Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Review! The book being reviewed this time is Prince of Thorns. Prince of Thorns is the first book in The Broken Empire trilogy. It is followed by King of Thorns and Emperor of Thorns. This review may contain a few spoilers.
The Prince of Thorns
by Mark Lawrence
The story of Prince of Thorns follows the life of Prince Jorg who at the starting of the book vows to be a king by the time he is 15 years old. At the time he is 13 years old but shortly after he grows to be 14. Jorg is living with his Brothers, who are some mercenaries, and destroying some villages. He had decided to take revenge on Count Renar but for years he found destroying some peasants' houses served him better, even if this didn't make sense.
Another story that goes on simultaneously is Jorg's story four years ago. This story tells about how his mother and brother were killed, how his father did nothing, how he left the castle and the memory of thorns.
All events shape up how Jorg wishes to be king by time he is fifteen and how he sets about to make it so. From being the heir to be closed to displaced in favor of his yet to be born half-brother to winning his father's approval back, is a main plot of the story. Filled with a stubbornness and a determination to not be led on strings, Jorg sets out to become the next king and he does not care how many lives he has to take to do this.
The setting is quite realistic and the characters are so too, even if they may make you cringe at times. Jorg's story that took place four years ago provides an interesting read to understand how Jorg became who he is.
The characters who work behind the scenes and pull strings to control rulers and effectively rule are shown to be important characters. They lend some unpredictability to the story.
The ties of friendship lend a warming quality to this otherwise harsh story. There are few honorable characters who provide a silver lining.
The first problem I had was the lack of magic. Magic exists but is hardly shown in the story. I find it hard to come terms with fantasy without much magic.
Jorg. He is a pro and con in himself. He provides an interesting dimension to story but he is a character you can love and hate at the same time. His actions will make you cringe.
Worldbuilding is too much borrowed from real world. if you look at map for long, you get a slight feeling that it looks somewhat like map of Europe. There are others things like EM, nuclear radiations (poison as referred to by Jorg), dena (for DNA) which make it too near reality (I like when it is close to reality but this is too much at times).
I will give this a rating of 5/5 because this book is good enough to be read once at least.