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Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
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1,190546,740 (3.75)36
Title:Prince of Thorns
Authors:Mark Lawrence
Info:Harper Voyager (2012), Paperback, 416 sidor
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Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence


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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Full review on my blog. Four and 3/4 stars. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
An interesting take on the whole "Prince seeks his father's throne" story. Certainly different enough in its realism to catch you and keep you reading to see what happens next. It makes me curious about how Jorg progresses in the next two books in the series ( )
  ggoldby | May 20, 2016 |
-read by guestreviewer-

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. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword. 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 of that's true enough, but there's something worse out there in the dark, much worse.

Brother Jorg, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath, will be King by fifteen. Emperor by 21, probably. But at the moment he is a road bandit, rapist, butcher, torturer. And he is the hero of the book Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence.

You get heroes of all kind in fantasy literature – heroes with varying degree of skill, powers and motivation. The good guys are pure of heart and clean of face. Then we have the anti-heroes, the unwilling heroes who have the hero-hood thrust upon them, but they always come through, and finally show their heart of gold.

Brother Jorg is at the far end of that scale, you might say. He is a stone cold bastard, thirteen year of age, killed more men than the plague. But ok – the land is riddled with war; the feuds between the little kingdoms have been going on for decades, centuries. If he can become the Emperor, at least there will be no more war.

Prince of Thorns is the first book of a trilogy, where we will follow Jorg’s path. The set is an alternate Europe (with magic, ghosts and monstrosities), refreshing it its simplicity. The focus is entirely on Jorg. His stubbornness and lack of fear is legendary – he survives against overwhelming odds by a mixture of intelligence, brutality, dirty tricks, cunning, necromancy, etc.

What do I think about it? If you can get through the initial revulsion in the first dozens of pages (where the author really grinds your nose into the feces of brutality and immorality, to get your mind on the right track) it’s a wonderful book! A page turner, I personally read it in one sitting. Ok, you may learn that Jorg has had a rough childhood to motivate his deeds, but that doesn’t really matter. It is refreshing to just be able to follow the machinations of an artful bastard, winning against all odds. Just don’t expect much romance and love – there is a hint, but no more.

Extremely different! But refreshingly so. I will read the other two books, that’s a promise.

Recommended, ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
(Re-posted from http://theturnedbrain.blogspot.com)

I came to this book via a rather controversial review on Tor.com. (Although you should note the review has some stuff in it that I think is a little spoilerish). This is another example of how a negative review can influence someone to seek out a book just as much as a positive one. (A fact that seems lost on the commenting editor from Voyager). Mark Lawrence's 'Prince of Thorns' was always going to split opinions. The main character is a fourteen year old prince who's spent the last four years leading a band of morrally bankrupt men across the countryside, leaving a trail of murder and rape in their paths.

I hope I never meet anyone like sociopathic Jorg in real life, but I have to admit I loved reading about the little monster. The book is told from his first person point of view, and the inside of this kid's mind is fascinating, in a terrifying kind of way. He operates to a different set of rules to the other characters in the books, (mostly because they see people as people, a trick Jorg hasn't got the hang of yet) and this allows him to pull off some pretty audacious moves. I got a real kick out of seeing him outwit men twice his age.

But! As witty and sharp as Jorg's voice is, (truly, his inner monologue is a wicked delight to read) style is not enough to carry a whole book. Whereas some authors can get away with neglecting character arcs, that is just not an option here. Jorg is a monster when the book opens, and as a reader I had to trust that he would change. It's not that there are not plenty of books out there with characters who start bad and end worse, because their are. It's just that Jorg is so young. Ok, call me a sap, but I was only able to enjoy this book by believing that there was a chance for Jorg to find some small amount of redemption.

And there were hints throughout the book that he might. This is only part one of a trilogy, so obviously everything was not puppies and rainbows by the end. But Jorg had changed, he had grown. We caught a few glimpses of something that might have been remorse, there was the suggestion of depths to Jorgs character beyond murder and mayhem. Enough to make me very intrigued to see how Jorg's character will grow across the next two books.

There other thing that really, really impressed me about this book was the world building. What first presents as your fairly standard medieval world is slowly and subtly revealed to be something else entirely. I really can't praise high;y enough how Lawrence slowly revealed the truth of his world. It reminded me of season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Dawn is introduced. At first you're all "what is this madness? Do the writer's think we're dumb?" but then it turns out they had a plan all along. Mark Lawrence has a plan, people. I apologise if this all seems a litte vague, but honestly half the fun I had with this book came from figuring the world out, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

The thing most people, even those who didn't like it, praise about this book is the prose itself. They're right to praise it, there is a wit and economy to Lawrence's writing that is really impressive. But there are many other things to be enjoyed here as well, if the reader is willing to trust in Lawrence's overall plan.
( )
  MeganDawn | Jan 18, 2016 |
It took me a really long time to get into this book (about 270 pages actually) and even then, I spent a fair amount of time not entirely sure what was happening. While I didn't exactly enjoy this book, I'm still pretty curious to see what happens to Jorg next, which is always a good sign in a series. ( )
  emmyreads | Jan 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Prince of Thorns is without a doubt the most original and most memorable fantasy debut of 2011. It's difficult to imagine how another book could top this one
added by mark32 | editRisingShadow.net, Sami Airola (Feb 27, 2011)
"This is a lean, cold knife-thrust of a novel, a revenge fantasy anchored on the compelling voice and savage purpose of its titular Prince. There is never a safe moment in Lawrence’s debut"

added by mark32 | editRobert V.S Redick
"Dark and relentless, the Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two in the morning page turner."
added by mark32 | editRobin Hobb
The Prince of Thorns is an apt title for young Jorg - as a character he is not heroic at all. He is twisted and violent, calculating and merciless. Yet I couldn't stop reading - regardless how many times Lawrence's brilliant descriptions made me wince and clasp my hand to my mouth in disbelief. It was freaking awesome!
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is the best fantasy read I’ve had since Alan Campbell’s Scar Night. It got hold of me from page one and didn’t let go...

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Book description
"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."

Once 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's bleak past has set him beyond fear of any man, living or 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. The thorns taught him a lesson in blood...Copyright 2010, Mark Lawrence, All Rights Reserved.The Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging.

Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.
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When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother 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's 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 was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch 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, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?… (more)

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