“Reminiscent of a Joe Abercrombie novel with its dark humour whilst creating the perfect balance of teenage mischief.”
In his debut novel “Prince of Thorns” Mark Lawrence kicks the story of Prince Jorg off with a bang and creates an aspiring underdog out for blood in his quest for vengeance. Disowned by his father, King Olidan, after witnessing the death of his mother and sibling brother, William, fourteen-year-old Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath leaves a trail of death and destruction in his wake as he journeys through his father’s kingdom.
With his ragtag bunch of Brothers (mercenaries, rapists, and turncoats), it is the coming of the Prince of Thorns as Jorg mercilessly smites down foes bigger than life and twice as dangerous, leaving no room for error as seemingly divine forces lend a hand in his role of disgraced princeling. Underestimated at every turn, Lawrence’s character literally cuts down his foes with both sword and tongue – making the reader yearn for more of Jorg’s dry wit, nitty sarcasm, and dirty tricks. Prince of Thorns is undoubtedly one of the best fantasy novels you’ll read this year if you haven’t started already. With Prince Honorous Jorg you never know if he’s going to spear you with a dagger or insult you without remorse.
Told in a first-person perspective, Prince of Thorns has its fair share of blood, sword fights, monsters, betrayal, manic sneers, and of course a dash of romance along the side. The character of Prince Honorous Jorg is strongly represented as a character who wages an internal struggle with his morals whilst trying to find his true identity in the harsh world he’s born into. Blessed with a willpower that defies even the greatest tricksters, Jorg never ceases to surprise and also amaze the reader with the feats he pulls off just when it appears his mouth has finally gotten the better of him. With Brothers such as Rike – a gigantic barbarian of a man, the Nuban – a mysterious black-skinned individual whose aim proves deadly with a crossbow, and Makin – a dishonoured soldier, Lawrence has given the reader a cast of dynamic characters not easily forgotten whom are fairly placed shoulder to shoulder with Abercrombie’s Imperial Glokta and the Bloody Nine in terms of originality.
Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath is, without a doubt, an anti-hero (or outright villain) who stands in a league of his own. Enemies; beware – and readers, start reading.