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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic new dark fantasy, great debut novel
I can't believe there isn't more buzz about this book. I could not put it down and I am truly choosy about fantasy, mostly because we have been spoiled in the last few years with books from the likes of Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, Brent Weeks and Pat Rothfuss. Prince of Thorns read like a combination of Weeks and Abercrombie with a dash of GRRM thrown in - this is noir...
Published on Dec 11 2011 by B. Lawson

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written, but Deeply Disturbing
Jorg is a vicious, depraved psychopath. The novel is extremely violent (so if you don't like dark fantasy with graphic, violent scenes I would recommend avoiding this novel).

Jorg, and his band of "brothers" are raping, killing, pillaging criminals. Jorg suffered traumatic events in his youth with the death of his mother and brother and vowed revenge on those...
Published 21 months ago by A. Soares


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic new dark fantasy, great debut novel, Dec 11 2011
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This review is from: Prince of Thorns (Hardcover)
I can't believe there isn't more buzz about this book. I could not put it down and I am truly choosy about fantasy, mostly because we have been spoiled in the last few years with books from the likes of Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, Brent Weeks and Pat Rothfuss. Prince of Thorns read like a combination of Weeks and Abercrombie with a dash of GRRM thrown in - this is noir fantasy at its best. A dark, flawed hero, a mission of mad revenge, a mix of crude and cultured - this book has it all. The humor is grim and bloody and there are no light themes, so tread carefully if you like your stories cheerful. It is very well written indeed, and I find that it's always trickier in first person, plus the alternative chapters between past and present can be distracting inn a less deft hand. Not here though, they just build like a carefully layered cake, adding depth and flavor with each turn. If you don't know this author yet, you should. Can hardly wait for the second installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alex From 'A Clockwork Orange' As Yet Another Contender For The 'Iron Throne', Oct. 31 2014
By 
Corey Lidster (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
[[SPOILERS... Sort of... ]]
If you can imagine Alex, the prodigiously intelligent and ultra-violent teen anti-hero from 'A Clockwork Orange', leading an army of grizzled bandits into a vicious guerilla war over yet another claim to the Iron Throne (with a low-key temporal twist), you might get an idea of what this first book of 'The Broken Empire' promises. The first-person story-telling that fails so grandly for Patrick Rothfuss in 'The Name of the Wind' and 'The Wise Man's Fear' succeeds here brilliantly; if Mark Lawrence wasn't profoundly influenced by Anthony Burgess' most famous work, which also happens to be narrated by its psychopathic protagonist, and displays much of the same blue-black gallows humor, I'll freakin' memorize Book 3 of the 'Kingkiller Chronicles'.

It could be argued that Westeros did have an 'Alex' on the throne -- Joffrey. But that little prick had the cruelty dialed up to 10 and the intellect dialed down to 5, with none of the wit of Alex or Prince Jorg. Lawrence manages to create a thoroughly believable and compelling rogue, an unapologetically selfish, brutal, and amoral thug, who is still somehow likeable, and even sympathetic. As a precocious observer of human nature whose bloody course was set by childhood tragedy, trauma, and blood betrayals, Jorg still defies explanation as a product of his culture, apparently. The ugly events that defined his young life are related as interludes, adding depth and perspective to the characters as the main plot races forward. As the tale approaches it's gore-spattered climax, however, the clues and questions seem to reveal that the hook-briar and the hatred might be exaggerations, used as emotional set-dressing for an underlying magical manipulation.*

The wry approach to violence that British writers all seem to share is displayed to good effect in 'Prince of Thorns', and Lawrence fires Jorg like a bullet, tearing a bloody hole through a strangely alien version of Medieval England. This story moves fast. It also happens to be one of the best fantasy novels I've read. And while I'm speaking of fantasy, it would be f***ing fantastic if 'The Kingkiller Chronicles' ended on page 20 of Book Three, with Jorg Ancrath collecting the heads of Bast and Kvothe.

Just in case my point was buried in all the smarm, Mark Lawrence has created the best fantasy since ASOIAF. It actually comes dangerously close to selling itself as historical fiction, but Jorg's Medieval England is not exactly the one we know and love; Lawrence plays a subtle game, using sleight of hand and alchemical word-play ('The Day Of A Thousand Suns'), with just enough clues to make the Walter M. Miller twist surprising without feeling cheap. For anyone who is as picky as I am about Fantasy novels, and can't stand the boring 'hero's quest' used ad nauseum by all the Tolkien imitators out there, Lawrence is near the top of my short list of writers who don't mind spilling the blood of hobbits and heroes: George R. R. Martin, Steve Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Glen Cook, Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, Richard K. Morgan, and David Anthony Durham.

