Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1) by Joe Abercrombie Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1)

Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.

But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened h

But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy…
…more


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    Patrick

    Feb 15, 2014

    rated it
    it was amazing

    First off, I would like to taunt you all just a little bit. Because I got to read an ARC of this book and you have to wait until it comes out in July.

    But I can say this: This particular book is worth the wait.

    I’ve been a fan of Abercrombie’s stuff for years. His worldbuilding is great, his characterization is marvelous, he writes an amazing action scene…

    Yeah, simply said, his craft is undeniably excellent.

    That said, sometimes I put down one of his books and think to myself, “Well, I guess

    But I can say this: This particular book is worth the wait.

    I’ve been a fan of Abercrombie’s stuff for years. His worldbuilding is great, his characterization is marvelous, he writes an amazing action scene…

    Yeah, simply said, his craft is undeniably excellent.

    That said, sometimes I put down one of his books and think to myself, “Well, I guess everything sucks and everyone in the world is awful and we’re all pretty much fucked in the end, aren’t we?”

    Sometimes his books leave me feeling a little bleak. And honestly, someone that can make me feel that way is a fucking master. But at the same time, I’m not always up for reading bleak. That’s something I have to be in the mood for.

    This book didn’t hit me that way. I got all the grit that I love in Abercrombie, and the craft, and the character. And the book was grim… but it never got so far as being bleak.

    Simply said, I think this is my favorite Abercrombie book yet. And that’s really saying something.

    Is it worth your time? Absolutely.

    What’s more, it’s a stand-alone. So you can jump in here even if you haven’t read his other stuff.

    So jump in.

    …more

    Emily May

    Jul 08, 2014

    rated it
    really liked it

    Shelves:
    young-adult,
    fantasy,
    2014

    Once, after his father had hit him in a rage, Yarvi’s mother had found him crying. The fool strikes, she had said. The wise man smiles, and watches, and learns.
    Then strikes.

    Half a King is the kind of book that creeps up on you gradually, painting a picture of kingdoms and slavery and backstabbing until you think this is basically another fantasy set in the comfort zone of the genre, and then it hits you hard when you least expect it. I kid you not, there were three huge “twists” in this book

    Once, after his father had hit him in a rage, Yarvi’s mother had found him crying. The fool strikes, she had said. The wise man smiles, and watches, and learns.
    Then strikes.

    Half a King is the kind of book that creeps up on you gradually, painting a picture of kingdoms and slavery and backstabbing until you think this is basically another fantasy set in the comfort zone of the genre, and then it hits you hard when you least expect it. I kid you not, there were three huge “twists” in this book and I remained completely oblivious to all of them until they were upon me. It is the first twist (a few chapters in) that sucks you into this story… and I found myself unable to stop reading from then on.

    I’m really picky when it comes to traditional fantasy (as opposed to urban fantasy or fairytale retellings) because I find it falls into one of two extremes – either it is too lengthy, dense and wordy for my tastes, or it is “fantasy-lite” masquerading as real fantasy whilst really being all about that boy with the tortured soul. This is neither of those. It is a gritty and fast-paced tale of survival, betrayal and friendship. I started reading this in my back garden under the hot afternoon sun and I was so addicted to Yarvi’s story that I was still there when the sun began to set.

    The story opens when Yarvi – the king’s youngest son and the not-so-proud owner of a crippled hand – finds out his father and brother have been killed and he must take his rightful place on the throne. Everyone is skeptical as to whether a crippled “half-king” can really rule over the people of Gettland, even Yarvi himself. I won’t give away spoilers, but Yarvi’s life takes a rapid turn downhill from there and plunges him into one threatening situation after another. Circumstances see him being forced miles away from his home, barely able to defend himself with his crippled hand.

    It’s a real underdog kind of story and Yarvi is a complex character that simultaneously evokes sympathy and is allowed to make mistakes, do horrible things and screw people over to survive. He is one of those flawed but likable characters whose actions, even at his worst, feel understandable and realistic. He constantly faces threats from all sides, whilst also battling with nature’s demons out in the wilderness. And I swear I could feel the icy cold coming through even in the middle of July – Abercrombie works setting and atmosphere together very well.

    Despite my love for Yarvi, this book wouldn’t have been the same without the varied and interesting cast of secondary characters. They all provide something important to the novel, whether it be the underlying theme of friendship and finding a place as an outcast that features heavily throughout the story, or some much-needed moments of comic relief. The character Nothing especially made me laugh:


    Nothing smiled. Yarvi was starting to get nervous when Nothing smiled. “And they will come ashore, tired and wet and foolish, just as we have, and we will fall upon them.”
    “Fall upon them?” said Yarvi.
    “We six?” asked Ankran.
    “Against their twenty?” muttered Jaud.
    “With a one-handed boy, a woman and a storekeeper among us?” said Rulf.
    “Exactly!” Nothing smiled wider. “You think just as I do!”

    and


    He saw Nothing hop a few steps from the bank and raise his sword high, point downwards.
    “Are you mad?” Yarvi screeched, before he realized.
    Of course he was.

