I purchased Half a King right around when it was released and receiving mostly glowing reviews. This would be and was my first foray into a Joe Abercrombie novel after hearing about how great of a fantasy author he is. I have to say that Half a King draws you in right away. Yarvi, the novels main character is not your typical fantasy character. He's born with only one full working arm/hand. This disability absolutely defines Yarvi as a prince, a son, and a person.
However as the novel continues on you see Yarvi begin to build into so much more. And for that I really enjoyed Half a King. I think the way that Joe Abercrombie weaved in both a fascinating tale with a novel that watches the struggles of Yarvi mutate over time was fascinating. Yarvi as a character is just so unlike what you normally read in a fantasy novel. However the rest of Half a King feels like such a standard fantasy fare. An adventure that leads to a rather convenient conclusion leading to future novels in the series.
I loved the world and character building in Half a King, but the adventure itself is dull and moves far to quickly. There's never any weight put at Yarvi or his companions dangers. Things just move and get figured out with little thought or reflection. So the novel just keeps moving never lingering in one spot or with one idea. And that's really where my love for Half a King started to fade. The deeper I got into the book the more my love for the character of Yarvi began to waver and my disappointment with the standard fantasy adventure began to grow.
I still believe that Half a King is absolutely worth a read especially if you don't dip your toe in the fantasy well all that often. It's an interesting premise that doesn't utilize its ideas as well as it could. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue with the series but at this point am at least glad I read Half a King.