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Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 132 )
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5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(42)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Great new fantasy!!

Prince of Thorns starts off right in the middle of the action. The first few pages make it clear that you are not going to feel much love for Jorg, the hero of the story. He is amoral and ruthless, but you come to admire and root for him. Anytime you start to feel mo...
Prince of Thorns starts off right in the middle of the action. The first few pages make it clear that you are not going to feel much love for Jorg, the hero of the story. He is amoral and ruthless, but you come to admire and root for him. Anytime you start to feel more than that, he reminds you how truly twisted he is.

Prince of Thorns is the story of Jorg. Jorg, as a young boy, was forced to watch his mother the Queen and his younger brother brutally murdered. He was spared by being tossed into a thicket of thorns that trapped and nearly killed him, but concealed him. This is Jorg's story of revenge. Revenge on those who murdered his brother and mother, revenge on a father who traded political expediency for justice, and revenge on anyone who stands between Jorg and his desire.

The book starts off with Jorg on the cusp of his 14th birthday, but fills you in on his past by alternating between events of four years ago and the present. Alternating between two timelines works because both timelines are equally fascinating. The setting is fascinating as well. Early clues are dropped as to where this story is set. I found it a bit confusing at first, but as hints and references were dropped, it became more and more clear where and when this story was taking place.

The action moves along very briskly. Concentrating on a few main characters keeps the story tight, focused and exciting. The world feels both fully fleshed out and with a lot left to explore. Jorg leads a bit of a charmed life, but other characters who feel like they might be main cogs in the larger story are dispatched with impunity. This creates real suspense in battle scenes or dangerous situations because you can't be sure that any of the characters you are rooting for will survive.

This is the first book in a planned trilogy, but it has the feel of a world with a lot more stories in it. It reads as a complete story and leaves you anticipating the next leg in the journey. Jorg is a unique protagonist and he'll leave you anxiously awaiting what he has planned next. Highly recommended.

posted by tottman on August 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Incomprehensible

I really wanted to like this book. But the first person naration is very poor, confusing at times, and maybe that's why it dragged for me. I was very bored with this book, but i felt like i had to warn others. I cannot believe how many people like this book. Oh, and...
I really wanted to like this book. But the first person naration is very poor, confusing at times, and maybe that's why it dragged for me. I was very bored with this book, but i felt like i had to warn others. I cannot believe how many people like this book. Oh, and it is very expensive for such a short book.......it should be a novella..no, it should be free and meant as required reading as a punishment.

posted by Evoran on September 22, 2011

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Page 1 of 7
  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great new fantasy!!

    Prince of Thorns starts off right in the middle of the action. The first few pages make it clear that you are not going to feel much love for Jorg, the hero of the story. He is amoral and ruthless, but you come to admire and root for him. Anytime you start to feel more than that, he reminds you how truly twisted he is.

    Prince of Thorns is the story of Jorg. Jorg, as a young boy, was forced to watch his mother the Queen and his younger brother brutally murdered. He was spared by being tossed into a thicket of thorns that trapped and nearly killed him, but concealed him. This is Jorg's story of revenge. Revenge on those who murdered his brother and mother, revenge on a father who traded political expediency for justice, and revenge on anyone who stands between Jorg and his desire.

    The book starts off with Jorg on the cusp of his 14th birthday, but fills you in on his past by alternating between events of four years ago and the present. Alternating between two timelines works because both timelines are equally fascinating. The setting is fascinating as well. Early clues are dropped as to where this story is set. I found it a bit confusing at first, but as hints and references were dropped, it became more and more clear where and when this story was taking place.

    The action moves along very briskly. Concentrating on a few main characters keeps the story tight, focused and exciting. The world feels both fully fleshed out and with a lot left to explore. Jorg leads a bit of a charmed life, but other characters who feel like they might be main cogs in the larger story are dispatched with impunity. This creates real suspense in battle scenes or dangerous situations because you can't be sure that any of the characters you are rooting for will survive.

    This is the first book in a planned trilogy, but it has the feel of a world with a lot more stories in it. It reads as a complete story and leaves you anticipating the next leg in the journey. Jorg is a unique protagonist and he'll leave you anxiously awaiting what he has planned next. Highly recommended.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The first Broken Empire thriller is a dark gritty fantasy

    When Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath was ten years old, Count Renar's soldiers murdered his mother and younger brother, and hung him from briar patch thorns to watch them die. Raging with vengeance, he joins an outlaw gang. Less than four years later, he becomes the chief of the gang.

    However, Jorg has goals beyond the gang. He plans within a year to sit rightfully on the throne. To do this he must end the civil war by reuniting the empire under his rule. The time to kill Count Renar and those who executed his loved ones is at hand. However, betrayal and dark magic awaits the former prince who would be emperor.

