Prince of Thorns
Prince of Thorns follows the early life of Jorg Ancrath, who is the son of a king. At age nine he is left to die in a briar patch after watching his mother -- the queen -- and his brother brutally murdered (thus the Prince of Thorns). This traumatic experience leads Jorg to a path of vengeance and revenge as an outlaw to the kingdom.
The best part about Prince of Thorns is the dark, yet sympathetic, character Jorg. His need to hurt others and extract vengeance makes this book a stimulating read. It challenges the readers perception of what a hero should be and whether Jorg is justified in choosing a life as an outlaw rather than returning to his father the king.
For the most part, I enjoyed the story. I loved the way Jorg found unique solutions to risky situations. I also liked the direction of the series plot. However, the ending of Prince of Thorns felt rushed and left me disappointed. It felt as if the book took a violent twist in a direction that no one could see coming. Mark Lawrence could have simply had someone walk up to Jorg and say, ďOh, by the way, hereís whatís really going on. Go kill the guy.Ē In fact, thatís basically how it happened. We have our suspicions (without any evidence) that the author was forced to chop the original manuscript into pieces in order to satisfy a publisher. Chopping up a book just to make more money is one of the things we frown upon. Fortunately for the author, he didnít chop it right before a cliff hanger or this book would have made our list of Worst Fantasy Books.
Another disappointment is that Jorg is the only character who we get to know well. The other characters in the book felt like extras in a movie; something necessary to fill a scene, but doesnít serve any other purpose.
Overall, Prince of Thorns is a good, but not great read. However, the series as a whole makes a great read so if you start Prince of Thorns expect to read all three in the series for a satisfying ending.
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