Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Review by: Michael Evan
Mark Lawrence’s fantasy debut is a powerhouse piece of literature. While dark in overall tone, and perhaps comparable to Joe Abercrombie’s work, Lawrence really paints a more focused picture and tugs on emotional heartstrings with Jorg, a prince who witnessed horrible atrocities as a child which turned him in to a ruthless killer.
Jorg is one of the best creations in modern fantasy. He’s despicable but we cheer for him. We want him to succeed despite his atrocious actions. Like many great anti-heroes, The Punisher coming to mind, there needs to be a backstory that makes sense, that allows us to understand his world view, and Mark Lawrence handled his character with the utmost care.
Lawrence is a master at crafting and executing large cinematic moments. Many times while reading Mark’s beautiful often poetic writing I imagined how epic it would be on film or television.
I’m a fan of massive epic fantasy books, but there’s something to be said about being able to pack that much emotion , action, and suspense in a shorter book. Prince of Thorns is a 300 page masterpiece from an author that continues to progress with each book and subsequent series.