After a nearly week long absence visiting my family across the country I’m back at my desk listening to George Ezra and in need of posting to this blog. So to get back into the swing of things I thought I’d start with one of my favourite books out there. Prince of Thorns (PT) by Mark Lawrence.
PT is one of my favourite books for a number of reasons. It was the first truly grimdark books I read, I was probably twelve/thirteen at the time. Having read Tolkien and Paolini I was firmly set in the bright light at the end of the tunnel style of fantasy. Where good triumphs over evil in massive pitched battles with dragons and mages all over the place. PT shattered the tranquility of my C.S.Lewis days like a murderous bull in a china shop.
To set the scene of this book imagine a world where humanity has fucked up massively. Global warming has melted the ice caps, nuclear war sent us beneath the planets surface to cower and… somehow, some idiot, has created magic. Set in the remnants of Europe the Broken Empire, think Holy Roman Empire on steroids, fight for dominance.
Enter Jorg Ancrath, fourteen year old heir to the throne of Ancrath, philosophically minded and mass murderer. Jorg is the poster boy of every ante-hero in modern literature. The instantly likable little murderer is a man on a mission. To take the throne that is rightfully his, along with his ‘Brothers’ a group of vile cutthroats, bandits, assassins, brutes and monsters.
Lawrence crafts a world of sword and sorcery that fits into the real world mold like a tailored suit. His six books set in the Broken Empire have won him many awards and put him in the shortlist of many others. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.