King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2)
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King of Thorns (The Broken Empire #2)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  16,583 ratings  ·  998 reviews
The second book in the Broken Empire series, Lawrence takes his young anti-hero one step closer to his grand ambition.

To reach greatness you must step on bodies, and many brothers lie trodden in my wake. I’ve walked from pawn to player and I’ll win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood…

The land burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lo...more
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Ace Books
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Cold Days by Jim ButcherKing of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceA Perfect Blood by Kim HarrisonFair Game by Patricia BriggsTricked by Kevin Hearne
Science Fiction & Fantasy Titles for 2012!
2nd out of 650 books — 1,460 voters
Prince of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceThe Blade Itself by Joe AbercrombieA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinKing of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceEmperor of Thorns by Mark  Lawrence
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
I read the small forgotten books. The ones found behind the rows on the shelves. In locked chests. In pieces to be assembled. They look old. Some are--a hundred years, three hundred, maybe five, but Orrin's are most ancient. Mine though, they look older, as if what is written in them takes its toll, even on parchment and leather. Mine were set down after the Burning, after the Builders ignited their many suns.

I first met Jorg Ancrath in the first book of The Broken Empire called Prince of Thorns...more
Mark Lawrence
Jun 11, 2014 Mark Lawrence added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: people with legs (also those without)
[STOP PRESS] Prince of Fools now in shops! If you want to spend some more time in the Broken Empire ... pick it up!

King of Thorns was a gamble on the intelligence of my readers - I bet it was pretty high - I appear to have won.

A 'king'-related interview (with myself)

Wheel-Mouse! More from the Lawrence writing dynasty! (for charity)

Seak (Bryce L.)
Mark Lawrence stormed onto the scene (well, as much as you can in the publishing world) last year with his debut, Prince of Thorns, book one in The Broken Empire. This divisive book found a fan in me, despite this particular first person point of view that all notions of good and virtue tells you to hate.

I found a lot of things that I liked about Jorg even though I didn't love everything about him. Lawrence's captivating writing and smooth prose keep the pages flying and have not a little to do...more
Craig Slater
King of Thorns (#2 Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence.

Hmm, What to say about this Author and this series, without spoiling any of the twists or surprises. Book one, Prince of Thorns was one of the surprises of 2011. If you didn't get it on your to do list you should add it now. I'll wait while you do.

Ok? Done?

At it's essence, this series is a VERY dark and violent tale, told first person, from the point of view of Jorg the young and disturbed ringleader of a brutal band of wandering misfits (Bro...more
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews


While I despised Jorg in Prince of Thorns, the story itself was highly entertaining and kept me turning pages as quickly as I could read them. However, I did not find this novel as engrossing, perhaps because I’ve grown somewhat use to the main character’s sociopathic behavior.

In any event, since the “shock” value of Jorg didn’t overwhelm me this go round, I found myself focusing a great deal on the story itself, which quite...more
Terry Brooks
This month I am recommending both PRINCE OF THORNS and KING OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence. They are two of three, with the third not yet published. I have read the first and am halfway through the second. As a fantasy tale, Prince Jorg Ancraft's story is quite extraordinary. It begins when he is 13 and already a stone cold killer with a horrific past. This is a dangerous and risky protagonist for any author to put forth, but Lawrence does it with verve and confidence. It is like a train wreck from...more
With my reading time becoming increasingly precious, only the very best authors make it to my reading pile at all, and of those, I went with Lawrence to read after finally finishing edits to The Daylight War. Lawrence's poetic prose is amazing, far and away the best of the modern fantasy authors. The prose can get a little hard to follow if you're sleepy or your brain is fried after a long day, but this is hardly a quibble.

First person narrative is arguably the most difficult POV style, and Lawr...more
Rick Riordan
I think this is my favorite book in an excellent trilogy, because the odds are so severely against our anti-hero Jorg. The stakes are high and the plot twists are perfect. Having killed his uncle and secured a small kingdom in the mountains, young Jorg now faces a powerful, charismatic enemy – the Prince of Arrow – who seems destined to unite the Broken Empire. The action jumps back in forth in time, from the siege of Jorg’s capital to several years before, showing us how Jorg traveled the empir...more
The Broken Empire is a trilogy that I was absolutely afraid to even touch, due to reviews about how violent and gritty it is, and because of rape scenes that are really hard to read about.

It's been on my to-read list for a long time as I found the story quite intriguing but all these comments about rape sensitive issues put me off.

It was when I read a short story by Mark Lawrence in Unfettered and then the Sleeping Beauty. I loved the atmosphere and ML's wonderful prose in the short stories so I...more
"The warrior rides a black stallion. Smoke shrouds the castle ruins behind him and the wind gives only glimpses of the corpse-choked gap between high and broken walls. That same wind streams long dark hair across his shoulders, like a pennant, and flutters the remnants of his cloak. To his left and right more riders emerge from the fog of war, warriors all, their armour dented, torn, smeared with soot and blood."

