^BOOK ⇵ Prince of Thorns ⇞ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Buddy read with Jorg s fangirl, AnnaHere it is, I finally got around to this famous Grimdark novel Let it be known first that Prince of Thorns is not my first Mark Lawrence s book, the first was Red Sister, his newest and what the majority of his fans considered as his best work so far Though I can t say the same for the series yet, Prince of Thorns, the first book in the Broken Empire trilogy, one of the most famous Grimdark fantasy in the market and Mark Lawrence s debut novel is inferior compared to Red Sister but hey, I m not here to do a step by step comparison.PoT as a whole is still of an okay to good read for me since there s nothing special yet as of now other than the unique main character I have problems with almost every aspect of the book excluding the MC and prose One thing for sure, reading this book while you re having one of those bad day and felt like obliterating all things in sight proved to be quite satisfactory.The entire book follow only one POV in 1st person perspective and this may be off putting for a lot of people especially since the main character, Jorg Ancrath, the Prince of Thorns who s broken by a traumatic event in his past is an asshole, insane, and sociopath say the least He s pretty much Batman Bruce Waynegasp Bruce Wayne is Batmanwho goes down the road of Joker.Personally, I find people s reactions towards the violence in this book to be overblown, there are tons of other books violent and gritty than this, a single 2 page torture scene by Glokta in The First Law trilogy made me grit my teeth than this whole book Yes, there is violence and yes Jorg is a rapist and murderer but the rape scene happened off screen, in one short paragraph that when I read the part, I was like wait, this is the scene and have to reread it to know that it was actually talking about rape This doesn t mean I support his actions at ALL, it s just that we see tons of people s head bashed like potato in tons of other books we read and no one bats an eye towards those scenes, apparently one short vague paragraph about rape is worse than people s head exploding or bodies part being cut off.I must also state that the book really lacking in actions department, there s tiny bits of action here and there but most of them are forgettable except for maybe one courtly duel scene.In my opinion, Jorg as a character is really unique to read, there s probably less than 10 POV I know which role played a sociopath or villain as the main POV and although he started out as a complete villain, by the end of this book he transformed himself to be an anti hero and I can t wait to read about his developmentThe way to break the cycle is to kill every single one of the bastards that fucked you over Every last one of them Kill them all Kill their mother, kill their brothers, kill their children, kill their dogIf there s a con that I had with Jorg s POV, it s not on reading his behavior or personalityonce again, doesn t mean I support his actions AT ALLbut his godlike ability in everything He s 14 years old, his narrative sounded like a 20 30 years old adultprobably due to his past , blessed with power and skills better than all veteran soldiers which doesn t make sense Not to mention that all conflicts in this book seems too convenient for him to solve and the infamous enemies he faced or less have an IQ so low to even be considered a worthy enemy I find myself reading the book almost completely devoid of intensity excluding one or two scene.Picture Chibi Jorg by peastriAnother great thing about the book is in its prose The structure of the book is told within two time frames, past and present and Mark s prose is really great in gripping the reader to the book It s immersive, well written and philosophical at timesMemories are dangerous things You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you ll find an edge to cut youNow, two of my biggest problem with the book lies in its lack of well written characters and world building Jorg aside, there s no other compelling characters, all the other side characters are devoid of personality that I could care less if they died or not This includes Jorg s group of mercenary, the Road Brothers I want the books I read to have other compelling characters rather than one only, the the better This is achievable despite the 1st person narrative, Kingkiller Chronicle for example, for a book solely focused on Kvothe, there are tons of other great characters endearing for the readers despite their brief appearances, Simon, Auri, Devi etc I really hope the sequels to this book to have great side characters to care for.And finally, the world building aspect, this book doesn t have the feel of an epic or high fantasy book, at least not yet as of now There s no lore or mythology here, the setting of the world is the same as ours with fictional cities in a map with high resemblance to Europe or maybe it is Europe I have no idea yet The God in this book is Jesus, there s talk of Plato, Roma, India, Robin Hood that it felt at times like reading historical fiction There are