Liam Reviews “Prince of Thorns”

Posted: February 4, 2013 in Book Reviews
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What a thorny book! Okay, I couldn’t resist! But it really is such an apt name for the book and the main character, Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Prickly, shredded, raw and evil, thirteen year old Prince Jorg slashes his way to revenge. Of course, after seeing your mother and brother ruthlessly hacked to death, wouldn’t you, too?
Lawrence paints Jorg consistently. Although his acts of evil and mercilessness are shocking, we do expect them. The hardest concept to swallow is Jorg’s age, which Jorg points out himself several times in the book when his men or newcomers balk at following such a young leader. By the end of the book, however, we’ve come to accept that this twisted, broken youngster is a young man, not a child. We never really like him and he doesn’t care. Jorg simply demands your allegiance and obeisance and he gets it through fear and cruelty.
I certainly liked Lawrence’s dalliances with the necromancers and the leucrota, mutated, irradiated almost orc-like beings that dwell in the mountains. Through them we are given hints of a long dead technological society, not enough though to make us salivating for more, just an off-hand comment here and there. I was hoping for a little more of this background. Also, the little smatter of sorcery is captivating, but again, it seemed so peripheral as to be an afterthought.
All along we secretly hope for a glimmering of Jorg’s redemption. Do we get it when his Nuban compadre is killed? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Maybe we really don’t want redemption for Jorg and we really do crave the depravity and all out savagery that his avenging soul yearns for. I guess we will have to read Book Two of The Broken Empire to find out!  8 out of 10 Liams.


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