a story! 21 Mar. 2015
    Prince Yarvi is training to be a minister when his father and brother are brutally murdered. Being the only one left, he must ascend the throne of Gettland. But the people are not so sure, Yarvi has a crippled hand, and his people are not sure he is not up to being the strong and fearsome leader that they need. He swears to avenge his father, but the shattered sea is full of corruption, and Yarvi must travel the world in order to avenge his family, and save his life.

    “I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath”

    At this point I’m probably going to sound like a broken record, but Joe Abercrombie’s writing is just magical. Where to start with Half a King? There’s a whole array of characters, and each one has an incredible amount of depth and emotion to them. Yarvi is a fantastic character, he is flawed, vengeful, clever and incredibly likeable. I think this has been said numerous times but he’s not too different from the wonderful Tyrion Lannister. Not just Yarvi, there are a whole host of characters that are incredibly likeable and fascinating to look at. I won’t go into detail about them all but they vary in so many different ways - some were hilarious, some sarcastic, some friendly, some not so friendly. Abercrombie manages to fit in a wealth of information and backstory without ever making the story tedious.

    The plot is fantastic, you really never know what is around the corner. There’s loads of fast-action fighting scenes, as well as chapters about the corruption and war simmering in Gettland. It has something for everyone, vengeance, war, corruption, a little hint at romance, maybe a little magic?
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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous fantasy adventure 3 July 2014
    By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER
    When King Uthrik and his heir are taken through the Last Door on the edge of a murderer's sword, Prince Yarvi ascends the Black Chair, wearing the King's Circle on his brow. This was not the destiny Yarvi had hoped for. His wish had been to complete his spiritual training and to become a minister as plain Brother Yarvi, no longer a prince. To his father and brother, Yarvi had seemed half a man, one of his hands deformed beyond use. Restrained by unkind words and deeds, Yarvi is unprepared for kingship. It seems like cruel destiny, then, when he is cast from the throne through the greatest of treacheries, thrown into the sea, from which he is reborn as a slave, an oarsman and, finally, a warrior and one of a band of brothers and sister, each with their own vengeance to wreak, especially Yarvi who has a throne to claim.

    Half a King is a fantasy adventure but for me it is fresh with the sea air of a Viking saga. It has a suitably traditional, ageless theme - the young prince overthrown who must prove himself as a warrior and leader before he can become king - but Yarvi's character, and so many others aboard this novel, is so distinct and original that there are surprises throughout and our expectations as to the outcome of such a saga are wonderfully challenged. The ending is superb.

    Once Yarvi is an enslaved oarsman aboard the South Wind, Half A King comes to life in fabulous ways. The female captain Shadikshirram is a painted monster and a joy to read. One slave who dared to try to escape is now literally ground under her foot every day, renamed as Nothing. Others aboard have taken on grotesque personalities due to the iron collars around their necks and the chains around their limbs.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as good as usual writing
    I tried to like this book becasue I enjoyed other books by Joe Abercrombie. But I could not get beyond the second chapter before I deleted it. Read more
    Published 2 days ago by Robert
    4.0 out of 5 stars but if you like a good story told well this is the book ...
    This is no classic, but if you like a good story told well this is the book for you. I'm only giving it 4 stars (even though I read it in 2 days) because I read the next book in... Read more
    Published 6 days ago by Spark
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    An excellent fantasy tale. Great story line & characters. I shall definitely read the next in the series.
    Published 6 days ago by Brian Douglass
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Good, only 4 stars as youth fiction, which did not realise
    Published 6 days ago by Melibean
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Excellent start to a new series. Could not put it down.
    Published 7 days ago by Chris D
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book - although not a gritty and complex as some. However, its an interesting and absorbing read.
    Published 7 days ago by Miss S J Strickland
    4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Tomb.
    I am a Huge Fan of Abercrombie. I have read all six of his books that he has written in his adult world. (? Read more
    Published 8 days ago by Dean S. Marquis
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Very good engaging throughout
    Published 8 days ago by Paul Vale
    4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down
    I enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. It is not the genre I usually read so I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
    Published 10 days ago by Lynne Couzens
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Great read
    Published 11 days ago by paul skulskyj
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