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Showing 1-10 of 813 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,127 reviews
on January 29, 2015
This is the same review that I posted for Emperor of Thorns, but I thought that I should copy it here, so that someone wondering if they should begin the series might read it. If you are that person, then all I can say is, sit back, get comfy and dig in.
I like to read. I love a good book, and so I devour them. Some are good, some... not so much. But if you think of books like food, most books are a snack. They can be sweet, or savory, or spicy; or sometimes none of the above and their just bleh. But, good or bad, they are gobbled up and then I'm hungry again, all too soon. Then I began The Broken Empire series. Oh more snacks. This is mother of all feasts. I couldn't stop stuffing myself either. And now I'm at the end, and unlike those snack books, I am unable to read another word. Not for a while. I'm going to have to go back to real life and digest this one slowly, savoring it the entire time.
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on August 11, 2017
This is a book I have been hearing about for awhile, but just now finally got around to reading. Prince of Thorns is the first of 3 books in the Broken Empire series. All 3 books are first person perspective from the main protagonist (antagonist, may be more apt) Jorg Ancrath, the son of the King of Ancrath. As a child of 10 Jorg witnessed a brutal murder of his mother and brother where he was left for dead. When he realizes his father is not going to seek the revenge he wants, he sets out to do it for himself with a band of bandits, murderers and cutthroats.

This book is firmly in the genre of fantasy called grimdark. The main character is not fully likeable, he will commit awful acts that may make you cringe, or even hate him for a time. However, due to both the first person perspective and the great writing, you will often find yourself rooting for him. The writing is really superb, and I can see why there has been so much buzz about these books. Mark Lawrence is etching himself into the upper echelon of the genre right along with Joe Abercrombie and GRRM.

The only reason I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 stars is because I feel like a few of the side characters could of been fleshed out, and the plot will sometimes jump forward a bit unexpectedly. That 2nd point is probably more a testament for the writing, as I was wanting a more fleshed out book, but sometimes it nice to get right to the point as well. There were definitely some plot twists I didn't really see coming, and I am looking forward to continuing my journeys with Jorg in the next book!

Recommended for fans of Abercrombie!
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on September 25, 2015
Prince of Thorns is a unique reading experience. Most fantasy books focus on the brighter aspects of the human condition, such as our capacity to be epic heroes saving the innocent from harm or saving the world from some vague, ancient evil. This book however, focuses on the grimmer, more realistic aspects of humanity.

This book tells the harrowing tale of Jorg, Prince of Ancrath, the baddest 14 year old you will ever meet. Jorg is willing to murder and manipulate his way to becoming King, and take his revenge for the murder of his mother and brother. Jorg is not a very sympathetic or moral hero (He is sarcastic, sadistic, and sociopathic at times), but somehow he is still quite likable, and you find yourself rooting for this rotten little vagabond. You will groan, grit your teeth, and be morally appalled at times, but in the end you seem to forget all of Jorg's sins and hope he finds the resolution he so ruthlessly seeks.

It took some time for me to acclimatize to this style of dark fantasy, and for the first hundred pages or so, I was unsure if I even liked the book. But as I got deeper into the book and its twisted plot, my eyes were glued to the page and I was eager to find out what Jorg would do next. Overall, Prince of Thorns is a genuinely intriguing read, and if you found yourself in need of something new to read, this book would not be a bad choice.
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on July 19, 2017
After having read both this one and the second in the series, I feel like this one had a much stronger second act but at the same time a weaker third act. Not saying it didn't complete the story in a way that fit the narrative, but there was a twist that was created as a result of the post-modern out of order story telling he tends to use which didn't deliver as much as it could have. The prose is unique and less purple-prose than the second book by far. This all that, I recommend any fan of fantasy to read this. I already have the third one in the Broken Empire Series started.
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on July 27, 2017
I'm on the fence between 3 or 4 stars. I did enjoy it, for the most part, but I often found myself disappointed with a reveal, or disoriented in a scene but not interested enough to reread it.
There are a handful of moments where I simply can't believe a character would be that way. And as for the setting... It was fun I guess, but not very believable.
My biggest gripe is how the main character betrays himself over the course of the story arc. He never lives up consistently to the horrible person that's described'in the first chapter. Several of the characters are supposed to be horrid, but in the end, the book softens them as to be palettable to the audience. Some trickery is required to make such villains digestible, but selectively making them nice occasionally, despite their past deeds, is cheating.
Overall, I enjoyed it though, and there are some juicy bits that felt fresh. I particularly liked the take on fate/destiny/accountability and the'pawns of the game'.
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on August 20, 2017
This was definitely a different fantasy novel. Usually, First person doesn't sit well for me, but this one did.

