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
“Vivid … full of wonder. This book is brilliant.” (Galaxy Book Reviews)
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.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
DREAMS TELL A MAN WHO HE IS.
This story is told in first person, by a guy who loves to hear himself talk. I might have liked this better if written in third person. At times I just wanted the kid to shut up. I am always weary of people who brag about themselves. Tell me they are smart, honest or tough. It usually ends up being the opposite. This guy was tortured at 10 years old and now at 14, he is a bad ass, okay we get it, now let's get on with story, shall we. The first half of the story is all about convincing you that this fourteen year old is a bad ass. He even kills without warning his own followers, sometimes because their looks irritate him. I fail to understand how you can get a group of guys to follow you if they never know when you are going to kill them next. I listened to all of this and there are glimmers of real writing, but it is surrounded by double talk. The second half of the story reads more like Conan the Barbarian. The late middle part of the book, where he is under the mountain and fights necromancers, is the best part of the book. When he is doing something and not talking about doing something.
I SWALLOWED THE NIGHT AND THE NIGHT SWALLOWED ME
I always feel it to be a cheap trick to do a lot of double talk. A lot of people seem to think it clever and you even it see it in some of the classics, but this guy does it constantly. I DON'T LIKE TO BE ANGRY, IT MAKES ME ANGRY. ALL OF A SUDDEN IMPOSSIBLE ODDS, SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE. YOU LOSE THE GAME AND WHAT DO YOU LOSE? YOU LOSE THE GAME. IN A REAL FIGHT AND MOST FIGHTS ARE REAL. EVEN AS THEY LEFT ME, THE WORD SOUNDED HOLLOW, CHILDLESS.
AND IF PEOPLE CALL YOU KING, THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE.
Probably the biggest fact that you comes out of this story, is that kings are nothing but the biggest bully on the block. That is how they get started and then it is nepotism from then on.
I'M A SOLDIER (reviewer) AND THAT'S THE END OF IT.
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.
I would indeed.
The narrator brought the different cast of unique characters to life and read brilliantly what was already a well written 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.
I'd say the scene where the prince and his men take on the force many times their size in the ruins.
For being such a dark tale, there is comedy, and I did laugh to myself as I listened.
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.
The main character needs to have some redeemable character traits. I rarely read a book, in which I am rooting against the main character
Half way through the book and their is literally no character I want to see alive through the next page
all of them
I know a lot of people like this series, but I couldn't get passed not finding a character I really liked. I don't mind grimdark, but this just didn't grab me. The writing was fine, it was just the story itself. The narration was actually really good.
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.
Fans of Christoper Walken
Nothing narrated by James Clamp.
Simon Vance, or Michael Page; hell, I'd even give my shy three year old niece a try.
Unfortunately I can't give a proper review of this book because I honestly stopped listening after ten minutes of the narrator giving a ten second pause after each comma, and thirty after each period. It just completely obliterated the flow of the story, and while this may have been fun to listen to Christoper Walken reading this, with this narrator an this book, it just completely lost me.
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.
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.
cynical planning underdog
The hero was not all powerful but accomplishes amazing things while morally suspect
Take Tomas Covenant or the Warded Man and add a healthy dose of nastiness
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