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Prince of Thorns | [Mark Lawrence]

Prince of Thorns

Author Mark Lawrence has won over audiences everywhere with Prince of Thorns, his exciting debut novel. Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs. But he’s determined to take back what’s rightfully his, so he returns to the castle a few years later - unaware of the dark and powerful magic that awaits.
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Publisher's Summary

Author Mark Lawrence has won over audiences everywhere with Prince of Thorns, his exciting debut novel.

Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs. But he’s determined to take back what’s rightfully his, so he returns to the castle a few years later - unaware of the dark and powerful magic that awaits.

©2011 Bobalinga, Ltd. (P)2012 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

“Vivid … full of wonder. This book is brilliant.” (Galaxy Book Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (918 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Overall
3.9 (852 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (843 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (113)
2 star
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1 star
 (19)
Performance
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  •  
    Door Minneapolis, MN USA 09-07-13
    Door Minneapolis, MN USA 09-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "It sticks in your head."

    No one can tell you whether you are going to like a book or not. When I read the first few pages of this book, I had this sinking feeling that I was really going to have to TRY to like it. The first person narrative felt eccentric and the protagonist felt archetypal and narcissistic.

    But it just kind of got under your skin. Not after a few chapters. Right away. It's like when you're watching a TV show and you can't put your finger on why you like a character. Not in the labored foreshadowing-of-redemption kind of way. But because they scratch an itch or make you think.

    THEN I whispersynced over to the audiobook and it all just clicked. I've had audiobooks before that were more enjoyable than reading the book, but this was different. This was like the voice actor shed light on the character and made the narrative voice feel 'right.' Suddenly it wasn't a borderline annoying teen with daddy issues - it was Alex from Clockwork Orange, except now he's a sellsword fighting witches, or whatnot. Yeah, I know, it's kind of crude/rude to compare one character to another, so don't go running away with that analogy. That's just how it was perceived by me.

    Prince of Thorns is rough and dark and super melodramatic in a medieval film noir kind of way. I can understand why some people don't like it. But I also kind of think it's bound to have a cult following. I'm still not sure whether the book is truly good or not, but putting it down is hard and I think about it all the time, like a disturbing dream I wish I hadn't woken up from.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John B MILFORD, NEW JERSEY, United States 11-27-12
    John B MILFORD, NEW JERSEY, United States 11-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Simply Amazing Anti Hero Tale."
    Would you listen to Prince of Thorns again? Why?

    I would indeed.
    The narrator brought the different cast of unique characters to life and read brilliantly what was already a well written story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the characters. Yes, even the evil prince himself. They all have powerful personalities and the narrator brings them to life so magnificently.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I'd say the scene where the prince and his men take on the force many times their size in the ruins.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    For being such a dark tale, there is comedy, and I did laugh to myself as I listened.


    Any additional comments?

    You have to know what you are getting into. The dark moments of the book may seem a bit much (The main character contimplates about killing just about every single person that speaks to him) but it IS a story with an anti-hero. Someone you aren't supposed to love. Someone that believes the ends justify the means. And Jorg does believe that and would kill near anyone to get what he wants, but in the context of the story, he does so in a way that absorbs the listener in every moment.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 05-20-14
    Todd 05-20-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No F**king Unicorns"
    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for friendly talking dragons, and Happily Ever After this book is NOT for you. Violent, dark and brooding. Reminds me of books by Brent Weeks and Joe Abercrombie. I am downloading the second book now. This one was a bit short for my taste.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise Johnson 07-09-13

    Quality Methodteir

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A game of Thorns and Power"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a rich smooth syrup of poetic prose. Words so thick you can not see through them. Not a watercolor but an oil painting with texture, depth and color, mostly red. This is also a study of madness as seen from the inside and a how-to on making a monster.

    All the characters are Jorg. It is his vision that is your window to his world. You only see through his eyes. All others are what he tells you they are. Reality is what he wants to believe. His values, that all can be sacrificed and all is a means to an end, is what drives this book. That all must bend to his will. That one or two well placed corpse will make others more compliant. He is assured that men will fallow him because they will! Things will happen as he wants, because it will! Because he is Jorg.

