Today, I'll be reviewing Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.
This book and I had a very bumpy start. The first time I picked it up, I had never read any grimdark fantasy, hardly any adult fantasy and I hadn't discovered audiobooks yet. These three things made me put down the book after only a couple of chapters.
Last year I decided to give it another try and I'm so glad I did. I gave it 3 or 3.5 stars but somehow I never got around to picking up the second book. Because I wanted to read King of Thorns during the MedievalAThon I decided to reread this one beforehand.
I'm happy to say I enjoyed it even more the second time around. I think the audiobook played a big part in that too. I also knew what to expect when it came to the writing style.
The first thing I want to say is: holy crap, I never thought a 14-year old boy (main character) could be so gritty and morally grey.
Prince of Thorns tells the story of Jorg - a 14-year old boy who leads a band of brothers in his quest for revenge SPOILERS on the count who had his mother and little brother killed. He almost died as well and he has the emotional and physical scars to show for it.
It was fascinating to read how all the men he leads look up to him even though he is a lot younger than they are. He leads his group with a great deal of discipline. On the other hand, though, they do some extremely gruesome things most of the time as well.
Jorg is a very funny, but oh so dark character who only thinks about himself, his pleasures (not only of the flesh, also the killing). We get to know him trough two different timelines: one is the present day timeline and the other takes place four years earlier. In those flashbacks we get to see the events that made Jorg become the person he is today. Even though he has a very twisted sense of right or wrong I couldn't help but like him.
Another character I really like is Makin. He used to be captain of the King's Guard before he decided to follow Jorg. He is one of the few people Jorg really trusts.
There is only one character Jorg himself looks up to and that is the Nuban. Jorg considers him to be like a father since his own father doesn't much care for him (and that's putting it mildly!).
This story is fast-paced and action-packed, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart.
Have you read this book or the trilogy? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.
Bye for now