some elements of high fantasy of course, with the undead and angel for example but their brief appearances and the setting of the world doesn t help in bringing the tone of high fantasy to the book as of now, there s actually a hint of Sci Fi in the world building and that part intrigued me so let s just say, my problem lies in my expectation for thinking this is a standard high fantasy book.Picture Jorg an angelInterior Artwork from Broken Empire Omnibus edition by Jason Chan Despite the faults I have with the book, Jorg and the prose itself manage to pushed me to read the book in 2 daysnot something to be proud of though, the book is really shortand from what I gathered so far, this book is like a setup for the next two books It s of a character background book to Jorg rather than his real journey and the ending of the book really piqued my interest in continuing the trilogy, which I ll do so after posting this review Prince of Thorns is an okay read for me and I hope the rest of the trilogy could push the series towards greatness You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic High Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at Booknest I m purposely using cat gifs to try and soften this review up a bit I don t think it will help, but I just couldn t bring myself to search for anything bloody by the time I finished this book.See that little boy on the cover, in all of his 14 year old glory By the fifth page, I hated his guts He repulsed me Repulsed And I m not talking about just disliking his personality Oh, no Full on skeeved out.The kid is an unrepentant murderer and rapist So why 4 stars, huh Weeeeell, he s just insane enough to be interesting And to be quite honest, I kept hoping little Jorg would somehow redeem himself Insome way Just a little bit But the little bastard just kept on slicing throats, throwing people off cliffs, and shooting arrows through the hearts of anyone he really cares about.To be fair, Jorg has Batman syndrome He watched the slaughter of his mother and little brother when he was only 10 years old He has some unresolved issues Except instead of taking the Bruce Wayne approach to thingsI will SAVE Gotham, he s gone all dark and demonic on the inside Hate will do that to you It s ok to get angry, you just have to channel it the right way Hate Not so much That shit will just eat you up And then who s gonna want to adopt you from the shelter So, Jorg started out an angry 10 year old, and when he finds out the King who just happens to be his father won t attack the man responsible for his mother brother s death, he loses it He hates the king who attacked his family, and he hates his father for letting it slide In a rather spectacular show of lunacy, he runs away from home and takes up with a group of killers, eventually becoming their leader.Hate, amirite What comes after hate EVIL, that s what Pure evil The kind of evil who thinks it s funny to taunt the farmer you just gutted by telling him you just found his daughters Mmmmm Yummy It s a slippery slope, people If you let yourself go down that road, you ll find yourself sucked in deeper and deeperwith no way out.And that scene, with the dying farmer, is where we start the journey with Jorg He s a few days shy of 14, and already the leader of his motley band of Brothers You would think it would be impossible for a kid to have somehow taken the leadership role, especially among a group of hardened murderersIn my mind, this is how his takeover would have gone But Jorg is a fearless, scary little shit And he s not the type to back down Ever To anyone.I kinda had to respect that about him, you know At any rate, the kid is ruthless enough to scare these guys into submission Besides, the vast majority of his crew were not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree They were good at raping pillaging, but that was as far as their mental capacities took them In other words, they may have been scum, but they weren t very hard to manipulate.However, along the road, he runs into his father s priest In a cage No, seriously Jorg naturally wants to kill him but decides to use him to herald his return back to his kingdom.But not before he stares down an army of the undead, and sends them running for the hills Yeah, I know I told you this little fucker was scaryAlright, once he makes his grand entrance back at the castle, that s when this show really gets going Jorg finally gets to face off with his father Except, it s not as cool as Jorg imagined it in his head In fact, it s pretty much the opposite of cool Turns out, his father has remarried, and the new wife is preggers with Jorg 2.0 Unfortunately, dear old Dad doesn t exactly want his asshole, runaway son taking the throne away from his new spawn Naturally, Jorg s first thought is how he s going to kill the pregnant bitch Because he s sweet like thatBut before he can even begin to starting plotting ways to push his stepmother down a flight of stairs, he runs into her sisterhis new aunt.Aunt Hot Babe And now he s conflicted I mean, he likes her so much he doesn t even want to rape herWTF, Jorg Are you losing your edge over a