Lawrence brings the Broken Empire series to its devastating conclusion.
The path to the throne is broken - only the broken can walk it. The world is cracked and time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne no matter who stands against me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending.
This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don't look to me to save you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don't follow me. Follow me, and I will break your heart.
©2013 Mark Lawrence (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Dark and relentless, Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two-in-the-morning page turner. Absolutely stunning... jaw-dropping" (Robin Hobb)
The story follows from the previous books. Sometimes the flipping back between the present and the past seems excessive. Most of the loose ends are tied together. The ending was broadcast well in advance. It didn't quite happen as I would have expected (which was that Jorg's convictions were manipulating reality to produce the dead king, especially since the guilt of hanging in the thorn bush and not saving his brother/mother is an underlying issue throughout the series). In the end the actual ending was a bit deficient. and the equality of dream and reality doesn't quite explain how the link between conviction and reality is 'fixed' at the end.
In any case the book is worth listening to, especially after the other books.
Hardcore scifi fan from a galaxy far far away.
Series started poorly. The book overly and uncomfortably and too realistically focused on the brutality and misery of defenceless children and random murder. However by the end of the series it all made a point. This series is definitely above average and worth the read. Perhaps this author will be worth future consideration in any new series.
Up there with GRRM & Joe Abercrombie as a fave author. Have listened, twice to the whole trilogy . Fantasy? Sci-fi? Don't categorise, just enjoy the exceptional writing and wonder at how the whole trilogy's arc comes to a neat and fitting conclusion that actually provides satisfying closure.
Joe Jameson's brilliant narration is a joy in itself, his voice for Jorg is so fitting, plus he manages to come up with such apt and varied voices for the myriad of other characters. Would love to hear his take on A Song of Ice and Fire...
In short, these 3 books resonate in your mind long after they've been finished. They simply glisten.....
"Superb Dark Fantasy"
A satisfying finale of my favourite dark fantasy. An ending that leaves you satisfied - yet wanting more.
I still have difficulty forgiving Joe Jameson for using a German accent for Scandinavian vikings - but there is not much of that here and he does so well on the rest that it is still a 4...
"Inspired by Lost?"
This series is a tough one to get into. It was half way through the second before I was invested. Although the writing and performance improves into the third book, the overall story starts to arc downwards. The ending reminds me two much of the Lost series, and that left a bitter taste in my mouth.
"A neutered conclusion"
As with the rest of the series, fantastic world, interesting character and very intriuing and compelling revelations.
Disappointment as the book began to unfold and it felt like it was running as fast as it could to a conclusion, this series needed an entire book dedicated to what makes up that last 15% of this title.
Jorg travelling the mysterious wates of the Iberico
Yes, incredibly compelling
Fantastic series, loved the way the story unfolded, but the entire series is hampered by the last few hundred pages of this title, not to say they are BAD, but completely rush what should be a much larger conclusion. Also my continued gripe with the series that Jorg feels like a bit of a (admittedly highly flawed) Mary Sue, the downside of single character narratives, is I always know that the character is going to come out of every situation one way or another, typically with increasingly contrived explanations.
"simply fabulous "
Has Mark Lawrence taken gritty fantasy to a whole new level? with no black or white but infinite shades of grey, in my opinion, yes. Not since Joe Abercrombie's first law series have I enjoyed fantasy as much as this. Love the posibilities of the postapocalyptic medieval world so beautifully imagined here. Jorg Ancrath may not be the prince of childrens fairytales, a nice or even decent person, but by the gods his story is compelling reading. fabulous casting of the narrater too, perfect for Jorg and a great job with everyone else, artfully read throughout. can't wait for more adventures through the broken empire.
"Good world, very poor story structure"
As per my reviews of the previous books, this series is carried entirely by the strength of the world.
This book continues the trend from book 2: the main character gets less annoying (though still flat, unimpressive and... well, still annoying, just less) and the book structure gets worse. This book was clearly building up to a resolution (especially having read it), but it didn't read that way: there was no tension, no suspense or desire to get to the end... Perhaps I spoke too highly of the first book in this regard as it only started getting structure and tension halfway through, but still. As a book, this was pretty awful, to the point where it was often a chore to read, much as I wanted to know more about the setting.
"The best is yet to come"
This book and trilogy are a rare thing, a succinct trilogy in the fantasy genre. Done & dusted with no extra faff and satisfactorily concluded. I cannot stress enough how difficult this can be to find. This book and world can easily have been stretched, extra characters brought in there world fleshed out until it takes 10 books to find out what was meant to happen. This author never made that mistake. Masterfully told like the previous books and without any wasted words. There are now other books for the world and I can't speak to them but I am interested enough to have a glance but it is in no way required. That my friends is how you write a fantasy series.
The narration is perfect.
But if you're reading this review you're already two books in so let me just assure you that this book is worth it.
Mark Lawrence has produced such a wonderful work of fiction. The trilogy has become one of my all time favourites. The depth of characters and story is phenomenal. The trilogy is a must read / listen for any fantasy fiction fan.
This is without doubt the best most gripping book I've listened to in many a year.
"Just. Plain. Brilliant."
King Jorg, thief, killer and worse, has never been one to be satisfied with the turn of the wheel of ages. He will make his legend now, at this congression. He will unite the hundred kingdoms of the Broken Empire and defend his family from the Dead King. Or he will die. He will do this because he must. Because the Builders' alternative is truly terrible even to a man like him. And because he will not be told that he cannot. Because everything he has done, everything he is, everything gone before has led to this.
Mark Lawrence expands the familiar parallel time story from King of Thorns and adds another, darkly familiar and yet still surprising point of view to the mix. We finally understand the whys and the hows. All the strands of the mad web draw together, not in a neat bow, but in a hard, beautiful knot of revenge, murder and thin, desperate hope.
Read it. Or, even better, listen to Joe Jameson read it.
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