    Do I like Jorg? No. Would I ever want to meet him? Hell no! Do I want to read the next book, as well as anything else by this author? Yes please. Because fellow readers this man can write!

    One way to judge a book is by the echoes it leaves in your mind. Do you think about it? Where you changed by it? Did it disturb you? This one will be lurking in the dark corners of my mind for a long time.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathias United States 12-17-12
    Mathias United States 12-17-12

    I love to read. I also love to write. I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All Grit And Gore, Very Little Story"

    Mr. Lawrence can obviously write. The vividness of the battle scenes in Prince of Thorns proves that. They are good. But, the problem is that same talent to write is not translated into other parts of the book. Most importantly, character development and plot. This story is very shallow in those departments. It feels like a draft of a complete novel.

    For me, it was just lazy dark fantasy. A decent listen for sure, but not some elite (or even great) tale. It barely registered as average thanks to Mr. Lawrence's writing of the aforementioned battle scenes.

    But, I stand by my statement that the story itself is lazy. It tries to be grit and gore and no more. Prince Jorg is one dimensional and never developed into the sort of anti-hero that I could root for. The encounters that stand in his way seems like they are only partially serious.

    I suggest it if you like a nice, quick dark fantasy listen/read, but know going in that you are going to get a tale that is about blood and Prince Jorg's quest for vengeance with no meat to the bones.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erich 10-01-12
    Erich 10-01-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Book and Performance"
    If you could sum up Prince of Thorns in three words, what would they be?

    intense, thrilling, fantastic


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    main character: Jorg Ancrath


    Have you listened to any of James Clamp’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to "King of Thorns" also performed by Clamp. It was also very good. His ability to make the different characters discernible from one another really helps the story.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent book. I would highly recommend it to other listeners who like complex stories and aren't afraid of a very visceral experience. There is a lot of violence, but it fits with the character development and adds to the experience of the story.

    Fantastic narrator performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles Edison, NJ, United States 09-07-12
    charles Edison, NJ, United States 09-07-12 Member Since 2013
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    "A revenge fantasy"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, i was drawn in and found this a very enjoyable listen. I am about 70% of the way through and cant wait to hear more.


    Any additional comments?

    was very satisfied with the narration. Of course this is my opinion, but it was a good listen

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Marshall, MI, United States 08-29-12
    Arthur Marshall, MI, United States 08-29-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tough hero to like, but you do"
    If you could sum up Prince of Thorns in three words, what would they be?

    cynical planning underdog


    What did you like best about this story?

    The hero was not all powerful but accomplishes amazing things while morally suspect


    Any additional comments?

    Take Tomas Covenant or the Warded Man and add a healthy dose of nastiness

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Monahan Milwaukee, WI United States 10-06-14
    Michael Monahan Milwaukee, WI United States 10-06-14 Member Since 2007
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    "All "Anti" no "hero""

    Conflicted, complicated, and morally ambiguous characters are great, but Jorg is just a one-dimensional dirtbag. Not interesting or compelling in the least. Martin, Abercrombie, and Morgan I like very much, but this is really a far cry from their work. It's as if Mr. Lawrence is trying to imitate work he admires, but doesn't really understand, and the result is caricature more than emulation. "Look everybody, my protagonist is way more vicious, nasty, and loathsome than anything those hacks ever came up with! And I won't waste your time with depth or character development!" Thanks, but no thanks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Lake Hiawatha, NJ, United States 01-08-14
    Marc Lake Hiawatha, NJ, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Starts off good, but falls off in a bad way"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The audio quality was fine, but the story sucked. Overall if this question is asking me how to make the story better, there were too many issues with the story to count. The story just lost my interest and made me pray I was wrong and that it would get better based on the reviews.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Bernard Cornwell's The Pagan Lord.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The violent protagonist angle was great in the first part of the book but the rest of the story just lost me.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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