Review

Review: Half A King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie

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4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Having only previously read one of Joe Abercrombie’s books (Red Country), happy to read more of his work and curious to see how it would compare, I was glad when this was chosen as my book group’s Fantasy Book of the Month for August. Immediately I could tell that Abercrombie had adapted his writing style for a young adult audience – things were much more toned down. The language was less heavy, both in terms of description and swearing (!), and there was pretty much a complete absence of sex and violence – although the latter comes more into the story later on.

I was immediately thrown into Yarvi’s world and this was not an issue – the world and culture was slowly built up around the story as and when needed. Definitely a ‘smaller scale’ fantasy in comparison to Joe Abercrombie’s other work, this is by no means a ‘light’ fantasy. Despite the young adult target audience, it still retains that style that ‘Lord Grimdark’ is so well known for, whilst still being suitable for younger readers.

To me, it didn’t feel massively eventful. I think I was expecting a bit more action and whilst this definitely picks up towards the end, it was a slightly slower story than expected. And as I’ve come to learn from dark fantasy – once things seem like they’re working out and getting better for the protagonist, you can guarantee they’re only going to get worse…

I have to admit that I didn’t make too many notes on this book, as I read most of it whilst sat in cafes around Leiden and didn’t have a notebook with me. I apologise for this review, it doesn’t feel quite as coherent as I’d like it to be but right now my mind is filled with archaeological theory and I haven’t worked on much blog stuff in a little while! But what I can say is that it is definitely worth the read – particularly for those who haven’t read any Joe Abercrombie before, it’s a good way to ease yourself in to his style of grimdark fantasy.

Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: August 2014

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Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

August 2014

Last month I read a total of seven books: Half A King (Shattered Seas #1) by Joe Abercrombie, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Dragon Age: The World of Thedas by David Gaider, Red Moon by Benjamin Percy, Roomies by Sara Zarr, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Dead Angels by Gunnar Roxen.

So I didn’t have as much time to read this month, what with starting university! I’ve finished one book, and completely read another since I got here almost three weeks ago. It hasn’t been a great month for ratings; my standout book this month was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Not quite as amazing as people said it was, but I did enjoy it – even if I guessed the ending.

 

Challenge progress:

  • I read zero books towards the Avengers vs. X-Men Challenge. Oops. Next month’s villain is Magneto, but if we’re talking about 1970’s era Magneto then I’d rather recruit him, thank you very much.
  • I have currently read 104 books towards my Goodreads goal. I changed my goal from 100 to 125 this month.

 

Currently reading:

The Martian by Andy Weir Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

How was August for you?

Dragons and Jetpacks

Dragons & Jetpacks: Books of the Month, August 2014

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Dragons & Jetpacks is a science fiction and fantasy bookgroup, based on Goodreads. The group is open to all, all that is required is a Goodreads account. We read two books a month, one fantasy and one sci-fi – the second week of each month is when members make suggestions, and the third is used for voting. We’re always happy to meet fellow fans of the genres, so you’re more than welcome to join the group!

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Half A King by Joe Abercrombie

Goodreads

“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand. The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge. The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could. Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

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The Martian by Andy Weir

Goodreads

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit–he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Have you read either of this month’s picks? What did you think?