Footnotes: *(The only wrong note Lawrence hits, IMO; a slightly hollow deus ex machina development from the only writer I know of who could actually build a synthetic god using a machine -- he's a specialist in artificial intelligence/rocket science/mega-mecha transformer battlesuits, with enough government clearance to do super-classified sight-seeing at Area 51 -- I won't specify further, but it felt like an editorial concession, and a bit of a sell-out... 'The Devil made me do it!' But I f***ing love this book, so I'm reserving judgement. Even if it was a concession made for the sake of 'selling' Jorg, it's a minor complaint that doesn't really diminish the work in any significant way.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no good end where he is concerned, July 21 2014
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This book is polarizing, and it comes down to whether you need your main character to be likeable or merely interesting. Jorg is not likeable. You would not want to be friends with him. He is pure poison who despoils everything he touches. There is no good end where he is concerned, but (and this is important) he is an interesting character. Some of the reviews dismiss him as merely a violent sociopath; he's not. Which is to say he's not merely anything. He's Jorg, and dismissing the series simply because the main character is a bad man is like saying Macbeth has no literary merit because the titular character is a jerk.

But rather than arguing with other reviewers (and I could spend all day doing that, honestly), I'll just say what I liked. It's a short trilogy, and it comes to a satisfying conclusion. Mr. Lawrence doesn't leave you hanging, he doesn't stretch it out, there aren't pointless subplots with characters whose only purpose is to die tragically. It's tightly woven, well written, and worth your time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Must Have!, Aug. 20 2014
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It's difficult not to be pulled in by this book. The artwork is what caught my eye at first. I then started reading it and I could not stop until it was over. A nice, light read compared to the works of Steven Erikson and Robert Jordan, but a great story nonetheless. Definitely worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Story, July 7 2014
After reading the five available books in the Song of Ice and Fire series I really felt empty and hsd trouble fjndjng anothed story as compelling. Luckily, I somehow stumbled on to this gem. Jorg Ancrath is not a good guy, in fact he's fairly evil, but completely fascinating. The world Lawrence creates is very original and halfway through thr book pieces about its origin become clear.

Additionally, enough can't bd said for thd author's prose. a sheer delight to read, even in its darkest moments. I highly recommend it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs you and doesn't let go You may not like Jorg but he captivates and pulls you along for ..., Sept. 14 2014
Grabs you and doesn't let go You may not like Jorg but he captivates and pulls you along for his story
Loved it
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written, but Deeply Disturbing, March 5 2013
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A. Soares - See all my reviews
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Jorg is a vicious, depraved psychopath. The novel is extremely violent (so if you don't like dark fantasy with graphic, violent scenes I would recommend avoiding this novel).

Jorg, and his band of "brothers" are raping, killing, pillaging criminals. Jorg suffered traumatic events in his youth with the death of his mother and brother and vowed revenge on those involved. Jorg is an "anti-hero". There is to me nothing likable about him. This book is a look into a truly depraved mind, as he seeks his revenge and retakes his place as Prince of Ancrath.

I admit that the book was well written, but I am not sure that I enjoy this type of writing and am on the sidelines on whether or not to purchase the next installment. The pace of the novel was quick, the plot was so-so (really only out of the ordinary due to the extremely violent, bloody take on it), but the fantasy aspect was seamlessly woven in (very realistically). Readers of Joe Abercrombie will probably enjoy this (although I much preferred the First Law trilogy which was also extremely violent but had, to me, a more interesting plot and more likable, relatable characters).
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1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy!, Aug. 21 2014
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Horrible. Hated it the more I read and had to abandon it half way. Major disappointment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, Sept. 4 2014
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Really good
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good setting, bad everything else., July 6 2014
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The world of The Broken Empire is quite interesting, and that's about all the good I can say about this book. To quote it's author

"Prince of Thorns is about a charming, dangerous, and amoral boy growing into a charming, dangerous, and amoral young man. On the journey he cuts down pretty much everything and everyone who gets in his way, and he's rather creative when it comes to the business of killing."

If you want violence, bloodshed, and ambition, with unsympathetic characters devoid of anything approaching likeability or morality, then this may be a good book for you. If you want sympathetic characters, or even characters that don't cross moral event horizons as you or I cross the street, don't bother with this book.
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Prince of Thorns
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Hardcover - Aug. 2 2011)
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