(Cover picture courtesy of Fantasy Book Critic.)
Beware the Prince of Thorns…
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 is 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?
When Savindi from The Streetlight Reader told me Prince of Thorns was quite unlike any other book because of the main character, Jorg, I was definitely intrigued. What had Mark Lawrence decided to do that was so different? Who was this mysterious Jorg?
Well, the short answer is that he’s a miniature Genghis Khan. When the opening scene in a book begins with Jorg and his men raping and pillaging, it tends to set a rather dark tone. Rightly so, as it turns out. Prince of Thorns is not an uplifting book at all, but what saves it is that it is an incredibly interesting book. Not just because of Jorg, but because of the future world it takes place in, one where there seems to have been a huge nuclear war that wiped out most technology and made it revert back to Medieval times. If that sounds familiar, it probably is, but Mark Lawrence put such an interesting spin on things that I wasn’t bothered by his use of that particular trope.
Prince of Thorns isn’t really so much about the post-apocalyptic world, but rather Jorg himself. This is one messed up teenager, something that I don’t say lightly. Seeing his mother and little brother killed at the age of nine while being trapped in a thorn patch and unable to help seriously affected him. He tends to lash out at the world, taking his revenge upon practically anyone in his ultimate quest for vengeance on Count Renar. If you’re quite sensitive, you will absolutely hate Jorg. But if you’re a little more open-minded, Jorg is an interesting character from a psychological standpoint. The success of Prince of Thorns is proof that main characters don’t have to be sympathetic to be popular. What they have to be is interesting enough to hold the reader’s attention.
Overall, I really enjoyed Prince of Thorns and I can’t wait to see where Mark Lawrence goes with this series.
I give this book 5/5 stars.