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Half a King (Shattered Sea, Book 1) Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 1st edition (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007550200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007550203
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.4 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Standalone:

Best Served Cold

Product Description

Review

‘Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else’ Guardian

‘This is my favourite Abercrombie book yet’ PATRICK ROTHFUSS

‘Joe Abercrombie is fast becoming my favourite writer. HALF A KING is a remarkable achievement — thrilling, enthralling, and relentless. The action is frenetic, the characters are as sharp as the blades they wield, and the humour is biting. It's sure to garner him a whole new legion of fans’ DEREK LANDY

‘Perhaps his most technically proficient novel yet, I dare you to read the first chapter and try not to turn the next page. Some wondered if what makes Joe Abercrombie so different would survive the transition to YA. Abercrombie fans, have no fear: Polished and sharp, the un-adult-rated Abercrombie is still unadulterated Abercrombie’ BRENT WEEKS

‘Enthralling. An up-all-night read’ ROBIN HOBB

‘HALF A KING can be summed up in a single word: Masterpiece’ MYKE COLE

‘With eye-popping plot twists and rollicking good action, HALF A KING is definitely a full adventure’ RICK RIORDAN

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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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
Review

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

(Parm)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick on 14 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Took me a while t get into it but couldn't put it down after a while, has a great twist at the end involving a certain slave. Although not as dark and depressing as some of his other books (being a so called 'young adult' novel) it's still got everything about Abercrombie that I love. If you enjoyed his other books I strongly recommend this,in fact even if you haven't you should still give it a go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Puffin on 15 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My favourite Abercrombie book, far better than the only other one I have read: "Best Served Cold". The characters and story are very interesting, the back story and setting fascinating. Good character development and unexpected twists at the end. Just because it's billed as "young adult" fiction, that does make it a bad read: there's much to recommend about this book to any reader.
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Read the first chapter on the kindle sample system, this book is slow to start but does get going as you read. The style is typically Joe Abercrombie and i knew it was one of his as soon as I started reading it. I must admit to being an Abercrombie fan having read all of his previous books and was not disappointed with his characterizations .
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By martin isitt on 25 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not his best...( Red country is by far his best in my opinion... 10 stars, and some)... but Half a King is still a very good read. A basic plot with a couple of nice little twists at the end. The text is not as gritty as his previous work, but none the less JA's pleasingly cynical flavor comes through. As always, a pleasure to read.
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Everyone was worried that since this book was to be "YA" that Abercrombie finds would be left wanting for his usual grit and dark humor.

That is not the case here. A fine start to a series as good as or better than his others.
Highly recommended.
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