    The first Broken Empire thriller is a dark gritty fantasy starring a pragmatic protagonist who kills without remorse; a lesson his uncle taught him. With the help of a kindred blood thirsty spirit, Jorg's quest for the throne is not for anyone with a weak stomach. Mark Lawrence portrays a realistic landscape as in many ways the "hero" is as brutal as the villain yet whether one describes Jorg as the lesser of two evils or not he is the glimmer of hope.

    Harriet Klausner

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    a dark tale well told

    Nothing, NOTHING piques my interest more than a novel that causes other reviewers to either love or condemn a story. When I see such vacillation, I know I have to read it so that I can decide for myself.

    And so I did.

    Mark Lawrence tells the story of Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath, a young man who was once a privileged royal child. At the age of nine, Jorg witnesses the brutal murder of his mother and younger brother. By the time Jorg turns thirteen, he leads a gang of outlaws with the sole objective to extract revenge against the Count of Renar, the man who ordered his mother's death.

    Jorg has nurtured his rage and tends it like a dark garden in his heart. He seeks vengence and his days with his outlaw brothers have taught him the brutality he needs to achieve his goal. There is only one thing that frightens Jorg and that is returning to his father's castle where he must confront the horrors from his childhood and win his place as the true prince of Ancrath.

    Lawrence gives us a broken empire in chaos where violence is rampant, but it is our world, easily recognizable. The novel is told entirely from Jorg's point of view, and Lawrence handles Jorg's character with the right amount of verve and pathos thrust in equal measure to keep the reader engaged.

    Just when Jorg's violence becomes extreme, Lawrence slows the pace and gives the reader a clear-eyed view into the heart of a child who has known nothing but grief. Only the coldest soul could not see the armor Jorg has placed around himself, caustic wit shields his fear and he buries his sorrow beneath rage. He is a young man who tries to scald love from his heart and he often succeeds. Yet no man is ever completely untouched by those around him, and Jorg is no different.

    Jorg is a complex character in a world both familiar and strange, and though the Broken Empire is seen entirely through Jorg's eyes, the other characters are just as intricate as Jorg himself. Lawrence's pacing is exquisite and he exhibits a penchant for horror with several well crafted scenes. It is a dark tale well told, you'll be up into the wee hours as you follow Jorg and his brothers down their bloodied path.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2012

    Well-written and Entertaining

    This dark and heavy story is set in the far distant future when scientific knowledge has been lost, and medieval conditions prevail in the world. It is very well written, however, and editing errors are not to be found. The primary character is a violent, ruthless individual, as are most of the characters that surround him. The action is constant, making it difficult to stop reading at any point in the book. The author ties up all loose ends at the end of the story, but paves the way for a sequel.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    If you like the show Dexter, Young Adult Fantasy, and some of th

    If you like the show Dexter, Young Adult Fantasy, and some of the better Stephen King ideas, you'll love this book. Actually, you may love it if you just like really well-written fiction. New writer Lawrence already wields first-person narrative like a master, making the story alternatively wince-worthy, beautiful, and enigmatical. Read it and wait for more from this prodigy.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    Beautiful premise that misses the mark.

    I can only assume Mr. Lawrence was writing with the intent of meeting a word count through this book. He blinks past scenes that should have spent pages to describe. He offhandedly acknowledges the rich past of characters, possibly in the vague hope of building an air of mystery. In all, what could have been an excellent story was rushed and flat. The setting is also vague, having a pseudo-historical feel, but never grounding the reader in the world. I had high expectations for this novel, but can honestly say I am disappointed.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Incomprehensible

    I really wanted to like this book. But the first person naration is very poor, confusing at times, and maybe that's why it dragged for me. I was very bored with this book, but i felt like i had to warn others. I cannot believe how many people like this book. Oh, and it is very expensive for such a short book.......it should be a novella..no, it should be free and meant as required reading as a punishment.

    5 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This book will appeal to those that enjoy a fast paced, medieval

    This book will appeal to those that enjoy a fast paced, medieval flavored treat with a side dish of dark sorcery and an apocalyptic undertone. The attraction is also based upon the excellent character development of the youthful protagonist, Prince Jorg Ancrath. This book is his story told first person and is strongly flavored with his humor, cynicism, recollections and thoughts. He is haunted by the murder of his mother and brother, his bitterness toward his father, his desire for revenge, and a deep inner voice that he cannot fully understand. However, his brutal, ruthless practicality, cunning, audacity, and confidence are the qualities that were required of a conqueror in ages past and perhaps are not all that different from the qualities of some successful politicians today. Nevertheless, part of Jorg’s appeal is that he does understand the moral actions and choices that others would have him take even when he chooses to ignore them. I read the comments from other reviews that compared Mark Lawrence with George Martin, Glen Cook and Joe Abercrombie. His style is different from that of George Martin as again this tale is told first person through a single character and the setting is very different. Jorg’s supporting cast of violent road brothers whom we sometimes are drawn toward despite their total absence of accepted morality is reminiscent of Glen Cook’s Black Company of mercenaries. The plot and setting of this book are more similar to Joe Abercrombie’s “Best Served Cold” than to George Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. Mark Lawrence’s Jorg is also reminiscent of Joe Abercrombie’s Monza Murcatto At any rate, if you enjoy the books of George Martin, Glen Cook and Joe Abercrombie, you will love this one. If not, then this is not your treat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not bad

