Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire #1) by Mark Lawrence

Posted: December 6, 2012 by Arushi in Book Review
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Prince of Thorns

For a LONG while now, I’ve had a hard time finding a book to really get into. I think the last one was Death’s Rival and even that I took forever to start. Right now I have around 5 books from series’s that I am actually into, but cannot make myself actually start any of them.

Now during this, I came across a cover in the Goodreads awards. It reminded me of the anime Kuroshitsuji, so I checked it out. That was the cover for King of Thorns which is the second book in The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence. So I went to the first book in the series, Prince of Thorns and started reading.

Considering the first paragraph of this post, it’s easy to understand why I would have expected to leave this book in the middle. Or the better chance was to finish it, but find no real joy in the reading of it. That didn’t happen. It just sucked me in, and I could not put it down, not until I was done.

When Jorg was nine, his mother, the Queen and his younger brother were murdered in front of him, while he hung helpless in briar thorns. Thus started this tale of revenge that turned into a quest to conquer all the kingdoms and win the Hundred War.

Now, four years later, he leads a band of bloodthirsty cutthroats and is on the path to taking everything as his own. He says he will be King by the time he is fifteen and he works towards it by playing the game. The game we saw in A Song of Ice and Fire is played here, but only one person is truly a player, because he uses everyone else as a piece. It is beautiful and morbid and infinitely cruel yet just as fascinating to read about this Prince as he moves around, murdering, pillaging, slaughtering, but always with a method to his madness.

The whole book is written from Jorg’s POV and his take on everything makes it an amazingly wicked read. It may be just that its been forever since I read a book whose protagonist was an anti-hero, but still, it is beautifully done, and no, no one wants to redeem anyone, least of all Jorg himself. I think this sums the angst angle up:

“It’s (evil) what I am, and if you want excuses, come and take them.” 

This was so refreshing. I didn’t want him to be some sap who turned to good, who was all angsty and guilty and he. was. not. The Prince of Thorns is consistent in his character. He is what he is, and if you cross him, he will kill you no matter who you are. If it serves his purpose, he will kill you, and if you annoy him, he will probably kill you. No, he won’t even care afterwards, though he might remember, depending on the fact if the info has some use to him.

It is that kind of absolute ruthlessness that this thirteen (almost fourteen) year old Prince has, and it is this that he will use to unite the Broken Empire. The Broken Empire which I am pretty sure is Europe, a few thousand years from now, after we destroyed most of our world by unleashing nuclear weapons on each other.

The book keeps moving between the present, and the past (four years ago) when Jorg initially left his father’s castle for revenge. The plot comes out beautifully and the story is nicely layered. Jorg carries it all, but other characters also shine through.

Definitely a book I would recommend, for I am now rushing to close this so I can go read Book 2 in the series.

  1. Vega says:

    This one makes sense to me. But I think I’ll stick watching Game of Thrones Season 3 (I am yet to download it). You’ve been writing a lot! Nice. I like this review, makes me want to read it. I just finished fountainhead so my mind is clogged ow 😛 . I’ll send you a list soon.

    • Arushi says:

      Thank you! You finished Fountainhead? I am so proud!! Will wait for the list.. or better yet bring you home tomorrow you you can choose for yourself what you want.

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