Book Review: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Wow. This book is everything I wish Game of Thrones had been. Seriously.

Joe Abercrombie has created a world as real as our own, filled with subtle shades of grey between Good and Evil. He has created a protagonist you can really empathize with who has to navigate a world full of treachery and initial impressions can be reversed by deeds and companionship.

I think it’s rare to find an epic fantasy novel that is so full of nuance and where things are not black and white. Sure, Martin does this very well in the Game of Thrones series, but I felt like those novels were just a slog to get through. Abercrombie has a tightly written, fast-paced action adventure novel filled to the brim with political intrigue and echoes of war all the while building characters that really resonate.

Yarvi is the hero of this story, and he’s also disabled. Imagine a coming-of-age story about a boy that would probably have been best friends with Tyrion Lannister, and see how he does when the worst is thrown upon him. I love that this story champions intellectual prowess over physical strength. And the plot twists! Nothing was predictable, and the story just grabbed a hold and wouldn’t let go. This is definitely going on my list of favorites. I highly recommend it.

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Sansa Stark by Bubug on DeviantArt

Sansa Stark by Bugbug on DeviantArt

A beautiful gel pen drawing of Sansa Stark by Bubug on DeviantArt. Click through to check out more work by this amazing artist!

Inauguration

Kara Thrace Battlestar Galactica http://indyman33.deviantart.com/

“Nothing But the Rain” http://indyman33.deviantart.com/

I intended to write my first post on this blog about what is arguably the best science fiction television show to have ever appeared on TV, Battlestar Galatica, but this blog is so much more than that. The SciFi/Fantasy genre has always been kind of the underground, “nerd/geek” culture stomping ground of popular media until lately. We can thank the new mainstream shows like True Blood and Game of Thrones for really bringing this genre out from the dungeons and into the light. This genre has always been important to me as a voracious reader and budding amateur fantasy artist, and it’s so exciting to see more people come to appreciate what the world of SciFi/Fantasy has to offer.

With this blog, I intend to cover what’s trending in the genre as well as my thoughts on everything SciFi/Fantasy. I plan to feature popular (and not so popular) tv shows, what’s happening in the book publishing world, Cons (Khans!!!!!), fantasy art/artists, and cos play, among other things. Join me on this epic adventure in (dis)covering this exciting world and all the great things it has to offer.

I think for most people, science fiction and fantasy tap into the human experience in a very different and very real way. Yes, the settings are magnificent and strange and out of this world, but the emotion behind it is very real to the reader/viewer. It’s more than just dragons, fairies, elves, whatever (although that’s really great too!). It’s about the human experience. It’s a way to connect to our own lives through a different and magical lens. It’s a way to communicate to each other about the things that fascinate and excite us. I hope to tap into the readership a bit through this blog as well, so story ideas and guest blog posts are always welcome. This isn’t all just about my thoughts and experiences. I want to know what the best and brightest minds in the genre are thinking about too!

So, what do you hear?
Nothing but the rain.