Prince of Thorns
Books | Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
BOOK ONE IN THE BROKEN EMPIRE TRILOGY“Prince of Thorns deserves attention as the work of an iconoclast who seems determined to turn that familiar thing, Medievalesque Fantasy Trilogy, entirely on its head.”—Locus When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of 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?
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"Reread<br/><br/>My first time with this book was with audible. James Clamp had a great voice and gave the protagonists Jorg his due but the editing was terrible. The pauses so great I thought he'd start a new chapter every few mins. So that being said I couldn't enjoy the story and a reread was in order. Why? Because Jorg is unlike anyone I have ever seen and this intrigued me beyond measure.<br/><br/>'I've learned to wear my face as a mask, and generally I can write what I choose on it.'<br/><br/>The protagonist was a brutal bloodthirsty child with no redeemable qualities. I have never heard of such a thing. So again I was excited to pick this story up with my book group. Jorg was simply a demon spawn, unpredictable and brilliant. At first I began to wonder why the brothers followed him. Jorg was young, untried in war. A few of the brothers liked blood and gold. Two loved him. But what about the rest? Jorg didn't inspire loyalty he almost tricked it out of people. His most buoyant quality was how he could play a crowd or even a single man. Jorg looked for weakness, strength, pride, brutality and used it to his best ability. Clever but still wild and impulsive. It was chilling.<br/><br/>Though in all honestly I persistently lost my concentration. The writing style was a bit obtuse at times and it even took me rereading to understand the twist. I wonder if my confusion is due to Jorg's circumstances or if it was just the writing style itself. Also I felt that there were gaps in the story. Jorg would go somewhere and do something then head in the opposite direction with no thought to it. So again I'm unsure if it was just the circumstances of the plot so I will try book two and hopefully puzzle it out.<br/><br/>The author didn't give his readers much to grasp at in the beginning. Ages or even simple descriptions alluded me thru most of the story. With Jorg being a teen I had just assumed all the brothers were of similar age but many chapters down the road I learned that wasn't the case. So many character analysis were few and far between for example page 205 I finally found out Jorg was 6 ft tall. Simple and inconsequential to most but to me it was difficult to build the world in my mind.<br/><br/>Not to sound sadistic but I enjoyed the brutality of the tale. Jorg almost had a sickness it seemed. Doing whatever he pleased and didn't care if he killed someone else's mother even though he lost his own. The story became more alluring somehow. Frightening even. Unpredictability is one of the scariest things in the world to me. If you know how someone will act you can adjust accordingly but being face to face with a wild animal, do you fight or flee?"
"The Broken Empire Trilogy was my introduction to Mark Lawrence and I have enjoyed it less on the reread since enjoying his other works. I'm so glad that Lawrence got this darkness out of his system with this series because I could only handle the intense, though rarely gratuitous, violence for so long. A story of revenge and ambition that makes you question your own morals when you find yourself rooting for Jorg of Ancrath. "
"This is a book about a young unlikable character and his band of killers. Prince Jorg has seen some rough stuff and is treated terribly. At a young age he seeks revenge and he stops at nothing to get it. I adored that he was the villain and getting to see his mindset. Even though he was young (13 or 14) he is mature. He is a savage and holds back for no one. I am excited to continue on with the trilogy. I truly enjoyed this book!"
"I originally read Prince of Thorns in 2011. I just re-read it (3/15) for the Group Challenge for the <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/107259-r-fantasy-discussion-group">r/Fantasy discussion group</a>. My original review left a lot out, so here's a new review.<br/><br/><i>“Tell me, tutor,' I said. 'Is revenge a science, or an art?” </i><br/><br/>The world has been left a deserted wasteland after the night of a thousand suns a millennium ago, and what was left broke into a hundred feudal kingdoms ruled by a hundred feudal, bloodthirsty, greedy kings, and one emperor who rules them all. Bands of robbers roam the land, and each king engages in a brutal game of power.<br/><br/>Jorg is the son of one such king, and as a child, witnesses the barbaric murder of his mother and younger brother, left for dead in a bed of briers that held him tight. And that broke him.<br/><br/>Now he's the definition of an anti-hero searching for vengeance, but without a shred of conscience. As what we would still consider a child, he leads a band of brothers -- yes, Robin Hood really reflected here for me -- but doesn't really flinch at the idea of them dying. He kills his friends, he attacks his family, theft and rape and murder don't really shake him.<br/><br/>But in the midst of all of this, he's also examining himself and the world around him through the lenses of his education, stretching from Plato to Sun Tzu to Nietzsche, and thinking about concepts like free will and morality. I really think the concept of free will versus the guiding hand are going to be following in the remaining books, and I'm curious to see what will happen.<br/><br/>Trigger warning for my friends: if you bat an eyelash at any sort of brutality -- bloody mayhem, rape, murder, swearing, whatever, steer clear. This book has been extremely controversial for how dark it is, but I think it's got an interesting redemption in some of the underlying story themes. And sometimes you just want a great big old violent frolic anyway."
"This was a good book. It was a good, dark, thought-provoking book written in a way I found to have that unique something that can only be found in Mark Lawrence's writing style. I have a difficult time reading too-violent books (like RF Kuang Poppy War books) that just make me sick in the detail of it. However - the sociopathic violence this main character displays I think doesn't seem as sickening as it would because it is being told from the point of view of said sociopath. So it comes across as kind of a weirdly removed, detached approach to morality. I'll stop there lest I give wrong impressions or whatever but by the end of the book I was actually hoping he would achieve his goal. <br/><br/>It is somewhat alarming and impressive to me how well Mark Lawrence writes dark, complicated child characters. <br/><br/>The audible version was not narrated well but I was interested enough in the story to tolerate the weird cadence and abnormally long pauses and follow along. I'll probably read the e-book versions of the next two books even though I have the Audible version."