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Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
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Prince of Thorns (edition 2012)

by Mark Lawrence

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907449,716 (3.8)29
Member:anglemark
Title:Prince of Thorns
Authors:Mark Lawrence
Info:Harper Voyager (2012), Paperback, 416 sidor
Collections:Your library
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Tags:fantasy

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Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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English (41)  Dutch (1)  Albanian (1)  German (1)  All languages (44)
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I first found this book a year or two ago and it left me reeling because I’d never read anything so dark.

It tells the story of a young prince over two time periods. At one point he is 10 years old and has just seen his mother and younger brother brutally murdered in front of him. Trapped in a thorn bush that tears his skin to the bone he is eventually found only to discover, after a brutal and hellish recovery, that his father has sold peace to their killers. Completely and utterly betrayed he finds a new path open to him and this is the second part of our story.

Four years on he has amassed a band of cut throats who are his road brothers and share with him the bonds that only men who have killed together can share. They are heading back to the kingdom ruled by Jorg’s father in order to confirm his being alive and his place in the line of succession for the new Queen is ready to pop.

Through both parts of the story we hear the improbable tale of how a boy of 10 could possibly earn the respect and fear of some of the most feared killers in the land. That he does it without them knowing he is a Prince makes it even more galling but we as reader quickly learn that to challenge or question Jorg is not a smart thing to do and would most likely be the last thing you do.

I think I was initially stunned by not just the sheer audacity of Jorg and his horrific actions but by the fact that I was on his side. Knowing from Mark that he was modelled on Alex from Clockwork Orange makes a lot of sense, but I also found him and his situation reminding me of George Martins character Sandor Clegane The Hound. There is a sense that he was very much forged by the actions of those around him, and rather than wallow in pity, he has acknowledged the way the world is and decided he is going to survive in it.

He takes umbrage at the thought that he might still be doing something as unambitious as merely rousting villages by his fifteenth birthday declaring “By the time fifteen came around I’d be king”. In a world we every breath could be your last, I found this over confidence to the point of recklessness an attractive trait. He is past mere motivation, as though his path is set, his decisions made and his fate sealed. It seems watching your brother killed whilst you are impaled on thorns and unable to help removes the chance of sympathy or mercy being shown and I was completely on board with Jorg as he moved through the world like a tornado that would destroy one house but leave the one next to it completely untouched. Did I feel sorry for those innocents that were caught in his path? Yes. The thing is he is an undeniable force of nature and as it is written in first person it’s hard not to empathise with him as you are in his head. In the hands of a less skilled writer Jorg would be a horrible prick with no redeeming features and the book would be a pile of steaming poop. He is a horrible prick but, at the same time, one of my favourite characters and definitely one of my favourite books

This is a must read and the start of a fantastic series of three books called The Broken Empire series. His next series is The Red Queen’s War and the first book Prince of Fools is available and the second book is coming out very soon.

This review and more like it can be at www.areadingmachine.com

( )
  areadingmachine | Jul 6, 2015 |
I do like some grim or dark fantasy but this I didn't really like, Jorg, the main character is a complete psychopath who leaves a trail of corpses in his wake and there were no real characters I could root for in this. Most of them were just scary. I get it that he was broken by his past and his experiences but he just has no impulse control whatsoever.

Jorg lives in a future where the apocalypse happened, it's very distantly in the past (reminded me of the Shanara chronicles for that); there are remnants of the past, of the builders, but they're legend. Jorg reads and understands more than people give him credit for and he's only a teenager. In certain ways he is how he is because he hasn't seen anything else, but also he's a psychopath.

I just didn't care about him, if he had died at the end I would have been indifferent and because of this I will probably not be reading on with this series. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 22, 2015 |
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 6, 2015 |
I first heard of Mark Lawrence on Facebook. We became friends, and I ordered all of his books. Nice of me, huh? Recently, I have become an avid dark fantasy fan. Thank George R. R. Martin and Terry Goodkind for that. I will tell you, it is a most welcome change from horror. (Still love horror, just that fantasy is a welcome change, is all).

