Saturday, January 21, 2017

King of Thorns

King of Thorns
By Mark Lawrence
Ace Books, 2012. 449 pages. Fantasy

Revenge is sweet. Jorg has not only killed his uncle for the crimes he committed, but has taken control of his lands, naming himself King of the Renar Highlands. King is a good place to start, but if Jorg still wants to unite the Broken Empire beneath him he has a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, there’s another contender for the imperial throne: the charming, good-hearted Orrin of Arrow. Nobles flock to support him, soldiers rally to his cause, and every soothsayer and their grandmother predicts his glorious reign. The more people who tell him to roll over, though, the more stubborn Jorg gets, and when Arrow brings an army of 20,000 to his gates, surrender is the last thing on his mind.

This is #2 in The Broken Empire Trilogy, and I enjoyed it almost as much as I did Prince of Thorns. If you are a little confused at the beginning and feel like you’ve missed something, don’t worry. Like the first book, this one follows two timelines: the “Wedding Day” when Jorg is fighting off Arrow’s onslaught on his castle, and “Four Years Earlier,” which explains everything leading up to that. This volume reaches even further than the previous novel, though, and adds two additional storylines: pages from Katherine’s diary, and snippets of a memory Jorg has locked away in a magical chest. I saw this as a bit of a flaw, since the four competing timelines made it difficult to keep the stories straight or to maintain any sort of accurate chronology in my head. Additionally, I felt that a lot of the themes and problems in King of Thorns came out of nowhere instead of being nicely foreshadowed in the first book. Despite these imperfections, though, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book. Jorg’s character arc was excellent, and after seeing his stint as King I’m excited to see whether he will be able to grab and hold ultimate power in the next volume.


No comments: