Synopsis from Goodreads: Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.
But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.
“The fool strikes. The wise man smiles, and watches, and learns. Then strikes.”
Nothing really original about it, nothing really bad about it. A decent read overall with a few flaws.
Yarvi, the main character, didn’t do much for me. His circumstances were interesting but his personality was a bit wishy washy. Sometimes I felt like he was quite smart, sometimes he just seemed like an angry child. All people have different facets to their personalities but it seemed at times that he was someone else entirely.
The character “Nothing” annoyed the crap out of me, always going on about “steel being the answer” and the “Last Door” (Death). When authors repeat phrases too much they lose their poetry.
The supporting characters were at least decent. Jaud and Rulf were highlights. Sumael felt a little bit like the one-female-character trope, but what can you do? In general I’m not overly a fan of the way Abercrombie writes women. They’re either queens/princesses or super tough warriors who reject femininity completely.
The story itself is entertaining. It’s nothing fantasy readers haven’t read before, but every author brings a new voice to something, and Abercrombie’s was good enough.
I am currently reading the second book, and this first novel really is only an introduction to the Shattered Sea.
3 Ships- Liked It.