girl Ehhh Not really He debates whether or not to kill her, just so he doesn t have to worry about getting too attached Luckily for her, it doesn t matter for long Because Papa King is sending him on a suicide mission to take out one of the enemy kingdoms If he returns victorious, it will prove his loyalty and restore him as the heir.Hahahahahahaha Yeah, Jorg isn t falling for it, either.But there s not much he can do but play along His father has a powerful magician with some scary powers This dude can get inside your head, read your thoughts, and control your body.And Jorg, surprisingly, has managed to get on his bad side Although to be fair, this guy has managed to get on Jorg s bad side, as well For the record, my money was always on the psychotic tweenOk, the rest of the story is full of exciting adventure Mutants, necromancers, and radioactive waste are waiting for our intrepid band of don t even remotely resemble heroes But the good thing is, you really don t care when any of them bites it Well, except for that one guyThere are plenty of Big Secrets that come to light by the time this story was over But towards the end, there was one thing the king did that I really didn t see coming And then there was that other thing that made me think Jorg might be redeemableIshSee, there is a bit of a hole in the kid s memory Not much, mind you Just a teeny tiny chunk.But it turns out to be quite a doozy Alright, so is Jorg the kind of character that I think most people will like No.He s just about as rotten and unsympathetic as they come.However, by the end of this book, he had learned one very important lesson that I think will resonate with everyone.Sexytimes with a willing hooker is much pleasant than going the old forcible rape route Awwww He s really growing as a person, don t you think My point is, this is DEFINITELY not a book for everyone I liked it, but that was only because I knew what I was getting into beforehand If I could find a Trigger Warning cat gif, I would put it up in a heartbeat However, because I can t, I m just going to close the door and let you decide for yourself whether or not you want to read this oneAlso reviewed for I ve heard of dark fantasy and anti heroes, but this is the darkest fantasy with the anti est anti hero I ve ever encountered Our protagonist Jorg is only thirteen, but do not mistake this for a kids book Jorg is already the leader of a cutthroat gang of marauders, and has killed men than most seasoned warriors including innocent civilians and a few of his own followers Despite all this, I found myself rooting for Jorg, especially as of his past is revealed, and we learn why he has become such a hardened, unrepentant killer He lives in a broken empire where minor lords are constantly squabbling, but who is really pulling the strings of power Jorg intends to find out He aims to become king by the time he is fifteen, and once you meet you, you won t be betting against him If you ve ever wanted to read a first person book about a hero who is also the darkest of villains, try this out It s not like anything I ve ever read before. I can t get behind a book that has the main character raping girls in the first few pages.No thanks, I am good.I have read a lot of books with rape in them, but I have to say they were mostly with a female protagonist One of my favorite fantasy series, The Deed of Paksenarrion, Pak s lets herself be tortured for five days and nights, and rape isn t the only thing that she has to suffer I understood why the character did this, I also understood why the author wrote the story the way she did I can see why an author will do this to their female leads, it can make them stronger, give them motivation to become the best they can be to fight evil in whatever form it comes in There are a couple of reasons I have issues with the main character being rapist, the first being the obvious I cannot empathize with a rapist, there isn t a good enough reason in the world for me to like a person that commits such a crime I can t think of another author that has had their main character act in the way Jorg has.This leads into my second reason for disliking the course of actions of this book It s an easy out, a cheap shot in making the main character be evil, and he is evil, this is not the actions of an anti hero I like a good anti hero, I enjoy the show Dexter, and Richard Kadrey writes a mean one with his Sandman Slim series.I like books where the author takes time to build the story so the reader and the character get to know each other and settle their differences In this book there isn t time, the author just jumped right in with this disgusting display to portray what a horrible man Jorg is This is why I will not be reading this book, it s not all the reasons, but it s the top two EDIT Here is the rape scene that people are saying never happened view spoiler Brother Rike does enjoy his simple pleasures, Makin said.He did Rike had a hunger for it Hungry like the fire.The flames fair ate up Mabberton I put the torch to the thatched inn, and the fire chased us out, Just one bloody sday in the years long death throes of our