Half a King seems a departure of sorts, from Abercrombie’s earlier style. I very much enjoyed it, as the sense I get, it seems somewhat more refined than his earlier books. It retains the fantastic dialogue, but is not quite as ‘cheeky’ or perhaps ‘immature’(?) as such. His trademark style remains, while also somehow managing to veer towards far more traditional styles as well. I very much enjoyed the amalgamation, and really feel Abercrombie has struck the balance perfectly.
The characters, as always in Abercrombie’s works, are fantastic. In particular I am a big fan of flawed protagonists, especially those which are physically flawed. Aside from Yarvi, the rest of the central group of characters are as colourful as always, and the interactions between them are amazing.
What turned this book from a great book to a fantastic one however was the massive twist at the end. There was no warning whatsoever, and it was so completely unexpected that I had to go back and re-read the preceding pages again, to see if there was any hint whatsoever of what was about to happen. As far as I’m concerned, such an impact can only be a good sign.
‘Half a King’, by Joe Abercrombie is the first in the Shattered Sea Trilogy.