Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book review: King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence


Title: King of Thorns
Author: Mark Lawrence
Publication date: April 2013
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free copy through previous job

Description: To reach greatness you must step on bodies. I’ll win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood…

A six nation army marches toward Jorg's gates, led by a shining hero determined to unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.

Faced by an enemy many times his strength, Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan...

My thoughts: I love a good epic fantasy, and all of Mark Lawrence's books are that promising door-stopper size that suggests a good adventure happens within the pages. King of Thorns is book two in the trilogy, and picks up about four years after the end of book one. I was a bit thrown off by this, as it seems like a lot has changed, and I wondered if I'd misremembered the ending of book one, but luckily the story splits into two timelines: one carrying on in the present day, and one that starts four years previously and gradually shows how Jorg got from where he was to where he is now.

It's a fairly grim series in a lot of ways. Jorg hasn't had an easy life and it doesn't get any better. But despite that, he fights his corner and has quite a lot of luck to help him out. I like that there's a strong 'characters move from city A to city B and encounter various stumbling blocks on the way' plotline to the book, and that Jorg's personality continues to evolve as he grows up and experiences more. It was a satisfying book, and once I got stuck in, I couldn't put it down. Luckily I already have book three, so I'll be starting that one soon! I'm giving King of Thorns 7 out of 10.

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