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Half a King

Half a King

Scritto da Joe Abercrombie

Narrato da John Keating


Half a King

Scritto da Joe Abercrombie

Narrato da John Keating

valutazioni:
4/5 (72 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
9 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781490618692
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Yarvi, second son of the feared King Uthrik and the ruthless Queen Laithlin of Gettland, was born with a useless hand, and cannot hold a shield, or make fast a knot, or pull an oar, or do any of the things expected from a man. Left an outcast, he' s surrendered his birthright and been given a woman' s place as apprentice to Mother Gundring, Gettland' s Minister, training to be an adviser, diplomat, healer and translator. But when his father and brother are murdered by Grom-gil-Gorm, King of neighboring Vansterland, Yarvi is forced to take the Black Chair and become king himself - or half a king, at least - swear an oath of vengeance against the killers of his father, and lead a raid against the Vanstermen. Betrayed, left for dead, and enslaved on a rotting trading galley, Yarvi will need all his Minister' s wit and cunning to escape, and all his diplomacy and knowledge to keep a rag-tag band of other slaves together on a month long trek across the frozen wastes of the utmost north. Among them are Sumael, the ship' s single-minded navigator, Rulf, an ex-raider, Jaud, an ex-baker, and Nothing, a mad old man with a mysterious past and an almost magical skill with a sword. And their owner, the brutal Captain Shadikshirram, will be dogging their heels at every step.Father Peace may be the patron god of Ministers, but to reclaim the Black Chair, Yarvi will have to strike a deal with Mother War, and once you' ve invited the mother of crows to be your guest, there can be no telling whose blood will be spilled.
Pubblicato:
Jan 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781490618692
Formato:
Audiolibro


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4.1
72 valutazioni / 78 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (2/5)
    When you're in hell, only a devil can point the way out.

    Some Sundays call for change. Yesterday was dappled in sunshine but shrouded in hangover. Brother sologdin offered a review of one of Abercrombie's books. It shrieked of diversion. I galloped to the library only to discover that the series in question was checked out. They did have this trilogy, which I was quick to discover as YA. Oh well. Heir to the throne becomes king despite disability and --just as quick--is tossed into Hegel's ashbin. Can we muster the mustard for vengeance? Time would've been better spent watching Korean revenge cinema, say, I Saw The Devil or The Chaser. The novel was swallowed without issue, without promise. That is my oath, though I will peek at the reviewed texts when they become available.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't really know what to expect going into this book, but I knew that I enjoyed Abercrombie's work, so I gave it a shot. Turns out I really like it.

    The story isn't anything mindblowing or anything new. Yarvi finds himself on a throne he never wanted but then is betrayed and left for dead. Now, he wants revenge against his betrayers and to reclaim the throne. What makes the story interesting to me is that without his title, he's basically nothing. He's not a great warrior/wizard/thief/etc., but it turns out he is very cunning, and he uses that to great extent. His progression is believable, and he never becomes something he's not, (e.g. when he kills Odem and Shadikshirram, he stabs them while they are distracted instead of magically becoming a great fighter for just that time).

    Overall, I was planning on giving this book 3 stars, but then I read the final chapter. That one was brilliant. It ended the book perfectly while still setting up for the rest of the series. That chapter alone was worth another star.
  • (4/5)
    I quite enjoyed the Audiobook version of this. For an Abercrombie, it contains comparatively few blood and guts, but then again, it is aimed at slightly younger readers than usual. I found that the lack of extreme violence did not detract from the story.

    As always, Abercrombie used some nice storytelling tricks, especially in the last few chapters. Sadly, I saw most of the "big surprises" in the end coming from a mile away, but it is still a competent and enjoyable piece of YA Dark fantasy.
  • (5/5)
    I've been reading a lot of books lately from my favorite authors recommended reading lists. This has been among the best of those.

    I'll definitely read more from Joe Abercrombie. Really great storytelling, strong character development, and twisty enough to keep surprising me. This is the kind of fantasy I love.
  • (5/5)
    It was bloody. It was nasty. It was full of twists and turns. It was another great book by Abercrombie. Only this one is for teens. Hold on to your hats youngens, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
  • (4/5)
    I listened to this using the recorded books CD version and really enjoyed it. The author and the narrator have collaborated to tell a epic fantasy story filled with lots of action and intrigue. Great characters and world building really highlight the story. A nice twist surprise to finish the story also made this one a lot a fun. Looking forward to starting the second book (also in recorded book CD) this week.

