Monday, July 14, 2014

Unraveling: King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Title: The King of Thorns
Series: The Broken Empire Book Two
Author: Mark Lawrence
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: August 7, 2012

The second book in the Broken Empire series, Lawrence takes his young anti-hero one step closer to his grand ambition.

To reach greatness you must step on bodies, and many brothers lie trodden in my wake. I’ve walked from pawn to player and I’ll win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood…

The land burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lords and petty kings fight for the Broken Empire. The long road to avenge the slaughter of his mother and brother has shown Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath the hidden hands behind this endless war. He saw the game and vowed to sweep the board. First though he must gather his own pieces, learn the rules of play, and discover how to break them.

A six nation army, twenty thousand strong, marches toward Jorg's gates, led by a champion beloved of the people. Every decent man prays this shining hero will unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.

Faced by an enemy many times his strength Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan.
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My Thoughts

A time of terror comes. A dark time. The graves continue to open and the Dead King prepares to sail. But the world holds worse things than dead men. A dark time comes.
My time.
If it offends you.
Stop me.

I LOVE this book. I hadn't read a book where it's main character is so dark, harsh, uncompromising and utterly unapologetic for it in a long time. He revels in it. He makes no excuses for his actions. Even with all that he does you just can't help but like the guy anyway. He has his own demons, but he still has his own sense of morality and lines he tries not to cross, not that he is always successful in that, but he never promised anything more.

We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.

Usually when there is a main character that is actually clever and smart, stupid nonsensical shit has to happen for the mc to fail or prove himself. Not here. There is nothing stupid or nonsensical about Jorg's actions nor the way the plot weaves it's course. It's all logical in it's own right and Jorg acts within his own characters passions, strengths and weaknesses.

“I always trust you to deliver, Coddin,” I said, though I had Makin carry a second and had a third with Keppen. Trust is a fine thing but try not to build plans upon it.

And this wasn't just gory, depressing, shit happening all the time. I had to stop at reading at one point because there was a scene with a dog and torture. Horrible. There is still enough humor - albeit morbid humor - running around to still bring a smile to your face between all the killing and dying.

“You’re going now?” Makin asked, putting down his bottle-in-a-basket.
“Well, unless you want to drink till we’re all sunburnt and maudlin and then declare undying love for each other and part with drunken hugs?” I said.

And then there is the writing itself. It's engaging, addicting, beautiful without being flowery. Just the right mix.

Memory is all we are. Moments and feelings, captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason. Take a man’s memories and you take all of him.

I'm not saying this book was perfect, cause it wasn't, but sure came close in my eyes. The only less than awesome points were the going back and forth of the timeline, mostly cause I just had NO PATIENCE for the flashbacks sometimes, and wanted to see what happened next in Jorg's uber battle in the Highlands. So lovers of fantasy everywhere, this is a MUST read.


Would I Recommend it?


Other books in The Broken Empire:


  1. Great Review Nyx! I'm definitely picking this series up! I love the concept and we finally have a guy as a main character - usually it's a girl.

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  2. Thanks, and yes you really should pick it up ASAP xD Most of the fantasy I read the leads are always male, some are both sexes, but usually male. I've found that they are mostly female in either YA or Urban Fantasy.


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