HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
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Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 389 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
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.
‘Dark and relentless, Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two in the morning page turner. Jaw-dropping’
‘This is a lean, cold knife-thrust of a novel, a revenge fantasy anchored on the compelling voice and savage purpose of its titular Prince. There is never a safe moment in Lawrence’s debut’
Robert Redick, author of The Red-Wolf Conspiracy
'Prince of Thorns got hold of me from page one and didn’t let go until I finished it on my second reading session on the second day. There’s humour here, gut-wrenching realism, high adventure, something that might be magic in the story, and certainly is in the telling of it. It was almost as if the shade of David Gemmell had returned, somewhat nastier for the experience. Thoroughly recommended. Thanks Mr Lawrence'
'Prince of Thorns is one of this year’s most anticipated fantasy debuts; and now I know why! It's incredible'
- File size : 1136 KB
- Print length : 389 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : HarperVoyager (4 August 2011)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- ASIN : B005918WU0
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: 39,679 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Rape is just a normal part of this world, and you've got to hurry up and finish in time to lock the burn door before the fire gets to you (no, your rape victim stays in the barn).
This book has major gender issues. Not worth the gross feeling the morning after.
I'd recommend this book for 16+ yo readers because it is very gory.
I particularly liked the writer's style and quality of writing - he reads as someone who has actually worked to hone his craft. The author uses his skills to make his story a captivating and engaging experience. There are too many books these days with incorrect grammar and poor sentence construction - this author is not one of them.
In this novel in particular Jorg is basically an anti-hero but I found myself liking him more for it. This phenomenon continues as the book goes on and really takes root when you start to read the next 2 books in the series. There are hints of secrets and idea that aren't fully explored unless you keep reading and continue into the next 2 books so don't expect to have all the answers at the end of this book.
I will admit that it was difficult to remember all of the characters. It seemed to me that a lot of minor characters were introduced very quickly and seeing as they are all cut from a similar cloth it made it that bit more difficult to remember although I found that it did not detract from the experience much at all.
The character development in this book is quite good and the author manages to make the characters, Jorg in particular, grow in such a way that you may not notice it at first which I found to be quite interesting.
Overall this was a very good read and well worth the price.
Top reviews from other countries
I was expecting grimdark. I was expecting a book that would put me through the emotional wringer. I was expecting blood and torture dripping from every page. I was expecting to have to sleep with the light on. This is a book I've been putting off reading for years because I thought it was the kind of book you had to creep up on, making sure that you had the psychological and emotional strength at hand to cope with an onslaught of pain, terror, and atrocity.
What I got was...
...kind of cute.
The rape and pillage and torture I was expecting nearly all happens off-page, which reduces the shock value quite considerably. Jorg is just a little bit too successful, as well - a few reverses would have heightened the suspense somewhat.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. It was a nice, fun read, and a lot better than many. I liked young Jorg (although a certain revelation towards the end that is supposed to explain his behaviour at the beginning had me rolling my eyes a bit), and it was a pleasant change to read about a young protagonist who is intelligent, driven, and ruthless. It reminded me a lot of Tamora Pierce's The Song of the Lioness Quartet - although the latter has a lot less burning of peasant villages. I suppose the similarity is mostly that the protagonists of both are young people whom who can actually imagine succeeding in their goals.
The setting is quite interesting - a post-apocalyptic Europe - and I have some curiosity regarding what Lawrence will do with it next. I'm not a post-apocalypse-fiction reader in general, and this aspect had rather put me off - but it turned out to slip in rather nicely, and I found that it added to the story rather than taking away.
Essentially, if the prospect of having to read your way through graphic descriptions of rape and torture is putting you off - don't worry. Get stuck in and enjoy.
Will I read the rest of the series? Yes, probably. Maybe not immediately - it didn't quite grab me that hard - but Jorg is an interesting and likeable protagonist, and I'll enjoy seeing what he does next.
This is the first in a trilogy (linked, I understand to a critically aclaimed later trilogy that I've not reached yet). So it has alot of work to draw the world and work up the protagonist: Prince Jorg (or brother Jorg) who we 1st meet in trauma aged only 10. He is 14 through most of the story of how he, so young, comes into his power. There is the lack of doubt or hesitation that typified a psychopath. There is so much focus on that, there must have been a risk of it feeling bleak. However the intelligence and depth put into the character and his 'companions' and tutors, is too engaging and interesting. The book quickly builds layers, challenges and scenarios that illustrate how our 'hero' thinks. The narrative switches between early and later moments, switching from a damaged prodigy aged 10, to a terrifying brigand chief of 14. The depth and variety to the voice of his characters is one of the author's talents and engages the interest and if not sympathy (for such a psycho!) at least empathy.
The detail in even minor parts' characters make this a richly adorned journey into ruthless war. The renaissance world building is good and it's credibility and detail is powerfully vivid. If there are hints of brigand stereotypes they turn out to be hide clever small things that turn out to be important at a second glance.
(1 of 3 in Series)
I finished my reread of Prince of Thorns a few days ago - and I loved it just as much as the first time I read it, about 8 years ago, and started my love affair with Marks writing. Why on earth have I left it so long to revisit this series!?
"There’s something brittle in me that will break before it bends."
Jorg Ancrath is an antihero. I remember Jorg not being a nice guy, but I forgot just how bad. He may be the hero of our story, but you wouldn't know it if you ever crossed him, and he's only 13 when we first meet him. Don't let that lull you into a false sense of security though, there's no end to the levels of depravity he will go to, and where his ambition will take him in his quest to be King by 15.
"Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you'll find an edge to cut you."
Over the book we see how Jorg has grown to become what he has, we delve into his tragic past and his family history. We also see how the world is landscaped, merging fantasy with science - a concept I never knew I loved until this series.
Don't be put off by my headline, the story is, on the whole very well written and worth the read. The characters are well rounded and quite believable. The main character is no angel but he does have a moral compass and you do grow to respect him as the books progresses, even if not like, perhaps?
Don't be worried about the levels of violence, yes it is there but not in graphic detail and leaves you to imagine as much or as little as you like. There are some shocks but then that's what I think makes the story that much more realistic - not everything is pink fluffy clouds and unicorns, life can be tough and sometimes you have to show it.
But to the elephant in the room and that ending! It's almost like the author just didn't know how to complete the story and gave up - so unsatisfying and by far its weakest point. The third book was building, pun intended, into a new level incorporating the past and the future but it just fizzled out into a damp squib and didn't really conclude. Perhaps I missed something and should read it again but I've not had to do that in any previous book.
So in conclusion, I was left disapointed. It started well, built strongly with interesting potential that unfortunately it just didn't live up to. Give it a go, may be if others feel the same way it might tempt the author to re-think how they ended this trilogy and maybe give them the inspiration to write the ending it richly deserved?
The first half of the book is centred around building the character of Jorg. It becomes tedious after a while, every person he meets becomes part of his psychopathic, murderous visions. The other characters are always two dimensional, all the way through the book, they're never really built upon. The endless back and forth in time is a drag at first, but after a while it adds to the present time of the storyline. I almost stopped reading it after a few chapters, I was tired of the main character gloating and fantasising about killing, he's only a teenager.
After persevering and reaching halfway, the book gets more interesting.There's a few twists and turns that are hinted at through the book. The ending has a good build up ( most of the book actually ) and doesn't disappoint, looking forward to reading the next in the series.