Honourous Jorg Ancrath, the Prince of Thorns, has become a king in his own right, an...more
Ranting Dragon

Our favorite debut of last year was unquestionably Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns, a dark, brutally captivating tale of epic fantasy—or low; opinions on that were divided. This August will bring us King of Thorns, the second volume in The Broken Empire and sequel to Prince of Thorns. What he started in his debut, Lawrence expands in King of Thorns. Again, this is a breathtaking, captivating, and violent venture into a wonderful world filled with morally...more
Terry Simpson

I was twenty pages from the end when I had to stop to write this review before I forgot what I had to say. I have never done that before.

King of Thorns is better than the first book. It is brutally brilliant, gruesomely good, and amid the carnage offers slivers of a rainbow before snatching it away in a world and future as grim and real as any out there.

Amid the wickedness that is Jorg Ancrath, you will find wit and wisdom to match. Sometimes almost too much for a young man of eighteen...more
Myke Cole
Prince of Thorns impressed the hell out of me. Jorg Ancrath is the best kind of protagonist: flawed, stumbling, sometimes evil. He's human, and has that greatest of human capacities: the ability to make mistakes, learn from them, and drag the world forward with him.

Jorg doesn't disappoint in the 2nd installment in the series. If anything, his sharp wit, dark perceptive humor and almost precognizant read of complex situations develops. Lawrence ups the stakes in King of Thorns, and takes a comple...more
Marc Aplin
Today is a glorious day. His highness Honorous Jorg Ancrath, King of the Renar Highlands, heir to the lands of Ancrath and the protectorates thereof is getting married. He stands beside his beautiful bride, fresh and perky as the lilies on her head, in a chapel. Once they’ve said their vows and made the marriage official they leave hand in hand to the applause and hoorahs of his people, the nobility who believe that he will save them and bring peace to their domain.

Woah! Hang on one damned minut...more
You can see that I gave this book five stars. That's actually five trillion stars for King of Awesome, but GR is pretty stingy with its stars; it gave me a five-star limit.

Anyway, I think I should let it out that the Broken Empire series is why I hate Mark Lawrence so much. Not only was I supposed to be studying for two tests when I read this second book, but I was also supposed to be studying for an exam when I read the first book, Prince of Thorns. I had fun reading the books, but my grades di...more
5 Stars

King of Thorns is one of those rare exceptions that have the sequel actually being better than the first. This book has a better plot, more character development, and an incredible ending. Jorg has taken the definition of an antihero dragged it through the mud and scum, bathed it in blood and filth, and caused us readers to wonder how far can he go and how far can we follow him.

Lawrence has created a world that is simply incredible. As in the first book there are small snippets and morse...more
Long live the King!

It’s now been four long years since King Jorg of Renar got his revenge on his mother’s and brother’s murderer, and after consolidating his rule over the Renar Highlands, he can now turn his attention to his main goal of becoming Emperor of the Broken Empire.

“A dark time comes. My time. If it offends you. Stop me.”

That is, he could if he weren’t staring down the pointy end of the Prince of Arrow’s army, twenty thousand strong as it marched for his head. Seems the Prince of Arro...more
This book blew me away and answered unanswered questions I didn't know I had from the first book, Prince of Thorns.

The anti-hero, Jorg, has made himself a king -- of sorts. In book one of the series, Prince of Thorns, we meet Jorg and get introduced to his vengence against his evil uncle and father. Jorg's is a child bandit at 14 running a gang of killers and rapist. Why? Because he helped them escape his father's dungeon and he is brilliant so they let him lead. It's clear that Jorg is ruthless...more
Mark Lawrence is carving a bloody path to the top of my Favorite Authors list.

This book is a brilliant sequel to Prince of Thorns - read my review here King of Thorns
Where book one was a mixing bowl of madness, crazy writing with randomness thrown in for good measure, book two is a journey into mind fucking. Whilst I am spare with profanity in my reviews and in life generally, I find when I do need decide to use them, it tends to give credence to the impact statement I am trying to make.

This was a big bold move on Lawrence's part. This type of writing reminds me a little of The First Law series where the first of the trilogy is really just a character build...more
Johann Pollard
Read it, it's damn good!
Wendy Browne
I recently read a piece of writing advice about how to properly write violence and death by always making it count. Be it the character committing the act, the victim, or the observer, violence has to have a price. Gratuitous violence is just too easy.

