Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Half a King
Shattered Sea, book 1
by Joe Abercrombie

Not suited for life as a warrior and instead prepared for life in the Ministry, Prince Yarvi must unexpectedly take the throne and defend his new title and life against both enemies and former allies.

This story wastes no time getting things going. Just in the setup, Yarvi’s father and elder brother are killed, Yarvi is called on to take the throne, and someone close to him betrays his to steal it. Everything after that is an adventure that covers a lot of ground, and sea, as he makes strategic moves to get revenge against his betrayer. As the setup shows us, not everyone we meet along the way is who they claim to be and Yarvi cleverly adapts to every new obstacle put in his way.

I loved Yarvi as our main character. He’s an unexpected hero, using his wits to survive and never letting his disability hold him back. His physical shortcomings cause others to underestimate him and ignore how willing and able he is to survive against whatever they throw at him. With the ragtag crew he assembles on the difficult journey to reclaim his stolen throne, there were plenty of great moments between characters, twists, and reveals before we get to the end.

Great start to a fantasy series and plenty of action without getting overwhelming. Looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us in the next one.