VD The Book Yogi

lover of artistic language and the language of art

Half a King | Thoughts

3 Stars.

"The wise wait for their moment, but never let it pass." 

I enjoyed my travels with Yarvi, though not in a "couldn't put down" way. The story moves swiftly with several satisfying twists and comes together for a neat ending, but I was left feeling little connection. Perhaps it is the speed with which we are presented the plot, but I did not develop any lasting attachment with the characters or world. There is little development for anyone but Yarvi, and the relationships presented are surface quality.

Now, the fact that the story moves quickly is in by no way a bad thing - the pace suits it quite well in fact. I simply tend to like a bit more fleshing out, so when the aforementioned twists occur, I feel them rather than just read them on a page.

My biggest grievance with Half a King is technical and somewhat tricky to explain. Joe Abercrombie is a fine writer - indeed one of the best ways an author can impress me is by turning language into an art - but a well-placed comma here and there would do his sentence structure wonders. Now, I am one who leans (perhaps too heavily, at times) on those little devils, and I applaud anyone who presents me with a well-turned phrase with or without their usage. But twist and turn too much and you leave your readers puzzled and re-reading sentences...and not in good way.

While I am unsure if I will continue with this series, I would still recommend Half a King for all the positives: neatly compiled and presented plot, satisfying twists, action and a large selection of quotable phrases.

“The fool strikes. The wise man smiles, and watches, and learns. Then strikes.”

“The wise speaker first learns when to stay silent”

“... Never worry about what has been done. Only about what will be.”