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Review of King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Review of King of Thorns by Mark LawrenceKing of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Series: The Broken Empire #3
on 2012-08-07
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Pages: 432

Author WebsiteAmazonKoboiBooksBarnes&Noble

The boy who would be king has gained the throne... At age nine, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath vowed to avenge his slaughtered mother and brother—and to punish his father for not doing so. At fifteen, he began to fulfill that vow. Now, at eighteen, he must fight for what he has taken by torture and treachery. Haunted by the pain of his past, and plagued by nightmares of the atrocities he has committed, King Jorg is filled with rage. And even as his need for revenge continues to consume him, an overwhelming enemy force marches on his castle. Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But he has found a long-hidden cache of ancient artifacts. Some might call them magic. Jorg is not certain—all he knows is that their secrets can be put to terrible use in the coming battle...

Holy crap these are awesomely dark reads. I feel… weighted after I read them. Kinda depressed. I love it when a book can get to me and change my mood. This bumped up for me from the last. I think I’m starting to see what made Jorg the way he is and it’s making me understand him more than the last book. These tidbits are just heart wrenching.

I don’t even know where to begin. How about a quote:

“Sometimes I wished I could cut away old memories and let the wind take them. If a sharp knife could pare away the weakness of those days, I would slice until nothing but the hard lessons remained.”

It’s not even one of the best quotes, but it struck me when I read it. It sets the stage, in my mind.

The world is still holding my interest, though I’m not sure if anything will come out of this ruined world. I’m not sure if it’s just something that’s there or if it will tie into some grander idea. I hope it will be the latter, and I’ll find out soon enough because I’m already reading the last book in the series.

Jorg continues to amaze, disgust, delight, and ensnare me. I will say this: I’m terrified of the last book. I have a need to see people who experience hard times happy. I want—for once—things to go their way, for them to experience joy amidst all the hell they’ve been through. I don’t think I’m going to get that with Jorg. I’m preparing myself, but my idiot brain isn’t listening. I hold hope, foolishly.

Katherine has grown into quite the interesting character. The snippets of her diary are very well done and introduce depths to her personality. Even the other brothers seemed to come alive just a bit more in this book. And though we spent very little time with her, I’m dying to know more about Miana—a character that shows great promise.

I’ve read a few reviews that said the time jump got confusing. At the beginning of each chapter it tells you whether you’re in present day (Wedding Day) or in the past (Four Years Earlier). As long as you look at the title for each chapter, you should be planted firmly, although sometimes it can be a bit jarring where the end off and pick up. And FYI, Katherine’s journal entries are in order, so they would start four years earlier and lead up to the wedding day—no hopping between time frames when reading those.

My complaint for this book is a couple scenes had such a huge buildup and then poof! it’s over. Also, there’s a scene with Coddin that just came out of left field for me. I didn’t feel anything led up to his confession, and though touching, it just didn’t sit right.

As you can see, I have minor complaints. Lawrence’s writing to me is simply stunning and, at certain points, harrowing. I. Loved. It. It’s heavy, though. As I said, I was depressed when reading this. There’s some scenes that forced me take a break. I needed to breath and look at something cute and fluffy (my dog filled this requirement). It’s easy for me to lose myself in a good book, especially one I can connect with on some level, and Lawrence stole me away.

So overall, if you remotely liked the first one, I highly recommend the second.

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.

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