And yes, there are some scenes that are a tad rough so this isn't for the faint of heart, but for the most part this was a great start to a debut trilogy.

There is a nasty game of thrones going down in the Empire. Who will come out on top? Who will lose and just how much?
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on July 22, 2017
This book series has been recommended to me over the years, but never picked it up until now. Such interesting characters, and storyline. The hero is not really a good guy, but not truly evil either. What is most interesting and unique, to me, is the past as it has created the present and future in this tale. I definitely recommend...have read all three books now and it doesn't disappoint!
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on September 21, 2015
The only book that I have ever read on kindle and wanted a physical copy! Its is sort of a dark book but it is the only book that I have ever reread. Mark Lawrence does a great job at making you love the characters despite their more... vulgar (if that's the right word)... moments. I read this book and couldn't wait to read the next book. I really do recommend this book to everyone!!

As for the order of the book, mine was exactly what I ordered. It was in pretty good condition with a slight cover damage. I ordered the pretty good paper cover and I couldn't be happier!
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on January 25, 2014
I really enjoyed this whole series. Jorg, the main character, is probably the furthest thing from your typical protagonist, which appealed to me. Sometimes he seemed downright evil, but you root for him anyway.

Jorg is a prince who believes he will rule over all 100 kingdoms as emporer one day. The story follows his escapades. The author also sort of Taratino's the plot up a little, switching between past and present occasionally. Interesting method of writing. It sometimes leaves gaps, but then fills them in later. Leaving you with moments of "Ohhhhh, THAT'S what happened". There's also more going on than what you notice, something like a hidden plot.

I think he is age 14 in the first book, and by the third he is like 21 or something. But like i said, it switches between past and present.

Overall a very good read. 5 stars fo sho. Check out First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie if you like this type of stuff. The characters are complex, no true good or evil.
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on November 29, 2013
This book is to fantasy literature what the movie Independence Day was to Sci-Fi movies--a rip off of 100 better pieces of work that came before it, but still so darn fun you can't help but giggle and enjoy the show. There is a lot I did not like about this book. Yet, you'll notice I gave it 5 stars. Despite the negative things I have detailed below, this book was so engrossing, that I finished it in 24 hrs and stayed up until 2:00 a.m. to do so. I can't remember the last time I got that into a book. So, for sheer force of storytelling, I must give it a five.

What I didn't like:
1. As noted, this book apes just about every great fantasy author in the genre. Martin is the most obvious. The book is littered with "Martinisms", such as repeated references to "game of thrones", "sell-swords", "velvet-slippers", "playing the game," etc. Indeed, one could easily see he main character as Geoffrey, except he actually has a pair. Other obvious rip-offs are the "Dying Earth" series, as this is a fantasy novel that takes place in a post-apocalyptic word. The author also must be a fan of the sci-fi series Firefly, as the sarcasm and linguistic patterns of the main character seem to mirror that used in the show. One of the main scenes in the book is basically a rip off of Moria in LOTR. I could go on, but, suffice to say, if you are well-read in the genre, you will notice a lot of "familiarities." That said, these are all weaved together in a way to make for a compelling story. I just wish the author wasn't so obvious about it.
2. Improbabilities: I won't give much away here, but several of the main events in the book are just downright unbelievable, even for a fantasy series. SPOILER......................................(how one sets off a nuclear weapon with a fire made out of tar and bones is beyond me). ................................. Also, the main character has unbelievable luck. Even though this is explained later in the text, the climax is just ridiculous. The greeks had deus ex machina, Lawrence uses deux ex equine. at some point, you just have to laugh.
3. While I liked that the novel was fast-paced, I could have used with a little more description of the settings.
4. As other reviewers have pointed out, the main character is hard to like . He is an arrogant, self-centered, egotistical, amoral psychopath. Lawrence takes the concept of making a "good guy" a "bad guy" to the extreme. He rapes, pillages, murders, defiles, engages in cannibalism, and there are hints of necrophilia. That said, the main character is hilarious, which is what led me to keep reading. There is also a good reason why he is the way he is and the revenge story allowed me to overlook some of the character's more shocking actions.
5. Related to ##2&5, the main character starts at a mere 13 years of age. Many of his thoughts and physical capabilities are just improbable for someone so young. I think Lawrence would have done better to start him at 15.

But, despite all of its shortcomings, the book drew me into its world, left me waiting to turn the page with anticipation, and caused me to fall behind at my day job. Not many books have done that.

Also, I should provide the caveat that while the author's obvious references to Martin's work are frustrating, thank gods his writing style is not. No 4 page descriptions of food, crests, armor, etc. The book is fast-paced and fun to read.

I already bought the second book in the series.
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