May 3, 2021

King of Thorns

A man is made of memories. It is all we are. We are memories, strung on storylines—the tales we tell ourselves about ourselves, falling through our lives into tomorrow.

Mark Lawrence, King of Thorns


I’ll admit I wasn’t much of a fan of Prince of Thorns, the first book in Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire Trilogy. While I do love the world Lawrence created, the book just didn’t land for me. I think the main reason is the protagonist, Jorg. He’s a rough character, shaped by the various traumas in his life. Believable? Absolutely. Fun for me to live in his POV? Not so much.

But I trust Mark Lawrence. This is the fourth trilogy of his that I’ve read, and while I certainly haven’t liked all his books, I’ve almost always enjoyed his trilogies. So I moved onto King of Thorns, and I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed the story.

Part of it is that Jorg is an older, (slightly) more mature character. He’s bitter and hard, and still absolutely shaped by his trauma, but there’s just the slightest hint of decency in him, which is all I need to be hooked. Jorg takes center stage, and this time, I’m glad to see him.

The story continues to be dark, bloody, and violent. Lawrence, as is his style, manages to insert an enormous amount of world-building into a perfectly average-length book. I flipped the pages quickly, and now I’m looking forward to book three!