broken empire.Makin wiped at his sweat, smearing himself all over with sootstripes He had a talent for getting dirty, did Makin You weren t above those simple pleasures yourself, Brother Jorg I couldn t argue there how old are you that fat farmer had wanted to know Old enough to pay a call on his daughters The fat girl had a lot to say, just like her father Screeched like a barn owl hurt my ears with it I liked the older one better She was quiet enough So quiet you d give a twist here or a there just to check she hadn t died of fright Though I don t suppose either of them was quiet when the fire reached them hide spoiler Cw rapeWell, I did it I finished it to the last page, mostly so I could review it like this Give me a medal, because I was very much tempted to drop it when within the first few pages, the protagonist manages to rape two women and murder a few others just cause More on this later.This book was the metaphorical equivalent of some r morbidreality bullshit Palahniuk pulls this shit too, but at least he does it well Lazy writing Lazy lazy lazy lazy lazy It s like filming a trainwreck and presenting it unedited because Oh man look at it It s Art It s Edgy But it s honestly lazy and ineffective and there s just way better stuff out there than this.Let s start with the main character Jorg Asshole in a position of power, indeed I am not protesting the use of rape as a plot device, however sickening I might find it personally I am protesting the fact that rape, a special kind of evil, is downplayed to benefit the protagonist s standing among his men RAPE IS NOT A MATTER TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY THIS BOOK TREATS IT AS SUCH, AND NOT NECESSARILY JUST FROM JORG S POINT OF VIEW.This book starts out with the plundering and burning of some small town in the country Jorg is seen giving several less than stable orders to his men about what exactly they can do about the absence of material wealth, and points them in the way of several farm girls.Cue rape scene Anyway The one star is not because of Lawrence s sheer honesty and brutality in portraying the total psychopath that people even as young as fourteen years old can become from a bad childhood His honesty wasalright Sure.But why is it that every white male author writes shit like this literally for the sake of being edgy and cool This was senseless, baseless there was simply no point Why am I expected to be sympathetic to the main character when he pulls shit like this There was a great quote I m going to bring up that was directed at ASOIAF, but it will work here Tons of trolls have thrown out the but THINGS WERE JUST LIKE THAT BACK THEN argument ad nauseum Which is total bullshit, of courseI just want to ask, why is it whenever producers directors writers want to demonstrate gritty historic realism it s ALWAYS RAPE It s always sexual violence toward women girls You know what would be gritty historic realism Dysentery GoT has battles and armies marching all over the place You want to show what things were like back then Why aren t we seeing 500 guys by the side of a road puking and shitting their guts out from drinking contaminated water while the rest of the army straggles along trying to keep going Or a village getting wiped out by cholera Or typhus, polio or plague epidemics I M GOING TO GO AHEAD AND ANSWER WHY PEOPLE DON T SEEM TO WANT TO DO THAT No one wants to see that shit And the same goes with rape, goddammit.Anyway, let s move on to the other characters.Wait What other characters Jorg IS the main character, but, I mean, seriously, it s almost as if the most important supporting characters around him were just plot devices in living flesh and bone and nothing No development Totally flat Lifeless Existing to only complement the already gritty edgy omgimsocool vibe of the main character Don t they get any development At all Another point one redeeming part of this book could have been female representation, but what did you DO to Katherine, for fuck s sake We have her stand there as Jorg starts to strangle her near the end That s what you do to her Here we have that recurring motif of violence against women, where every girl is either raped or beaten and don t exist in this insipid, too edgy plot in their own right Thanks, Mr Lawrence.In case you couldn t figure it out, I do not recommend this book. Here s Cliff Notes to my review The Blade Itself Lite, with significantly less character development, a typical revenge plot and little redemption.Feels suspiciously like watching a dog fight video from ASPCA Violent, powerful with a lack of finesse, subtlety or characterization, and the only redeeming aspect might occur at the end The main character resists personal growth and opportunities for redemption, and commits violence after violence We open as he watches a man die with his belly ripped open, while some of his men loot corpses, rape women and set buildings on fire, and another comes through and chops off heads Ostensibly it is in pursuit of a larger goal, but what it translates to is a path of casual violence, both intimate and large I get that that s what the author means