Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for something dark and economical. Soooo…Jorg to the rescue! Short and..well…not so sweet. There is not a word wasted in Prince of Thorns. But, this is not a book for the faint of heart. Jorg is not an anti-hero. To say he is would suggest that this is a book that contains a hero somewhere in the binding. It does not. Not a hero in the bunch! Just the thing for a truly dark fantasy!

I remembered a time when I lived in the lie. I lived in a world of soft things, mutable truths, gentle touches, laughter for its own sake. The hand that pulled me from the carriage that night, from the warmth of my mother’s side, into a night of rain and screaming, that hand pulled me out by a doorway that I can’t go back through. We all of us pass through that door, but we tend to exit of our own volition, and by degrees, sniffing the air, torn and tentative.

There are dark times in the history. Dark and dangerous times when you need a tyrant to rise up and put the world right. Warring states China comes to mind.

In a postapocalyptic fantasy world Mark Lawrence introduces us to Jorg, a Prince who ran away from home to seek out revenge. The story is told from four years past and the present. We get to see exactly what made Jorg become the monster be has turned into, and how he became the leader in a band of brothers (brigands).

Assassination is just murder with a touch more precision.

Four years ago, Jorg lost his mother and his younger brother in a most horrific manner. When his father fails to take action, Jorg leaves home to seek out the revenge he so richly deserves. Along the way, he decides to end the hundred years war and unite the empire once more. But that means returning home and facing his father; a father who wants Jorg dead with the past.

”We’re all pieces on someone’s board, Jorg.” He went to the tavern door. “You’ve played me often enough.”

But there is more than political scheming to his father’s hatred and his uncle’s crimes. Someone is messing with the minds of men. With Jorg’s mind. And hell help the creating when Jorg gets a hold of him.

I’ve grown, but whatever monster might be in me, it was always mine, my choice, my responsibility, my evil if you will.

This is a fast passed thrill ride full of history and murder. The interesting ties to our world and what could be just add to the reality of the fantasy.

I said by the time I was fifteen I would be a king. I have towns and villages, and people who call me King. And if the people call you King, that is what you are. It’s no great thing.