Prince of Thorns Review

I don’t generally post reviews on my blog, but I was quite impressed with Prince of Thorns. As a fantasy writer on the darker side it was nice to see another author venturing into that domain, as well. Lawrence’s debut novel delivers and is quite a treat. See my review below.

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this novel in the mail on Wednesday, started it Wednesday evening and it’s now about 6 AM on Thursday morning and I’ve just finished it. That’s right – I read this in one sitting.

This novel is a brutal one with a main character who is cold and calculating. He doesn’t see death as anything special – in fact, he often thinks about killing someone as his first reaction to a slight or even a minor annoyance. He’s pretty messed up in the head, but that’s what makes this story fun and different.

You’re not in the shoes of someone that is out to save the world or become a hero. His actions, while liberating in some cases, are never heroic. His moments of brilliance are overshadowed by the sheer brutality of the act.

The story flows from one chapter to the next, however. The novel is written in 1st person and Lawrence does a fabulous job of getting you inside the head of Jorg. I am usually not a fan of 1st person in fantasy, but it’s very well executed here.

You have dark magic – necromancy, and some other arts that aren’t elaborated on much, as well.

However, there are a few too many cases in the novel where things start to feel a bit too unrealistic. He draws on the power of luck quite often in the latter half of the novel, and while there is much to be said about dumb luck, it comes a bit too much in my opinion at the end. I feel that this undermines his cunning a bit, and detracts from the story, which is why I docked it a star.

I am looking forward to the next novel in the series, however. There’s much left to be done, and many questions unanswered. Expect a brutal story in this novel, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with something that truly stands out from the crowd.

Well worth the read.

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