Book Review: Emperor Of Thorns By Mark Lawrence

This is the third and last book in The Broken Empire trilogy.
Review for Prince of Thorns (Book #1)
Review for King of Thorns (Book #2)

Emperor of Thorns

Originally posted on Grimdark Alliance:

If you have read the Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns, this book will break your heart and fascinate you. Darker, heart-wrenching secrets from Jorg’s past are revealed and you get to face Jorg’s demons. I thought I faced them in King of Thorns, but I was wrong.

The Broken Empire as a whole is revolutionary. You will not find any of the typical fantasy tropes, or if you find them you will hardly recognize them, since Mark Lawrence is quite the cliche-breaker. Where he doesn’t break the cliches, he bends them into such angles they no longer qualify as cliches. If someone told me that someone wrote medieval fantasy set in the future times, included advanced technology in it and broke every single trope out there, I would raise an eyebrow and say “How can that even work?” But yet it works and so wonderfully at that.

Read the rest of it here:

Book Review: King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

My guest post on The Grimdark Review. Review for the first book is here.

Short Story Review: Sleeping Beauty by Mark Lawrence

A grand example of Mark Lawrence’s fantastic prose, this story is great as a standalone but you will really enjoy it after reading Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns, the first two books of The Broken Empire series.

It is so much more than the point of view of a sociopath antihero, it marries the grimdark with science fiction and does it with such skill with words it’s almost lyrical -poetic darkness at its finest.

I purchased it for 99 cents on Amazon, a small price for such a fun read.

Book Review: Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns

Genre: Dark Fantasy/Grimdark
Series: The Broken Empire
Author info:

This is not your typical fantasy book. This is something completely different and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. If you like grimdark, Mark Lawrence is your man. If you read my reviews you will know that I don’t easily give out 5 solidus ratings. This is one of the very few books in the fantasy genre which gets the full marks from me. (No wonder it got reviews from big shot famous authors on Goodreads!)

The prose is simple, there is no fancy vocabulary or elaborate descriptions yet it’s very powerful storytelling -incredibly powerful and realistic. The book (as the rest of the books in the series) is written from the point of view of Jorg Ancrath, who is not a hero, not even an antihero, but a pure villain. Jorg is a cruel, heartless, vicious boy who spent 4 years of his childhood with highwaymen pillaging, raping and mass murdering. This book is a fresh breath in the fantasy genre. (Ok it sounds kind of weird to write this sentence after mentioning the pillaging, raping, mass murdering evil guy, but there is so much more than this… Trust me, you will understand if you read the book!)

Oh there are fantasy elements such as dark sorcerers, necromancers and mutant monsters, but it’s still extremely realistic.

If you are tired of the cliche heroic good guys, here is your chance to see the world from the eyes of a villain. It’s no easy feat to write from the POV of the bad guy -I’m a writer myself so I know- and Mark Lawrence has done a brilliant job of it. The story takes us into the world and the depths of the mind of a world class sociopath. Jorg’s philosophical muses and world view are reflected really well.

The book is action packed, but it still has some philosophy, which I value in fantasy literature. There are also some rather unexpected ‘surprises’ which were deftly weaved into the story, I am not saying more for the sake of keeping this review spoiler free but it deserves the bonus points for the excellent originality. Character development is well done, even though there isn’t much dialog with some of the supporting characters, Jorg’s thoughts and memories about them gave me a very clear picture.

Kudos to Mark Lawrence for creating something original, not using the traditional fantasy tropes and giving us the POV of the bad guy.

Verdict: Buy it now. Now!

Rating: 5/5 Roman Solidus.