As I understand it, Prince of Thorns is a book you either like or dislike, with no inbetween. Unfortunately, for me it is the latter.
Book: Prince of Thorns
Author: Mark Lawrence
Pages: 416 (Paperback)
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: April 12, 2012
When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king.
It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage.
Life and death are no more than a game to him and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?
As I already said, I disliked the book. Why, you may wonder. This book was a total cover buy for me. It kinda screams epic fantasy, and the blurb sounded really good and interesting to me too. I was really looking forward to read about a very young character leading a band of bandits, but then I was disappointed. Jorg is nothing as I have thought he would be. Well, I didn’t exactly expect a hero, but he is more anti-hero than anti-hero if that makes any sense. He is driven by rage and revenge, he always has a hand on his sword and always wants to kill. And he kills without mercy. He is so hard, too hard for my liking. The first two chapters both end with Jorg letting one of his men behead someone else, they start off with rading and burning a village, killing innocents and raping basically all the women. So no, Jorg was not a character for me. And so weren’t his men, none of them. Or the princess Katherine or any other character in this book to be honest. I couldn’t really grasp them and get behind them or understand their motives. Some things were told so slowly, you already forget what happened, some things are told in such a galopp you don’t even know what’s happening to the characters right now. And a lot of the character’s names sound quite similar, so you have to pause and think about which character was which. For me, the characters were just… not well enough developed, the focus too much on Jorg. I mean, yes the story is told from his POV, but he is so damn selfish, it’s impossible to really get to know other characters deeper than the surface, which is a pity, because there would have been a lot of really interesting characters.
I also didn’t really like the world building. I still don’t understand where Prince of Thorns is set, if it is a fantasy world completely or a fantasy world set in a medieval Earth? Because there are some things (mainly church things like the Bible, hell, etc.) that are clearly from our world, but then these countries didn’t ever exist in our world and I jsut sat there and was very confused.
What I liked, or would have liked, was the plot. It would have been great wouldn’t it be for the writing style that wasn’t exactly my type of writing style. It was very brutal and bloody, and sometimes even a bit lyrical, though that seemed a bit forced.
So in summary, Prince of Thorns is the perfect book for everyone who likes it dark, bloody and brutal. But unfortunately it really wasn’t for me.