Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire 1)

Prince of Thorns - Mark  Lawrence -read by guestreviewer-Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All of that's true enough, but there's something worse out there in the dark, much worse.Brother Jorg, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath, will be King by fifteen. Emperor by 21, probably. But at the moment he is a road bandit, rapist, butcher, torturer. And he is the hero of the book Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence.You get heroes of all kind in fantasy literature – heroes with varying degree of skill, powers and motivation. The good guys are pure of heart and clean of face. Then we have the anti-heroes, the unwilling heroes who have the hero-hood thrust upon them, but they always come through, and finally show their heart of gold.Brother Jorg is at the far end of that scale, you might say. He is a stone cold bastard, thirteen year of age, killed more men than the plague. But ok – the land is riddled with war; the feuds between the little kingdoms have been going on for decades, centuries. If he can become the Emperor, at least there will be no more war.Prince of Thorns is the first book of a trilogy, where we will follow Jorg’s path. The set is an alternate Europe (with magic, ghosts and monstrosities), refreshing it its simplicity. The focus is entirely on Jorg. His stubbornness and lack of fear is legendary – he survives against overwhelming odds by a mixture of intelligence, brutality, dirty tricks, cunning, necromancy, etc.What do I think about it? If you can get through the initial revulsion in the first dozens of pages (where the author really grinds your nose into the feces of brutality and immorality, to get your mind on the right track) it’s a wonderful book! A page turner, I personally read it in one sitting. Ok, you may learn that Jorg has had a rough childhood to motivate his deeds, but that doesn’t really matter. It is refreshing to just be able to follow the machinations of an artful bastard, winning against all odds. Just don’t expect much romance and love – there is a hint, but no more.Conclusion:Extremely different! But refreshingly so. I will read the other two books, that’s a promise.Rating:Recommended, for someCover:Extreme evil – sets the scene for things to come.