    Not a bad read. Can be graphic at times so if thats not your cup o tea than I suggest moving on to something else. I agree with another reviewer who said it had a lot of potential but missed the mark by not delving into the world and characters more. I enjoyed it enough to want to read the second book. Its perfect as an "in between" book while you're waiting for the next book in your favorite series. I was struggling to decide between 3 and 4 stars and eventually went with three.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Great book!

    Besides being a great read, this book was one of the most original books I've read in a long time. It does have a lot of graphic violence, which I usually don't care for, but once you get used to the author's style you come to realize that it is not gratuitous violence. There is a reason for it, as it helps you understand the main character's background and his motivation. This was the best book I've read in a long time, and I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Recommended. Interesting, brutal, good action. Whole series is solid.

    Post apocalyptic Europe reverts (mostly) to medieval technology. Mature audiences, not for timid or younger readers (this is a good thing). Violent, brutal, feces, mud, some sex, rotting flesh, and lots of blood (i.e. probably fairly realistic vs idealistic SF - at least regarding human behavior and what we are capable of doing to each other). Just finished the whole series. Well written. Enough depth, back story, and mystery to hold my sustained interest but lots of action to keep it moving. The main character is terminally flawed but I was still able to connect. A violent boy/man for a violent time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2012

    I liked the premise of this book, but really couldn't get into i

    I liked the premise of this book, but really couldn't get into it. I thought it would be a quick read because it isn't very long, but it just drug on and on. It is mostly a fantasy book set in times where kings rule, and then out of the blue, throws in a space ship with nuclear weapons. Save your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    loved this book

    this book is gritty and dark! a fun easy read, with some great curveballs!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2012

    Greatness

    A must read. Lawrence knows how to twist your emotions about a protagonist.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    This book is not for the faint of heart, it is the story of one

    This book is not for the faint of heart, it is the story of one boys
    revenge, and what happens why you push the right person all the wrong
    ways. Many say the main character is unlikable, but to be fair if my
    mother was rapped and butchered in front of me and my brothers brains
    bashed out against a rock , only for my father to more or less ignore
    the whole event....I would be just a bit off my rocker as well. Jorg
    will do anything to get his revenge, and that does mean *anything*.
    There has also been some comments made that many rich characters have
    not been explored or used as much as they could. In my mind this is a
    reflection of how Jorg sees them: tools for his revenge, nothing more
    nothing less.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    Pretty good story. A bit too "deus ex machina" in pla

    Pretty good story. A bit too "deus ex machina" in places, and
    the protagonist is almost impossible to like (unless you're a
    sociopath), but the writing is crisp, and moves the story along rapidly.
    Will most likely check out the second book in the series, to see what
    happens next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Explicit violence, but VERY good read.

    I highly reccommend the book. It is very difficult to like the "hero" at first, but you end up cheering for him anyway. I can't wait for the sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2014

    Bio Outline

    Name- [ Should be Italian or French ]<br>
    Age- [ Under twenty, over 15. ]<br>
    Gender-<br>
    Rank in the Society- [ Outside Elite, trainee, memeber(has recived crimson cloak), senior member(has recived gold cloak), or leader. ]<br>
    Blood Nationality- [ Most likley Kenettran, because we are in Kenettra, but if you talk to the leader, s/he may be able to make you Beldish or Tamouran. ]<p>


    Age of first ability discovery-<p>


    Marking- [ EVERYONE MUST HAVE A PROMINENT MARKING! They are usually very prominent, and sometimes ugly. Things like bright red hair or a very big birth mark. ]<p>


    Ability- [ has to do with one thing only. Not, fire AND water control, it's fire OR water control]<p>


    Ability Weakness- [ MUST have ]<p>


    History-<p>


    Family-<p>


    Other-


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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2014

    I've only read it 10 times now.

    Jorg is mynee favorite anti-hero.

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  • Posted September 17, 2014

    Wow. This is really dark. I worried about Jorg the whole way thr

    Wow. This is really dark. I worried about Jorg the whole way through. No, really, I did. Cried a million tears for him. Knew better than to let him see the tears, though. He wouldn't want them.




    Mark Lawrence has managed to write a character that repulses you even as he makes you pity him.




    Boy, I'm glad I waited to read these until the whole trilogy was out. I'm not sure I could stand to wait for the others to come out. Now, I'm really impatient for the Blackguards anthology to come out, so I can read the short story Mr. Lawrence has in it.

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