Sunday, June 1, 2014

New Book Review - Prince of Thorns

Book - Prince of Thorns
Writer - Mark Lawrence 
Series - The Broken Empire #1  
Published By - Ace/Voyager

[This is part of a series of tribute/celebration regarding the release of 'Prince of Fools' by Mark Lawrence (who is one of my favorite authors), which will be released this month. Over the month I will try to do reviews all of his books ending with the 'Prince of fools']
I read this book way before I started my blog, even before I had my own kindle on one of my friends' kindle. And I was blown away by it. This book was quite a treat with its controversial yet somehow likeable protagonist, witty and dark humor, unique and original setting, unorthodox magic system and exquisite amount of violence. It introduced me to grim-dark or dark fantasy and its a genre I adore now.

'Prince of Thorns' is about Jorg, and Jorg is not a good guy by any stretch. He rapes, he kills needlessly, he tortures, he sacrifices others to survive, he cheats to win his battles and does many other things that no good guy will ever do. He is one of the most selfish protagonists who does so much mayhem just because of his whims and most of the time doesn't care about the consequences at all. There is not any side character he won't sacrifice to reach his goals and that keeps all readers at the edge of the seat. And Mark Lawrence makes it even more harder by creating such nice and vivid characters which sometimes makes you hate Jorg that much more when they die. Yet you can not but love Jorg either, he is the epitome of arrogance, the guy who would break any law just cause others say he should not. And his back-story and motives for his actions is created with quite a nice way although once again there is a twist as it is told through his perspective which makes it that much more biased and confuses the readers once again with the notion of whether to love or hate Jorg.

The setting of the book is another point which makes it stand out. It is a kind of high fantasy in post-apocalyptic setting with an interesting magic system which blends a bit of technology with the elements seen most of the time in high fantasy's. The slow reveal of the setting just makes it that much more intriguing. The author mixes this with two separate timeline in Jorg's life and reaches slowly towards his attempt at revenge with some nicely written action sequences. Mark Lawrence really shows his ability to imagine and his authority over his characters and worlds with his seemingly haphazard story telling reaching its climax with chaotically deliberate precision. 

Another nice little treat is the little passages at the end of some chapters with some interesting bits about the members of Jorg's gang of bandits. I read this passages many times and every time enjoyed it better than so many lengthy passages I read in other books.
This is a book that I can not recommend to everyone despite my immense enjoyment of it. The almost lack of morality of the protagonist and some of his actions will most definitely drive away some readers, so I have to deduct half a star.  But those who love anything to do with dark fantasy and controversial lead characters and still haven't read this book should stop reading this review and get their hands on this book as soon as possible. Trust me, it is worth a lot of effort.

A well deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars.   

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