    And even though women are not often sword-wielding warriors in this world, Abercrombie’s female characters were fantastic, in my opinion. They were strong but flawed, deeply complex and varied. Those considered “good” had faults and those considered villains had multiple layers to them. Though this could really be said for all characters. There are no mindless villains in this book and it makes the story all the more compelling, because the author doesn’t make it easy for us to group people into “goodies” and “baddies”. As Rulf says:


    “If life has taught me one thing, it’s that there are no villains. Only people, doing their best.”

    Plus – the ending was PERFECT. I wasn’t sure how the author would tie it all together and still leave us with something that would make me need to get my hands on the sequel – but he did. The novel’s climax is an incredible show of drama and excitement, followed by a couple of gentle, quiet – but no less effective – chapters, in which Abercrombie surprised me once again. I now need to go find everything else he has written and, if you haven’t already, you need to read this book.

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    …more

    Brent Weeks

    Apr 09, 2014

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Shelves:
    blurbed

    Opportunities to blurb one’s nemesis are rare indeed. Having been published in ye olde aught-7, Joe Abercrombie is the elder in our Sith-padawan duo, whilst I have only been in print since late, late 2008. Our careers have followed similar trajectories: each of us receiving early and effusive critical praise (oh wait, that was him), each of us selling millions of books (him more millions–or a more… ebullient publicist), each of us winning the David Gemmell Legend Award (oh wait, that was me), ea

    When I opened the package containing Joe’s book (not addressed to me), I rubbed my hands together. I cackled. I stroked my beard. I got to work.

    The trick, of course, is to write something that sounds positive, but may not be. You also have to avoid fragments that can be pulled that undermine your snarkish intent: “I love John’s frequent use of correct punctuation in his work!” could be undermined. A canny publicist will pull real praise out of a reckless phrase, like so: “I love John’s…work.” or, stretching morality, even “I love [this] work!”

    If you write something the publisher doesn’t use at all, you’ve failed. (That is, unless you can get it to stick on Goodreads or Amazon.) And if you write something amazing but not specific to the target, people will just attribute it to Mark Twain. (“Any brilliant double-edged quote from an American author will be attributed to Mark Twain.” –Mark Twain) As you can see, a daunting task indeed.

    So… a quote for Joe Abercrombie, eh? *cracks knuckles*

    There are myriad correct ways to address Joe Abercrombie’s work; one of them even involves praise.

    Let’s just get this out of the way. The low-hanging fruit*:
    Though slender, I wouldn’t call it half a novel. Half a King isn’t half bad!
    Is Half a King Abercrombie’s best yet? You’ll half to see for yourself!

    *reviewers punning on the Half in the titles of this series, that there is a sin of weakness–unless you can make many puns in your review or find one that others have overlooked. I know, it’s hard to resist. You’ll be forgiven the “half” puns on this first novel. Do it on novel two and three, and you’ll earn sighs and derision, respectively.

    Hitting where it hurts (the wallet):
    There is only one way to show how much I enjoyed this book: I scanned it and am distributing it to the whole internet for free!

    Here’s a good one for readers who like to believe they don’t look down on the YA genre:
    Now writing Young Adult fantasy, Joe Abercrombie has finally found his intellectual home.

    The baffling, yet catchy:
    This book seals it: Joe Abercrombie is the Kanye West of fantasy.

    The sneaky slander:
    Critics have wondered, is there a Joe Abercrombie without the f-word? Fuck yes!

    The secretly snarky:**
    Will this novel make shortlists everywhere? Well, I certainly wouldn’t give it the axe!

    **Only works if you know a rarely-used idiom, AND that the Gemmell Award is a battle axe.

    The grimdark (the challenge here being to attach the mildly pejorative label “grimdark” to Joe’s work without ever using the term directly):
    Some worried that Abercrombie’s move to Young Adult novels would mean a loss of his grim, dark tone. Though the events of this novel are often grim, dark themes aren’t overwhelming. Much as in the Brothers Grimm, dark colors are used to highlight moments of humor.

    The needlessly cruel (may be attributed to Mark Twain):
    Definitely worth picking up from the remainders shelf.
    Worth every penny I paid for it. (My thanks to the publisher for the free review copy.)
    I look forward to being able to get the whole series for half off.

    My real blurb:
    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.

    Ugh, you have no idea how my stomach sinks to write actual praise. Dammit, Joe.
    …more