The Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge takes on high fantasy in June! Christal and AH took a chance on a new YA high fantasy series and looooved the debut. Read on to see why they think you should run out and buy this book now.
Half A King by Joe Abercrombie
Book #1 in Shattered Sea
Genres: Young Adult, High/Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: July 15th 2014
ARC Provided by Edelweiss and Del Rey
AH and Christal’s Review – 5 Skulls – A+
We both loved Joe Abercrombie’s Half A King. Seriously, loved it, loved it, just want to hug it! You can jump right into it without having read any of his other novels and you will completely lose yourself to the story. The only problem is… this book is really hard to discuss without giving away spoilers. “You know, the part with the guy that finally got the thing and was really brave when he did that stuff” doesn’t make for a great conversation. So we’re deviating a little bit this month and giving you a brief review from each of us on why we think, if you only read one book in July, it should be this book.
AH: This has got to be one of my top 10 reads of 2014. I know that I’ve said this before, but 2014 has been a great year for books.
Half A King was such a wonderful read for me. I loved being immersed in the world created by Joe Abercrombie. The writing was well done and I found myself marking so many passages. Take this quote for example:
“He had always been weak, but he never felt truly powerless until they made him king.”
Half A King is the story of Yarvi, a character groomed to be anything but king. Yarvi was born missing parts of one hand and his disability made him less than desirable to be king. I liked that his character was flawed and that he had to use his brains.
What I liked about this story was how Yarvi’s circumstances changed throughout the book. At the beginning, he is a student of the ministry because he was not suitable to become king. Then due to some unexpected deaths, Yarvi was crowned king. After a betrayal, Yarvi finds himself a slave forced to take on work as an oarsman on a ship. The story then takes on another aspect and becomes a survival story with an amazing revelation at the end. Throughout the entire story, Yarvi grows and matures.
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Half A King. Like the Iron Throne on the show, there’s a lot of jockeying for the Black Chair in the book.
Christal: Half A King is definitely in my top 10 reads for 2014 as well. I’ve read one of Joe Abercrombie’s adult books, Red Country, and enjoyed it but this book took it to another level. Abercrombie is a wonderful writer and his descriptions make you feel like you are right there with Yarvi as he is on his journey.
Yarvi was a wonderful character and he grows so much in these 350 odd pages. The character at the beginning of the book is certainly not the same character we get at the end. His transformation was truly amazing and I loved seeing him fulfill his potential, especially because it wasn’t what I was expecting.
I normally hate “travelling” stories, but Joe Abercrombie did this one right. There was plenty of action throughout Half A King, the pacing was on point, and the characters were nicely detailed. I enjoy the humorous interactions between them just as much as I did the more serious and life-threatening ones.
Though this is being billed as a young adult novel, I truly think Half A King is a book for all ages. Yarvi started as naive and self-conscious, but his characterization never screamed, “Child, child, I’m a child!” Instead, he just felt like a lost young man who was determined to set the wrongs done to him right. I highly recommend this to all readers of high fantasy and even those who don’t normally read it. I think this could be a great gateway book as it is very accessible and entertaining. Yarvi’s journey seemed to be finished at the end of this novel so I am eager to see what story the next installment will contain.
Be sure to join us next month for our adult read!
AH and Christal’s Rating:
Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge Schedule:
January – Young Adult
February – Contemporary
March – Urban Fantasy
April – Middle Grade
May – Dystopian
June – High Fantasy
July – Adult
August – Paranormal
September – Romance
October – Sci-Fi
November – Historical Fiction
December – New Adult
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