By: Mark Lawrence
Synopsis: When he was nine, he watched as his Mother and Brother were killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be King…
It is time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his Mother and young Brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him – and he has nothing left to lose.
But treachery awaits him in his Father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?
Format: The Prince of Thorns is the first book in The Broken Empire series. It introduces the young prince Jorg, and follows him in the beginnings of his dark and twisting story. My copy is 319 pages long, published by the Berkley Publishing Group in 2012.
My Thoughts: This is a book that truly grips you in a mixture of fascination and horror. The main character is fourteen for most of the book (ten in some places and 15 towards the end) yet he does things that most of the treasured villains in popular culture would be willing to even consider. Yet because he is the main character, you find yourself cheering him on through his victories, and worried during his trials. It is intriguing to be behind the eyes of a dark and evil person, even if you can sympathize with him as you learn more about him. It is not often you have a protagonist that is so dark. Which is quite refreshing!
As far as plots go, this one gets you in deep. You are immediately introduced to a very large, yet broken, empire that is embroiled in a battle for ultimate control. Everyone seems to be playing against everyone else in a bid for unimaginable power. As part of this game you have only 100 people who can truly claim the prize. This does not stop dark, magical forces from attempting to control these 100 nobles. The complexity of the politics of the world are amazing, let alone the way the plot flows through it.
Not only that, but the characters give you views into what it is like to be evil, or commit evil actions. They show you vile acts, and how and why they committed them. The characters are what makes this world feel so real, and the characters are what makes the plot so fantastic.
I could go on about this book all day. Save yourself the time, just get it for yourself and experience it!!
Let me know in the comments what you think!