Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Emperor of Thorns

Emperor of Thorns
By Mark Lawrence
Ace Books, 2013. 434 pages. Fantasy

Jorg is back for a third and final volume, and the question is… will he finally ascend the Empire Throne? Defeating the Prince of Arrow has earned him seven kingdoms, but when it comes time for Congression, that’s only seven votes out of a hundred. An Emperor must win a majority of votes, and we all know that diplomacy is not Jorg’s strong suit. Sure, he may have mastered the ancient technologies of the Builders, but that’s not going to convince a room of noblemen who hate his guts to play nice. Not to mention the fact that everyone is distracted from the business of emperor-making by the fact that the Dead King and his army of necromancers are practically breaking down the door. Is this where Jorg’s quest for ultimate power ends, or will he continue to cheat, lie, and murder his way to the top?

This book was just as great as the first two, and provided me with the perfectly satisfactory conclusion I was looking for. If anyone read my review for King of Thorns, you’ll remember that my one complaint was that Lawrence jumped between four different timelines and it was hard to keep them all straight. This book was a little better—it had three timelines instead of four, and two of the timelines converged toward the end. It was still a little irritating, but I didn’t struggle near as much to remember what was going on. The focus of this book is definitely more on Jorg’s character than in the previous volumes, and I found it interesting to watch as he developed a little self-awareness before his final bid for victory. That being said, there’s definitely more than enough swordplay, torture, and assassination to keep things interesting. All around an excellent trilogy that I would hardily recommend to anyone charmed by a classic anti-hero.


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