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King of Thorns (The Broken Empire) Paperback – 2013
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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It’s been four years since Prince Jorg avenged his mother’s death by killing his uncle and taking his throne. In that time, the young prince has matured mentally and physically and has prepared his small mountain kingdom for war. Opening with the arrival of an army of more than 20,000 soldiers and Jorg’s hasty wedding to a young princess, the novel is split between the war in the present and lengthy flashbacks to earlier years; the source of the flashbacks is a mysterious copper box that Jorg keeps with him at all times. The box, which holds the king’s memories, is designed to keep his past safe from his dream-walking enemies. Lawrence masterfully builds tension here, using the few frantic days of battle as the framework for his larger story. Readers who first met Jorg in Prince of Thorns (2011) will cheer for the return of one of fantasy’s most violent, yet strangely likable, antiheroes, and those new to his story will find it easy enough to start here (but they will be eager to jump back to book 1). Set hundreds of years in the future after a disaster ended the time of the Builders, this is epic fantasy only lightly touched by science fiction, and the combination of dark fantasy, male characters, and plenty of violence makes it a perfect read-alike for fans of Brent Weeks and Joe Abercrombie. --Jessica Moyer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Definitely a series that will hit with a bang."
"Mark Lawrence's wonderful prose is vivid without being flowery, succinct without being plain. He pulls you in and doesn't let go."
New York Times bestselling author Peter V. Brett --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Will we miss the nostalgia of a brick and mortar bookstore, certainly, but this reminds me of some greedy people rubbing their hands together all the way to their virtual bank.
UPDATE: 6/21/16 : You now have a credit of $63.56 in your Amazon account. Apple, Inc. (Apple) funded this credit to settle antitrust lawsuits brought by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of electronic books (eBooks).
Edit - 09/07/12 re: neg. feedback. I believe it is reasonable to expect a lesser price for digital formant. No hard publishing costs.
Edit - 09/16/12 re:
While Penguin, Macmillan and Apple are continuing to fight the accusations, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins agreed to settle with the justice department in April. Last week the three publishers agreed to a $69m (£44m) settlement fund to compensate readers who bought ebooks between 1 April 2010 and 21 May 2012, as well as to cease existing agreements under the so-called agency model, which allowed the publisher rather than the retailer to set the price of ebooks.
7/23/15: The credit results from legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks. This credit is in addition to the credit that you received from these settlements in March 2014.
The narrative style of this book is misplaced. A fair amount of the book details Katherine's accounts with her diary, which are never very interesting. Without saying to much, she isn't captivating and she never really does anything except whine and hate mostly everybody. I found myself wanting to skip those parts and that is never a good thing.
Lawrence tries to get a little too prosey in parts, as if he is trying to show off a little on how he can make words pretty. These do nothing but stray from the story.
In the first book the little snippets of character explanation were refreshing and quite cool, but in this book they felt a little tired and tried, as if he put them in only to maintain the same format. Some were quite good, but most of the best moments came instead from the actual progression of events that happened to the characters. And believe me, these moments are special indeed but they tend to be overshadowed by the other characterization format. They always just tried to make the characters seem bad ass, but I wanted to see them bad ass. Not be told about how they are.
The book does a good job of tying together its strings, and believe me, it has many strings indeed. That is the main focus of the book, but sadly it makes you feel disoriented. You are struggling and struggling to find out what is going on, and by the time you do, so much effort has been put in for 450 pages that you are relieved to be finished. I can wait for the next book, and I will most likely give it another chance because of Prince of Thorns and its genius, but I won't be jumping the gun. Ha.
Nothing in this book gave me any kind of pause - from thinking some character was acting too unrealistic, even for fantasy, to feeling the events simply couldn't have unfolded the way they did - everything in King just made logical sense. Structurally the book is organized as scenes taking place in the present followed by memories from Jorg's past (or Katherine's diary) giving insights into what is to come or shedding light onto what just happened. Past and present alike are full of adventure and as the book progresses Jorg's shattered mind is slowly pieced back together.
In KoT Dr. Mark Lawrence (one very smart guy who holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and works on Artificial Intelligence) writes a book that is chock full of magic both mysterious and lucidly detailed at the same time. This coupled with sinister court intrigue and our antihero's occasional, unquenchable bloodlust make this book my hands down favorite read of the year, maybe even the decade! Although even some of my own past reviews make comparisons between authors, I have grown to hate the practice, so I won't name names here. This said I'm sure Mark Lawrence is a name you will begin to see a lot more of and I hope his stories are made for HBO someday.
Two final notes: There is a heart wrenching scene dog lovers are going to have a very difficult time getting through. Also, let's just hope Dr. Lawrence never actually cracks that AI code and creates the world he envisions in his books.