BOOK ONE IN THE BROKEN EMPIRE TRILOGY
“Prince of Thorns deserves attention as the work of an iconoclast who seems determined to turn that familiar thing, Medievalesque Fantasy Trilogy, entirely on its head.”—Locus
When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were 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 hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched 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 his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?
This morbidly gripping, gritty fantasy tale is not for the squeamish. Prince Jorg was 10 years old when Count Renar's soldiers hung him on a hook-briar while his mother and brother were murdered. Vicious and desperate for revenge, he joined a bandit gang. Four years later, he's their leader and determined to end a multigenerational war by resurrecting the old empire and becoming emperor. Jorg is the epitome of the antihero, killing not just in battle but whenever he feels the need to set an example. Only toward the end of the book does a startling revelation focus his violence on clearly deserving targets. But Jorg is a product of his world, no worse than any other power there, and Lawrence increasingly makes readers believe that Jorg may indeed be able to use small savageries to end the ongoing greater ones.
Different, Exciting, Brutal
If you are looking for high fantasy reminiscent of Salvatore, Jordan, and Tolkien you will not find it here. If you want a palate cleanser from traditional tropes of heroism, then welcome home. Jorg Ancranth, a truly powerful figure in fantasy that can’t be easily placed anywhere on the standard Chaotic, Neutral, Good matrix of character morality, leads a band of of brothers who themselves are neutral on their best days. He is an unstoppable force that brings immovable objects to their knees through sheer ruthlessness and deviousness. While not perfectly evil, Jorg is unstoppable with every one of his actions perfectly reflective of his backstory and who he is as a person. If you want a solid story, in a new world, told from the perspective of an ambitious, conniving anti-hero, read these books.
This is a very good read, albeit very dark, but with under tones that emphasize humanity, especially towards the end. Very good storyline, complex plot, interesting style, entertaining dialogue, and strong action. If you liked The Name of the Wind, The Warded Man, or the Night Angel trilogy, you will enjoy this book.
Strange writing style.
The story line had a lot of potential in a dark, twisted depressing sort of way but disliked much of the author's writing style.