    4.5 stars for a really fun read. Recommended for any fans of epic fantasy.
  • (5/5)
    I received this galley from net galley.This is one of those books that has left me feeling speechless. This was my first book with Joe Abercrombie and I will be reading anything of his I can get my hands on.The characters are stunning, and I fell in love with Yarvi. The relationship between the protagonist and secondary characters is dysfunctional, but also compatible. They felt like a family, and I found myself very invested in their fates. The novel does start out a little slow, but I expect that with a first in a series. Once I got past that the story glides at a faster pace. For me the characters made up for any flaws it may have had in pacing. There is a lot of action, but it's written so well that it's not so overwhelming that it confuses the story. This novel really has something for everyone.I will recommend this novel any chance I get. I look forward to the future installments.
  • (5/5)
    Joe Abercrombie has done it again. Dammit I love his books. He starts it off in a typical head plunge into action and drama and terror and all sorts of tension stuff. But it's still a little too early, so you're not that connected with the characters enough to feel the impact of the events. But just as that bond forms, he wrenches the character away from you and flings him or her into the depths of despair. Yes. The Depths. And you can't reach him or her. And then just when you guys are reunited a PLOT TWIST that makes you get up and walk away for about five minutes because you have to process what you just read. Just do yourself a favor and read this book.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable, quick read that I'd recommend as an alternative to the Game of Thrones series. A gray story that gets to the point. Yarvi is the "crippled" son of the king, who, through the treachery and deceit of others, unwantingly becomes king. Further deceit occurs when Yarvi is removed from the thrown by attempted assassination. Yarvi vows to retake the thrown despite his handicaps, and despite the obvious questions he has about how much he desires it. A fantastic adventure begins as Yarvi makes his way back home, making alliances (and enemies) along the way. One annoying thing: The author's constant referring back to Yarvis disabled hand. Happens at least once per page. Would highly recommend to teen readers, particularly boys, although this story does involve some strong female characters and a world that seems to be based a lot more on gender equality than our own.
  • (4/5)
    A tale well told a series of interest with some villains dispatched and more to come., Looking forward to the next installments.
  • (4/5)
    Yarvi was never meant to be King. Born the second son he has trained to become a Minister and replace the ageing Mother Gundring and sit and advise the rulers of Gettland. But when his father and brother are both killed on what was supposed to be a peaceful mission to a neighbouring kingdom his future is dramatically altered. So he is not only ill-prepared but many see him as ill-suited to rule a warrior society due to his crippled hand and inability to fight. Leading a raid in search of vengeance for his murdered family and to prove his worth events conspire against him and Yarvi soon finds himself sold into slavery and ends up chained to an oar of a merchant's ship. So how can he exact the vengeance that he has sworn on those responsible for the deaths of his father and brother and escape his current predicament?I would never have pegged Joe Abercrombie as an author for young adults having read some of his earlier work but that's exactly where this book is aimed. The first in a fantasy trilogy while still having a darker edge to it is definitely toned down some for the younger market. The characters are also not as complex or deep as his previous books I've read. The plot is a fairly standard fantasy revenge story where a reluctant prince must go through adversity, gather a motley bunch to his cause and reclaim what's rightfully his but it is told in an accomplished manner with the odd twist thrown in for good measure. While it was never a chore to continue reading, the story never really gripped me until the end and it's this that makes me want to continue on to find out what happens next.
  • (5/5)
    I loved it
  • (5/5)
    This book is an exciting start to a new fantasy trilogy. I have not read anything else by this author, but now I want to. This tale of young, crippled Prince Yarvi, who ascends to the throne upon the murders of his father and older brother, is a terrific story. My only slight criticism of the book is that I never got a good idea of the passage of time. I couldn't tell whether events took place over days, weeks or months. The first seven chapters seemed so rushed, I had no idea how much time passed between Yarvi's ascension to the throne and his first attempt to seek revenge for the murders. Then the book took a totally unexpected turn and plunged into a thrilling adventure on sea and land. Yarvi is a self deprecating hero with a wry sense of humor. All of the characters are interesting and you can never be sure of their motives. I liked the fact that the female characters were not passive onlookers. Particularly vivid was the crazy, drunken female sea captain with the determination of Ahab in pursuit of her obsession. The characters face a series of perils and make difficult bargains along the way. Friends and enemies switch roles.This story is complete and there is a satisfying ending to book, it doesn't end in a cliffhanger. However, I am really looking forward to the next two books in this series.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
  • (4/5)
    It's been a while since I last listened to an audio book on physical media. I started out listening to books-on-tape, but lately it's all been audio downloads. Which is why I had to scramble to find a CD player for this book. I wound up listening to most of it my car.A couple of weeks before I received the audio book I met author Joe Abercrombie at Jean Cocteau Theater in Santa Fe, NM, where he was reading and signing with Cherie Priest, at an event hosted by George R.R. Martin. He's an amusing speaker, embracing his grimdarkness with a wink and a smile. He read a chapter from "Half a King", providing a nice preview for the recorded book.The audio book is narrated by John Keating, speaking with a wide variety of voices and accents, all of them sounding very British, but well-suited to Abercrombie's tale.Young Yarvi, second son of the king, has been groomed for the ministry because he has a withered hand. He can't fight with sword and shield, but he's learned all his other lessons well, even though he isn't aware of his skills at the story's beginning. When his father and brother are ambushed and killed, he must take the throne. He rashly swears an oath to avenge his family and embarks on a journey of betrayal, suffering, and self-discovery. He survives by accepting his fate and learning from it.In a sense, this is a coming-of-age novel, set in a harsh and occasionally bloody landscape. That's to be expected from Abercrombie, whose other books follow squarely in the grim footsteps of Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" saga, but "Half a King" steers clear of sex and excessive violence, offering a more thoughtful narrative that focuses on the people Yarvi meets, how he learns from them, and learns about himself. I found this aspect of the book compelling, all the way through to the end.There are more books to come in this world. Yarvi's story has just begun. I think it will be worth the effort to keep reading.This audio book has 8 compact discs, 9.25 hours of audio, and tracks every 3 minutes for easy bookmarking.
