maandag 5 september 2016

Mark Lawrence: Prince of Thorns

Hi everyone

This is my review for Prince of Thorns, Mark Lawrence’s first book in The Broken Empire series.
I got my copy from Book Depository and it has 319 pages.

 “Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse.
From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.”

                                                *    SPOILERS    *

I had a very mixed reading experience.

The story is very fast-paced and there’s a lot of action and fighting, which are things I like in Fantasy. The writing-style itself is easy to read and it flows nicely.
I liked the crossover and the links with our world, for example Socrates and Shakespeare are mentioned, but I’m not sure how far this crossover goes, or how it works (is this world ours in the future or a different one with similar elements?). It feels like those elements are ‘something extra to make it interesting’, a little gimmick. Lawrence should have included more details about this world or he should have gotten rid of these parts all together.

Jorg is supposed to be a cruel sociopath but he came across as a little spoiled brat.
He will gladly sacrifice others for his own means and kill innocents, but it never rings true. It reads as someone playing a role (really badly).
Most characters are really one-dimensional. 

Problem is; I just wasn’t interested. I didn’t care about any of the characters, the good ones nor the bad ones. None of them made any sort of lasting impression.
The book is supposed to be incredibly brutal and while it is grim, dark and violent, it is no more so than some other books I’ve read. There’s not much to the plot too. Not a lot happens and it’s pretty predictable.
It just felt a bit generic to be honest. It’s not that special or different as I had hoped.

Not my kind of Fantasy. I just didn't care for any of it. Not the world and certainly not the characters. 

2 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena