In modern fantasy there are just a few names that stand out above the rest, the likes of Sanderson, Rothfuss and Lynch. Over the last five years one name has risen to stand among those powerful authors, Mark Lawrence. Able to release a novel once a year, like clockwork, the writer has produced two popular trilogies. Winner of many awards, Mr. Lawrence has become a major name in book blogging/vlogging circles. The buzz over such a popular artist is not to be ignored, which led me to pick up his debut novel.
Prince of Thorns, released in 2011, is the first installment of The Broken Empire Trilogy. Earning quick critic and fan praise, the novel was a finalist for Goodreads Choice Awards Best Fantasy Novel of 2011, falling just behind A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. Leading Mark Lawrence to his popular young career.
After being forced to witness the slaughter of his Mother and young brother at an age of nine, young Prince Honorous Jorg Ancarth joins a group of blood-hungry mercenaries. Quickly rising through there ranks, at the tender age of fifteen, the prince now leads the ragtag band. Returning his party to his homeland, Jorg faces his father and King with his disappointment of not doing anything about their families murder. Driven by the mad goal to take his rightful place on the throne, young prince Ancarth will not let anything stand in his way, as he plans to unite the kingdoms and rule an empire.
The most important thing to say about this novel is: Jorg Ancarth is a bad ass; and there is no delicate way to put that. With his dark history and motives, the 15-year-old literally fears nothing. Facing impossible odds and evil magic, he is able to keep his composure and stand confident in any adverse situation. Using brutal violence to lead his men and get what he wants, the boy is all competence in a tough, angry world.
The mysterious fantasy world created is one of the biggest draws to continue on with reading this series. The many unique kingdoms run by powerful, aggressive leaders, mixed with a landscape full of dangerous obstacles. The largest mystery involved is the inclusion of modern technologies described as ancient elements. Bringing to question, how this world came to be.
For being written completely in first-person perspective, the story is pitch black in darkness. There is an evilness to our hero, and despite the need to cheer him on, you are left unsure if you should. Full of violence, the action is brutal and ruthless, and expect no morals or codes to come into play, as nothing will stand in the protagonists goals.
Absolutely worth the hype, this novel stands unique in its genre. At times this book is shocking, and it drives you forward with what could happen next. Cram packed full of action, there are multiple climaxes and it is amazing how some of the situations are handled. 4/5, I highly recommend this book for fans of fantasy, and should not be missed. Eager to continue on this trilogy and more, there is nothing quite like finding an author of this quality, and a world that you need to explore more of.
Thanks booknerds, it’s what I wrote, if you want excuses, come and take them.