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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 (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,187 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

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greggorio! on 14 Nov 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is my first Joe Abercombie book and it won’t be the last. In fact, it is sure to be the first of many. HALF A KING commences with treachery. A young boy destined and keen to join his holy order is forced by fate to rule a kingdom after his father and brother are killed in battle. The book starts off with a deep sense of melancholy and immense sadness as we learn and witness of a foreign culture’s form of goodbye to the dead. Even by the end of part one, treachery has returned in the most unlikely of forms but men – and boys – destined for greatness stand up to be counted and the hero of this book – the young Master does not let this particular tradition of the fantasy genre down. Or his family. Or, indeed, himself. The book is as beautifully created as is the world the story is set in. Just about every page provides the reader with a small piece of vital information concerning the world, its inhabitants as well as its culture. The plot sails along with the force of a gale behind it and the plot twists and turns like the mighty Amazon (!) river. Characterisation is excellent. Emotions run high even by the end of chapter one and will continue to be held vice like with every chapter you complete until you reach book’s end.

I have heard the claim that this author is world class. Having read just this single tome from the great man I am inclined to agree. His talent oozes from the page with every word. I am therefore super keen (obviously) to read the rest of the trilogy as well as race to the power switch of my kindle in order to purchase and download his entire back catalogue.

A solid four stars from me.

BFN Greggorio!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alex on 29 Aug 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read all of Jo Abercrombie's books and this is by far and away the poorest. It was predictable, basically written and lacked any real surprise. A real dissappointment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Probably Abercrombie's book I liked least, but still a solid good book. I liked the twists on the plot, and the main characters were good, but I think it lacked the depth from other books of his. I think the previous novels had more to offer to the genre, while this book might add to the YF substantially in terms of grimness and darkness, but I definitely expected something more similar to his previous work, which may clash with the actual definition of the genre and target reader. I still will get the next two novels, but I cannot wait for Joe return to the First Law world with his promised trilogy. I think that is where the athor really excels
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3 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Classic Abercrombie! Slow start up before the drama builds and the number and diversity of characters increase. The principal protagonist is a complex man living at a brutal time in a very dysfunctional family. The twists and turns in the story never seem contrived and grow naturally out of the environment, culture and beliefs of the world that Abercrombie so carefully builds. There are hero and villains, sure but also ordinary people fighting against their fate so survive some don't but there is always a reason and a clear logic to the things that happen in the book.
Loved it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am a massive fan of this talented writer. Given his reputation for dark, realistic and adult fantasy I was interested to see how this would translate into a "Joe lite" YA novel.
So, heir to throne has a deformed hand and a lack of agression, so of course his uncle tries to kill him and then steals the throne. Our hero swears revenge and then has a journey of personal growth and gathers an odd group of friends as he gets the chance to take back his kingdom.
Taking the full grit out of the novel does water down what Mr Abercrombie is so good at, but this is still very readable. The author does not really do heroes, his characters tend to be very grounded and deal with what's in front of them.
So our half a King' survives by wit and not brawn and with some very odd companions. This Joe lite novel does feature the humour, the characterisation and the twists of his normal works, but by going 'lite' it does take a little something away that takes this into the less than outstanding novels we have become accustomed to.
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