Half a King

Joe Abercrombie
Half a King Cover

Half a King


Half a King seems like it would work quite well as a Joe Abercrombie Primer. It features some regular themes and many of his strengths in a snappier format with a bit less darkness.

Everything he has written prior to this is set in the same world, and benefits from being read in the published order, which means starting with the high hurdle that is the First Law trilogy, a long work with a bit of a, shall we say, John le Carré ending. For all its many virtues, it can be offputting to new readers.

Half a King marks the beginning of a new series, with a move towards the YA market, meaning a bit less brutality and a younger lead. The story is entirely self-contained - there's no need to worry about waiting for the next book - and it's a good deal shorter than the First Law books. It still contains a selection of Abercrombie's great characters, and is heavily influenced by the author's love of Viking historical fiction.

I enjoyed it a lot, as I have enjoyed everything he has done to date. I gave it 4/5.