King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is the second book in the Broken Empire trilogy, following on from the brilliant debut novel Prince of Thorns.

I’ll have to keep this review short for a few reasons, one I’m procrastinating like hell to avoid going for a run. Two I’ve got a literal mountain of course work to do tonight, I practically have to climb over my folders to get to my desk.

Spoilers for Prince of Thorns (obviously)

King Jorg is eighteen, unfortunately age has not tempered his blood lust and he’s the same unparalleled killer he was a few short years before. This characteristic is what has brought 20,000 men knocking to the door of his small kingdom. A kingdom which he took in vengeance from his uncle.

Like the first novel the story pivots around both the present day Jorg and his self from a couple of years prior. Interestingly the second thread of the narrative is the one I enjoyed the most, focusing on a certain little monster and his emerging powers. A story that leads them from hostile locations varying from the very cold to the very hot.


King does what the Prince did best and expands on that premise. It brings a world alive that when you take everything with a slight, very big, pinch of salt doesn’t seem entirely impossible. A world shaped by the fuck ups of contemporary society doesn’t appear to be entirely fictional.

To round off this very short review I’ll simply say that if you haven’t already buy Prince of Thorns and get reading, this trilogy has to be read. I’ll also be returning to the Broken Empire at some point to review other books and probably scream about the map.