  • (4/5)
    I got this book free through the LTER program, and I'm glad to see it's the first in a new series. As usual, Abercrombie does not disappoint! The story follows youngest prince Yarvi, who is considered "half a man" because he has one deformed hand. He gets caught up in other people's plans and schemes about who should be king, until finally he comes to a plan of his own.Strong female characters enrich the book, though they don't really talk to each other. The ending is satisfying and perhaps not what you'd expect. There is some vengeance set up for the next book, which seems less interesting than what Yarvi ends up doing. I can't wait to see more of him in that role in the next book.
  • (5/5)
    Before reading this book, I had heard of Joe Abercrombie, but had not read any of his work. I will have to rectify this omission by finding some of his adult fantasy and science fiction the next time I'm at a con or in a bookstore.Yarvi is the son of a king, but he was born with a withered hand, and thus cannot hold a shield or fight like his father and his elder brother. When they are both killed, he must become king, but his reign is short-lived, and he survives assassination only to find himself sold into slavery. Through the remainder of the book, he works to survive in order to fulfill the oath he has made to the gods to punish all those responsible for his fate. Along the way, he acquires an unlikely but interesting set of companions, including one whose true identity was less than successfully concealed. Eventually, he makes it back to his homeland, but his adventures are not yet concluded, and the final scene of the story leaves room for a sequel that I would be happy to see. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    This is the first Joe Abercrombie book I have read (listened to). I travel extensively on my job and never leave home without an audio book. It was fast paced and made the miles fly. I enjoyed it.
  • (5/5)
    Fairly classic fantasy tale with well written and characters that you get attached to.
  • (5/5)
    It's not as epic as LOTR, but I'd love to see this series made into good-quality movies sometime. I read them out of order, so this is the last book I read, which was a bit disorienting, but I liked getting Father Yarvi's story at last. He became less of the focus in the later books, but you could tell he was a complicated character, and this first book focuses on him, while setting the scene for the adventures and conflict that come next.
    I read these books because they were in the A's of the adult fiction section of the local library; it's always nice when such random reading projects yield fun series like this.
  • (4/5)
    To be perfectly honest, when I heard Joe Abercrombie was writing a young adult fantasy series, I wasn't terribly interested. I love his First Law stuff, but YA just doesn't do it for me. However, when he released the first excerpt, I was intrigued enough to go ahead and pre-order the book. I'm glad I did.Half a King reads a lot like a streamlined version of Joe's other books. All the elements are there: strong characterization, visceral fight scenes, and excellent (and sometimes subtle) world-building. However, by only having a single point-of-view character, the plot seems to move much faster (and the page count is greatly reduced; I was initially shocked at how short this book is). I also think the narrower focus allowed Joe to play around more with plot devices. Everything is laid out in the story, but you really have to be paying attention to be able to connect all the dots before everything is spelled out clearly towards/at the end.While I don't consider this the best thing Abercrombie has written, it's definitely up there. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for with a tighter focus on character and a plot that never lets itself get bogged down. It's a perfect fantasy book for the summer, and I can't recommend it enough.
  • (3/5)
    It took me a while to get into this audiobook, but by the second disc, and the betrayal of the protagonist I was hooked. The story of a young prince with a malformed arm, I was constantly reminded of Tyrion from Game of Thrones as I listened to this thoroughly engaging novel.
  • (4/5)
    I received 'Half a King' in exchange for an honest review. The blurb immediately intrigued me. The idea of a prince with a mal-formed arm was certainly one I haven't come across before.The beginning was slow to hook me onto the story. However, once the wild-ride happened, that started with the betrayal, the book kept the fast pace with plenty of adventure, misadventures and lots of blood and violence. It was to the point I felt the created world of 'Half a King' was modeled after the vikings. While the ending was excellent, I didn't feel it was completely surprising. I expected at least 80% of it to end that way. There was the last 10 minutes that caught me by surprise. The ending nicely wrapped up everything, while leaving an opening for next book if author chooses to make this a series.I think I'll check out more books by Joe Abercombie.
  • (4/5)
    If Johnny Tremain, Hamlet and Spartacus became the same person, they'd be Yarvi, the protagonist of Half a King by Joe Abercrombie. Yarvi, one of two sons to the king, is training to be a minister. His hand is disfigured, and as such, isn't considered much of a prospect for the throne in favor of his brother, even by himself. However, when his father and brother are declared dead and his uncle usurps the throne, Yarvi finds himself in the galleys of a ship, rowing for his life as a slave. He vows a full vow to avenge his father and his brother, and so embarks on a journey to overcome his limitations, physical and otherwise.
  • (5/5)
    Joe Abercrombie always provides a great read, and this book is no exception. A taut tale full of betrayal, intrigue, violence, humor, twists and turns. Can't recommend it enough.
  • (5/5)
    An engaging tale of vikings, revenge, and Mother Death. There are few villains, just people.
  • (4/5)
    A solid story. It’s not a new story in any way, but Abercrombie is an excellent writer so it was quite enjoyable. It would have been much better with a narrator who has a little more grimness and depth to his voice. It’s the same narrator for the Assassin’s Apprentice series and that series is for a younger audience so his voice is better suited for that. Regardless, I will be listening to the next book.
  • (4/5)
    Better than average fantasy but only in degrees. It is nice to have a main character who is flawed but not in a fixable way.