My thoughts went immediately to The Broken Empire series and it's antagonist, King Jorg Ancrath. Violence in his past shaped child into man by breaking him and letting the darkness we all harbour within ooze out. The article made me further appreci...more

There are very few constants in the world. Even the certainty of the speed of light is becoming debatable. I realized that as I got older. Growing up is the slow disrobing of ideals – at 5 not crapping your pants is an accomplishment worthy of a Nordic saga; at 15 a smile is not just an expression of happiness as you always thought before, it may be an invitation to carnal pleasures, and suddenly everything is an innuendo; at 25 your parents suddenly tumble from their pedestals and you realize t...more
Bane of Kings
“Mark Lawrence follows up to Prince of Thorns with a cracking, compelling, unpredictable sequel that succeeds in almost every way. My new favourite Fantasy novel of 2012.” ~The Founding Fields

You know in my review of The Blinding Knife, I mentioned that I’d found a favourite fantasy of novel of 2012? Well, as it happens, the very next fantasy novel that I read beats a Brent Weeks novel. Something that I’d never thought possible unless the name of that author was George RR Martin, Peter V. Brett...more
Jul 08, 2013 Nermin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: The First law fans, fans of "gritty" fantasy
Recommended to Nermin by: meself
Shelves: series, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Sven
I felt this was better than the first book in the series. Its more complex in a way and the characterization was better as well. There are characters who died that I didn’t want to die and even Prince Jorg becomes more likeable.

The story starts off 4 years from when Jorg wrested the Renar Highlands from his uncle where he has set himself up as a King. Outside his walls, he is surrounded by twenty thousand soldiers led by the Prince of Arrow who intends to crush Jorg in a bid to become Emperor....more
Synopsis: Four years have passed since Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath took the throne of Renar from his uncle and now the time has come for the young king to wed his beautiful bride.

A Wedding is often seen as an occasion to celebrate; for Jorg it may not be so, the Prince Of Arrow, a champion of the people stands outside the Haunt with an army of twenty-thousand soldiers, waiting for the king to surrender. The once young boy, now a king is all too familiar with those who pull the strings behind t
As you can probably gather from the title, our dear Jorgy managed to achieve his goal of becoming a king. And now all his problems are solved and happiness is his! Oh, wait. No, not that. Actually, the armies of the combined nations of another claimant to the empire's throne, outnumbering his by a paltry 20 to 1, are marching on him to take his submission - or his head. And if we've learned anything about Jorg, it's that he'd rather die than submit - and he'd certainly rather kill. Of course, ha...more
King of Thorns tops my list of most anticipated books in 2012. Now that I’ve read it, its ownership of the top spot is absolutely validated.

I fully intended to ram my way through all 597 pages of the Harper Voyager hardcover but I couldn’t. It took me five days. There are books so good, so ‘unputdownable’ you breeze through them. King of Thorns is not that kind of book. Rather, it is a book so beautiful and sublime that I deliberately slowed my reading lest I miss a single meaningful word or nua...more
Surely, in coming to this volume, you will have already read the first and your fascination with Jorg's character has overcome your distaste. Weeded out already are those who were not prepared to read about a protagonist they wouldn't want to be best buddies with and the generally squeamish. Those who read this volume should already know what they are letting themselves in for. If you couldn't abide the first book, you wont want to read this.

In this volume, the character of Jorg continues to rip...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Katharine or Miana? 21 104 Aug 07, 2014 06:49PM  
How is "Jorg" pronounced? 11 131 Jul 07, 2014 05:45AM  
King of Thorns 10 162 Apr 26, 2014 09:34AM  
Fantasy Book Club...: King of Thorns-No Spoilers 12 57 Jan 06, 2014 09:22AM  
Fantasy Book Club: Planning to read, first impressions 26 158 Nov 04, 2013 03:32PM  
Fantasy Book Club: Q & A with Mark Lawrence 32 172 Sep 03, 2013 01:10PM  
Fantasy Fanatics: King of Thorns - Chapters 26-38 2 19 Jul 27, 2013 06:16PM  
  • The King's Blood (The Dagger and the Coin, #2)
  • Red Country
  • Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6)
  • The Daylight War (Demon Cycle, #3)
  • The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2)
  • A Dance of Death (Shadowdance, #3)
  • The Fell Sword (The Traitor Son Cycle, #2)
  • Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)
  • Tomorrow The Killing (Low Town, #2)
  • Among Thieves (Tales of the Kin, #1)
  • Orb Sceptre Throne (Malazan Empire #4)
  • Shadow's Master (Shadow Saga, #3)
  • The Grim Company (The Grim Company, #1)
  • The Crimson Vault (The Traveler's Gate Trilogy, #2)
  • Promise of Blood (The Powder Mage, #1)
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[My next book The Liar's Key is out in June 2015]

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with b...more
More about Mark Lawrence...
Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1) Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3) Prince of Fools (The Red Queen’s War, #1) Sleeping Beauty (The Broken Empire, #2.5) Select Mode (The Broken Empire, #1.5)

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“We die a little every day and by degrees we’re reborn into different men, older men in the same clothes, with the same scars.” 142 likes
“Is this going to be one of those times when you pretend not to have a plan until the last moment? And then turn out to really not have one?- Sir Makin to King Jorg” 89 likes
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