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Review of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Review of Prince of Thorns by Mark LawrencePrince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Series: The Broken Empire #1
on 2011-08-02
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Pages: 336

Author WebsiteAmazonKoboiBooksBarnes&Noble

When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king… It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him—and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

I’m a little… sad. This book was heavy for me, but in a delightfully addictive way.

So there’s two sides to me. One that thinks everyone can be saved, that every soul has something salvageable in them. I want to see the good in people. Then there’s the other side who sees all the bad and doesn’t hold an ounce of hope. I can’t imagine anything in a person who murders a child that deserves even my spit. Those two sides are constantly waging a war. So, for me, Jorg fit in nicely with my little internal battle. He’s a character that lives up to my hopelessness while teasing me with tastes of a long forgotten, long buried good. The book is a tug-of-war on those emotions. Personally, it’s a total change of pace that ensnared me rather quickly. I like darker books, darker characters, so this energized me. I will say that this book is definitely not for everyone. There will be (and are based on other reviews) readers who can’t stand Jorg and won’t finish the book because of some of his actions.

The world was another crazy tornado Lawrence threw at me. I don’t usually spend too much time thinking on a world. It’s always a mere glimpse, and once I’ve got a good base understanding, I don’t give it a second thought. This book, however, threw me later on with mentions of… I’ll just say “stuff,” that had me reeling with questions. That’s a damn hard thing to do to me. Worlds are always secondary to characters, but Lawrence made me curious. At the moment, I can’t think of another author who actually got me to sit up and take notice of a world as he did.

A lot of the secondary characters were heaped together in a rowdy bunch of men. A few characters stepped out of the mold, but I personally feel that Jorg simply stole the show, especially since it’s in his PoV. We don’t venture from it, which I must say I enjoyed.

Lawrence’s voice was also a huge bonus for me. I enjoyed his writing immensely. The way he wrote Jorg was simply amazing. How he could get me to hate a character as much as I loved him is beyond me. I think maybe it was Jorg’s age that had me aching. I think if Jorg was thirty, I wouldn’t have liked him. Even though he talked like an adult, there were times when his age showed: A boy who’d seen and experienced stuff no child should and had no idea how to properly deal with it.

I can’t say why I’m not obsessed by this book. I want to read the next one, and within this month. I thought about the book when I wasn’t reading it and found every ounce of opportunity to sit down with it. But I’m still at the slightest distance from it. I think I need more time with Jorg, to understand more, to delve deeper into his character. Maybe after the second book I’ll become obsessed. I’m certainly looking forward to the possibility.

So overall, I’m absolutely in love with this book. I’ve recommended it to a few people, but not my mom. She wouldn’t appreciate it. However, I think my sister would enjoy it. If you can stand a darker character, I can’t recommend this enough.

About Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.

Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.

The Prince of Thorns is his first published novel. It is the beginning of a projected trilogy following the fortunes of Honorous Jorg Ancrath.

4 thoughts on “Review of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

  1. Morris Dancer (@MorrisF1) says:

    Just finished this. Liked it quite a lot. Thought there was room to flesh out the secondary characters a little more and perhaps the world, but I really liked the plot, Jorg and the way the story unfolded. The magic was quite interesting too.

    • booksbylkevans says:

      I think you’ll find the second book more satisfying. And then the third backs off secondary character development and focuses on the world a tad bit more. The way the story rolls out grew my love the for the series with each book. I hope you continue to the second book. The series as a whole is definitely one that will stick with you.

  2. Leona says:

    Oh my why didn’t I read this book before! It’s so awesome in some many levels. I’m at page 350 of King of Thorns now and it gets better and better. I haven’t drawn any fan art in years but I became so obsessed with these books I am going to pick up the pencils after a whopping decade and draw Jorg fan art.

    Btw Mark Lawrence is collecting the book praises, don’t forget to submit your reviews here:

    • booksbylkevans says:

      I do love this series! Lawrence’s prose is something that stays with you for some time. I agree with you: the series just kept getting better. And Lawrence often posts fan art. Hopefully you can catch his attention with yours!


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