    Well written though, even if the plot is sometimes a little predictable. I certainly wanted to keep reading and continue with the series.
  • (3/5)
    I "read" this in the audiobook format. The performer was good but his tics took some getting used to. Also, the relationship to Hamlet here (the thoughtful son whose king/father is killed by his uncle who wants to we his mother, whom he plots to kill but then delays...) made me think to Henry Treece's strange (in the good sense) novel The Green Man. Abercrombie is very much about plot driven narrative: then and then and then. It went quickly as an audiobook, but I always tend to prefer something I want to pause and think about at regular intervals.
  • (3/5)
    Yarvi, currently a prince, but determined to become a minister suddenly has Kingship thrust upon him, after his father and elder brother are killed in battle. As he takes up the burden of the Black Chair, others consider his withered hand to mean that he is not worthy of the honour of King. His uncle is one of these and attempts to kill hime to claim the throne.

    He survives just, and after being washed up on a shore ends up a a slave on a boat as an oarsman. It is a tough life, but the rhythm and discipline sharpens his mind as he considers escape. The chance arrives and him and a few fellow oarsman seize it. As they make their escape they realise that are being tracked by the owner of the boat, and desperate time lead to desperate measures..

    Growing with strength and character, he makes a pact with another king to reclaim his throne, before heading home to take what is his.

    I have only read one Abercrombie before, which was dark, twisted and brilliant. So I was looking forward to this one, and whilst it wasn't bad, it didn't have the same impact as the first book. It was worth reading, and I am glad that I did, but it really didn't have the depth and complexity of that novel. That said it was a reasonable story, brutal in parts, but not too bloody. Felt a little like fantasy-lite in some ways, but then I think that its target is more the YA market. Will still read the sequel though.
  • (4/5)
    My first Abercrombie and I found it compulsively readable. Plot-wise, it's not terribly original but the story is very entertaining in a light-hearted yet dark sort of way. I cannot help but favorably compare this to Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. Thematically, the books are very similar; post-apocalyptic medieval setting; young protagonist coming of age under adversity; violence interspersed with humor; adventure, adventure, adventure! Abercrombie weaves a slightly tighter narrative in my opinion and also does a better job of balancing the violence and humor. The bloodletting is not dwelt upon quite as much and the humor is less forced. Instead, Abercrombie does a great job of developing his characters and laying out a decent plot with a few twists that are, for the most part, not too hard to spot. Even though the plot 'twists' were mostly easy to see coming, the journey getting there was the fun part. Listed at 352 pages, I knocked this out in two sittings as it 'felt' about 150 pages shorter than that.