to show, but I felt sort of sick and uncomfortable reading it The most interesting parts were the four years ago flashbacks that begin to flesh out how our lead became the dysfunctional person he is The tragedy looms large and awful, but the story lacks the sense of spiraling into rage that would helps us understand how he transformed the killing and it s aftermath into the path he did An interesting angle is the sort of post apocalyptic connection that is at first hinted at with literary references, and then becomes obvious Forgive me, but it reminds me strongly of the trend later Shannara books took, with mysterious ruins, mutated populations and nuclear waste leaks In this first book, there is little that is unique except view spoiler in Prince Jorg s willingness to set fire to weapons he barely understands but knows will be terribly lethal he is cautioned from setting them all on fire to just one hide spoiler This month I am recommending both PRINCE OF THORNS and KING OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence They are two of three, with the third not yet published I have read the first and am halfway through the second As a fantasy tale, Prince Jorg Ancraft s story is quite extraordinary It begins when he is 13 and already a stone cold killer with a horrific past This is a dangerous and risky protagonist for any author to put forth, but Lawrence does it with verve and confidence It is like a train wreck from which you cannot look away This is a story that you cannot put down Every time I said to myself and it was often Oh, he s not going to go there or he s not really going to do that, he did A hard edge tale of survival and conquest in a brutal medieval world well told and very compelling, it is different than anything I have ever read. I kept seeing good things and or controversy about Prince of Thorns everywhere I looked, and everyone loves controversy I decided to take the arc along with me to Worldcon in Reno, with the intention or reading it by the pool I am still not comfortable taking an expensive eReader poolside.Boy, am I glad I did.Prince of Thorns had me by the balls in the first chapter I found myself stealing time to read just a page here and a page there, and whenever a rare block of time opened, I commandeered it in the name of PoT Read the whole book in less than a week This used to be nothing, I would read two books a week in high school and college, but these days even a standard 300pp paperback can take me weeks to finish Too much to do If I m reading 50 pages a day, that is a damn good book.I was immediately pulled into Prince Jorg s sociopathic little world, fascinated by the flashbacks of his past that hinted at how he became the amoral monster he was Lawrence s writing is a wonderful mix of vivid metaphor and tight, economical prose There are no wasted words, each is beautifully chosen His world, too, is a wonderful blend of medieval and post apocalyptic fantasy Jorg s interactions with his teachers, foes, mercenary brothers and royal family are fabulously done.After seeing mixed reviews and controversy, I expected PoT to be a lot violent and disturbing than it actually was I guess that shouldn t surprise me I think my own books are fairly tame compared to what goes on in the really real world, and yet there are plenty of reviewers who would have you think they are one long rape scene Fool me once, reviewers, shame on you Fool me twice Don t get me wrong Lawrence s Prince Jorg is one delightfully twisted little bastard But you may find yourself having a little sympathy as you get to know him.Blink, and you might even find yourself rooting for him to succeed. I had to grit my teeth several times to get through this, and than once I wondered, Why was this recommended to me Then the pieces began to fall into place Not a tale for the faint of heart, but well worth it to prevail Trust me. ^BOOK ✙ Prince of Thorns ☠ Before The Thorns Taught Me Their Sharp Lessons And Bled Weakness From Me I Had But One Brother, And I Loved Him Well But Those Days Are Gone And What Is Left Of Them Lies In My Mother S Tomb Now I Have Many Brothers, Quick With Knife And Sword, And As Evil As You Please We Ride This Broken Empire And Loot Its Corpse They Say These Are Violent Times, The End Of Days When The Dead Roam And Monsters Haunt The Night All That S True Enough, But There S Something Worse Out There, In The Dark Much WorseFrom Being A Privileged Royal Child, Raised By A Loving Mother, Jorg Ancrath Has Become The Prince Of Thorns, A Charming, Immoral Boy Leading A Grim Band Of Outlaws In A Series Of Raids And Atrocities The World Is In Chaos Violence Is Rife, Nightmares Everywhere Jorg Has The Ability To Master The Living And The Dead, But There Is Still One Thing That Puts A Chill In Him Returning To His Father S Castle Jorg Must Confront Horrors From His Childhood And Carve Himself A Future With All Hands Turned Against HimMark Lawrence S Debut Novel Tells A Tale Of Blood And Treachery, Magic And Brotherhood And Paints A Compelling And Brutal, And Sometimes Beautiful, Picture Of An Exceptional Boy On His Journey Toward Manhood And The Throne