Review – Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Fantasy
Tags: , ,


The holiday reading continues, this time with another author I’ve been shamelessly waiting to complete a trilogy before starting. Much has clearly been written about Mark Lawrence’s work and, now, having torn through Prince of Thorns in just two nights, I can see why.

Firstly, let me just say that Mark Lawrence is a fantastic writer but he is clearly some kind of super human for the fact that he can manage four kids, a job that obviously requires some pretty huge brain power, a number of interesting hobbies as well as writing top notch novels. The awe and envy I feel are untold.

On to the novel, however. Prince of Thorns is brilliant in my opinion, plain and simple. The writing is so consumable it takes an effort of will to put the book down. The story is gripping and the way the backstory is woven in amongst the action, bringing reason to the carnage but not excuses, is skilfully done. Following Jorg Ancrath, born a Prince but now a leader of a rag-tag band of thieves and mercenaries, we are introduced to a world at once medieval yet strangely not. Jorg and his band of brothers are on a murderous, meandering path when we first meet them but as the story unfolds, the boy-warrior with an evil temper rediscovers his direction and sets to his work with a relentless determination.

There’s much talk of the game, as though life and death where a chess board. It is an apt metaphor. Jorg is all about the long game and not worried about making sacrifices, even though they are the lives of his road brothers. His is a war of vengeance; one of attrition for he has already lost all that matters to him. It is the thing that has shaped him into this Prince of Thorns.

Whilst the action is brutal at times, Jorg is a hugely engaging character. There’s a lot to empathise with and much to fear. But, though Jorg is the main point of view in the book, it is the brilliant cast of supporting actors and the subtle yet wonderful setting that really made the whole novel for me, enticing me sit up most of the night and read and read. Lawrence is a masterful story teller and, clearly, a fantastically creative mind. Now, I’m off to read the next instalment. It’s that good.

My copy
Published by Harper Voyager


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