Prince of Thorns was not what I expected. I did not realize the main character is something of an anti-hero, evil (with reasons), and sinister, heartless and crotchety. Prince Jorg witnessed the murder of his mother and brother. Unable to free himself to help, their deaths have haunted his thirteen years. The prince is no boy. At nine years of age he commanded his own army, a loyal band of followers. They set out seeking revenge, leaving the sanctity of his father's kingdom. This book chronicles their (most bloody) adventures during the four year span. Returning home, the revenge not yer delivered, Jorg expects his father to at the very least welcome him back. Instead, the King wants Jorg to prove himself. The task is impossible. He basically "dares" Jorg and his band, along with limited help, to conquer a distant land. The task clearly impossible.

Jorg's reward for accepting the challenge becomes two-fold. The young prince gains magical insight, and strength, but also finds betrayal that no son should ever have to face. With spells cast, and spells broken, Jorg sets out on a new course. With the idea of revenge still central in his heart, Jorg longs to be more than a prince. He wants to become a King. With less men accompanying him than your might find seated around a card table playing poker, Jorg has one goal: To Put His Destiny In His Own Hands ...

Full of dark imagery, and grey prose, Mark Lawrence's first novel is unbelievably compelling. Putting it down at times was necessary, but I was always unable to forget about where I'd left the characters last. I needed to find out what happened next. When there is good news, there is also too often bad. The bad? I finished the book. The good -- I have King of Thorns in my hands and will begin reading it tonight!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of YOUNG BLOOD and DAMN THE DEAD
www.philliptomasso.com ( )
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  ptom3 | May 2, 2015 |
I picked up Prince of Thorns in a discount book shop while on holiday. The first couple of pages grabbed my attention, so I bought it. I knew absolutely nothing about the controversy stirred by some of the main character, Jorg Ancrath’s actions. In fact, much of what appears to be bothering other people didn’t even make me blink. It’s a fantasy novel set in a future where wars and skirmishes are rife. The bloodshed and rapes that Lawrence writes about do, unfortunately, happen during times of conflict and tension.

What did bother me is the shambolic plot and what appears to be a total lack of editing. Was this book rushed to the shelves?
The plot has three distinct episodes, the first of which is by far the best and most coherently written, after which the editor went for lunch and never returned. By the second phase when Jorg returns home to his father’s castle the use of contrived plot devices if starting to get out of hand. These excruciatingly painful backwards-facing devices appear to be peppered in because the author had only just thought up how to get his hero, or anti-hero as some might view him, out of a tight spot. ‘I saw some tar back there, we can make lamps.’ Oh really? You never mentioned that tar on passing. How convenient. And so it goes on.

There is also the saga of the magical sword. No, Jorg’s sword does not hold any magical powers, but it keeps mysteriously reappearing in his hand. When he leaves it somewhere it is in the next scene, with no hint that he’s retrieved it. Given to someone else…never retrieved. Burnt to a cinder…oops, and there it is again, all shiny and new.
The list of discrepancies goes on and on. Location is another hic-up. They’re here, then there. Highly confusing. People do strange things as well. Characters are standing, fighting; then suddenly dismounting their steed within the space of two paragraphs within the same fast paced scene. Excuse me, but when did he get back on his horse?

These devices and lack of respect for the reader made me feel as if anyone reading this book is being mocked as an idiot who would never notice these things.

The hugely disappointing thing about this novel is that Mark Lawrence has some amazing turns of phrase, and sharp wit. It was these two things alone that kept me reading. I enjoyed his clever phrases; and Jorg’s internal dialogue that portrayed the youth’s character so extremely well. Now I understand what makes poor Jorgy tick.

Will I read the next book in the series? I’m not sure. As much as I love Lawrence’s style I don’t know if I have the stamina to keep flicking back through pages to get to grips with another poorly constructed plot; which is a shame, because with some decent editing The Prince of Thorns would be a notch above the ordinary.
( )
  ToniAllenAuthor | Oct 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (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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Chan, JasonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Voor Celyn, de beste delen zijn nooit kapot gegaan,
To Celyn, the best parts were never broken
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Raven! Altijd weer die raven.
Ravens! Always the ravens.
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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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