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.....
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.
"A good ending to the trilogy"
Story – 4/5
Emperor of Thorns is a good ending to a good trilogy. I preferred King of Thorns out of the three novels, but was left satisfied with this ending. I felt that some of the scenes were dragged out unnecessarily at times which allowed my mind to wonder, but I was always brought back to attention by a funny thought of Jorg’s.
As with the previous books, there are plenty of funny and clever self reflections, more than enough brutality and violence (there is an especially horrible torture scene in this one for those of you who don’t enjoy that sort of thing), and also the different time frames which help to reveal Jorg’s nature and the intertwined relevant plot points.
You can tell over the course of the 3 novels that Martin Lawrence’s style has been fine-tuned, not needing to rely too much on the shock factor to grab an audience’s attention. The whit has become sharper, and the writing style a lot smoother. I can’t wait to see what else ML decides to write. I would love to see another story from the same world, similar to what Joe Abercrombie has done.
Performance – 4.5/5
I can’t tell whether it is due to getting used to JJ’s style, or whether time has developed his voice acting as he understands the characters better, but listening to Emperor of Thorns seemed very natural to me. Unlike with the first book, the elements of danger and fierceness were very well portrayed. All of the voice acting was flawless – I would definitely recommend a Joe Jameson narrated book to anyone.
Overall – 4/5
"A beautiful ending to my favourite book series"
In the end it came to one last game of life and death. Colours of sixty-four squares alternated between light and dark, but every move was painted sharper, every piece was coated brighter, than ever before.
Gentle harmonies lulled me into an uneasy dream, softening my heart with beauty and laughter, closing my eyes to the sense of dread creeping up on me. And so I became an easy prey in a trap, as the terror moved in, making me grip the book tight enough for my nails to leave a script of their own, drawing a calligraphy of pain and fear on the pages, dotting around repeated hard lessons.
Intricately woven timelines span me around toward an unpredictable future twisted by prophecies. Sentences punctuated with stunned silences and accords of a thousand vibrant colours in their wake resonated deep within my soul, stirring up dark shadows from my past, handing them blurred memories to sharpen.
In the end Emperor of Thorns took no prisoners. Jorg Ancrath lured me into dreams where angels feared to tread and I followed him lovingly through a Broken Empire and beyond.
And in the end, my broken heart seemed a small price to pay to heal a shattered world. For as it turned out, he in fact mended one for us both.
Everything. He's stunningly talented. I hope he will read Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence, coming out this year, too!
This has been a mindblowing series. A phenomenal story about an anti-hero that you can't help but love. Jorg is the most interesting character in Fantasy in years. His flaws are so deep they're best described as a chasm. He meets aggression with violence, challenge with inspired violence and hardship with inventive violence. For all that, he's a layered character (probably more onion than parfait) who sublimates any 'good' traits to fuel revenge and ambition. The paradox, though, is that he is intrinsically a good man (or boy). As the story unfolds, though, he's vindicated.
The story itself is fresh and unique - there's nothing quite like it out there. There are so many twists and turns to the plot that it's difficult to describe. The pace never flags, though, and the quality of the writing remains excellent throughout. There was not one point through all 3 books where I re-wrote the text in my mind. Mark Lawrence is a phenomenal writer who has created a new, post apocalyptic world full of magics, mayhem and madmen.
people who like fantasy books and are used to listening to this narrator. people who liked the first 2 books.
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