Half a King (book one in the Shattered Sea series) is a suspenseful fantasy, a coming of age story, and a revenge story.
Prince Yarvi is born with only half of his left hand, earning the scorn of his father (and most of the court). His older brother is heir to the throne, so Yarvi has been trained as a Minister, an important position as adviser to the king that requires scholarship, knowledge of healing, and an understanding of politics and negotiation. A position that appears perfect for Yarvi, who has shown no skill as a warrior.
Before he can take his vows, however, his father and brother are killed, and a reluctant Yarvi becomes king to the chagrin of a court and populace who view him as weak and crippled. He takes a vow of revenge against those who are responsible for his father's death, but his quest for vengeance leads to a reversal he could never have expected.
Among others who have praised Abercrombie's latest work on Goodreads: Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Brent Weeks, and Rick Riordan.
An interesting cast of characters (well-drawn and dynamic), a standard plot with some serious twists, and a protagonist who must make the most of his own abilities. I'm eager for the next book in the series!
Not scheduled for release until July, but I'm going to publish review early as a Once Upon a Time entry. Will mention it again closer to publication date.
NetGalley/Random House/Del Rey Spectra
Fantasy. July 15, 2014. Print version: 352 pages.