December 6, 2017

Half a King

Half a King
Joe Abercrombie
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Ever since I started my fantasy kick, I've been searching out the best of the best and have gotten quite a lot of recommendations. Along with Sanderson, people had great things to say about Abercrombie. I find that they have a lot in common.

This wasn't bad by any means, but it didn't really keep me on my toes enough. Also, there were a few things that I would have liked to be different, but there was a lot that was done well.
Half a King is about Yarvi, (I just finished the book and had to look up the main character's name, because that's how much I cared about him) a second son of the King of some land who has trained all of his life to become a minister due to his crippled hand. Right before he was supposed to take his test, he learned that his father and older brother were killed and he is now the king. He seeks vengeance on those that he has been told murdered his father and brother, only to be betrayed by his own kin.
The main plot of this story revolves around a journey, as most do. I didn't really have a problem with that here because Yarvi really needed to learn to have strength and confidence and all of the things that make up a King and not a weakling, like he was. There are also some awesome companions on the way.

The thing is, the book didn't make me feel enough (as always). It attempted to, and had all of the right ideas to, but failed. For example, in one part of the book, Yarvi becomes a slave and is sold as an oarsman. After all of the hardship he goes through as a slave, he uses slaves to oar the boat that takes him back home and doesn't think much of it. How do you not hate yourself for becoming exactly what you resented? You know what it's like to be a slave, and yet, you don't do anything to help those in the same position you were in.
His companions are great, but their relationships aren't built with enough emotion. I liked the characters, but they didn't really matter to me. I should be sobbing over those deaths, not yawning.
There's a lot of deception and murders behind the scenes that make the story feel more convoluted. However, the main twist in the book was very well done. I didn't see it coming, and it was a great idea. The ending just wasn't worth it, though. It's barely set up for a sequel and the whole journey seemed pretty pointless after learning about all of the scheming that took place.
And, please, no more oaths.

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