Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3)
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Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire #3)

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  10,886 ratings  ·  853 reviews
The path to the throne is broken - only the broken may walk it.

To reach the throne requires that a man journey. Even a path paved with good intentions can lead to hell, and my intentions were never good.

The Hundred converge for Congression to politic upon the corpse of Empire, and while they talk the Dead King makes his move, and I make mine. The world is cracked, time has...more
Hardcover, UK, 592 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Harper Voyager (first published January 1st 2013)
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The Republic of Thieves by Scott LynchA Memory of Light by Robert JordanEmperor of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceThe Daylight War by Peter V. BrettThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Can't Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2013
3rd out of 611 books — 3,165 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
The Grimdarks
5th out of 102 books — 286 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Lawrence
Jun 12, 2014 Mark Lawrence added it  ·  (Review from the author)
[STOP PRESS] Prince of Fools now in shops! If you want to spend some more time in the Broken Empire ... pick it up!


In case you're wondering which book in the trilogy people liked best - here's the result of a poll on the subject:


What's next for me? It's this:


And don't forget to check out my Prince of Thorns review!

Right... Emperor of Thorns:

I'm too close to it to tell...more
You may be wondering why/how I am reviewing a book that is not due to be published for several months. The answer is I couldn't wait, in more ways than one.

I've written about Mark Lawrence before. I reviewed the first book in this series, Prince of Thorns, on my blog a couple years ago. I enjoyed it so much I happily offered quotes to Mark's publishers to be used on the second volume, King of Thorns, even before I'd had a chance to read it. I secured an advance copy of KoT, but again was too bus...more
Jeffrey Keeten
”I failed my brother. I hung in the thorns and let him die and the world has been wrong since that night. I failed him, and though I’ve let many brothers die since, that first pain has not diminished. The best part of me still hangs there, on those thorns. Life can tear away what’s vital to a man, hook it from him, one scrap at a time, leaving him empty-handed and beggared by the years. Every man has his thorns, not of him, but in him, deep as bones. The scars of the briar mark me, a calligraphy...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
Mark Lawrence likes to claim that authors are not their characters, but I think we need to look at the facts.

Jorg Ancrath:

1. Single-mindedly takes the world by storm.
2. Spreads his wit (among other things, blood and guts included).
3. Flips everything on its head, traditions, magic, you name it.
4. Encourages blasphemy and the slaughter of innocents.
5. Will stop at nothing to reach his goals of claiming the title of Emperor.

Mark Lawrence:

1. Single-mindedly takes the fantasy world by storm.
2. Sprea...more
Bane of Kings
The Review: http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/07/....

“A stunning conclusion to the Broken Empire Trilogy. Easily one of the best books of 2013 – and a book that’s well worth the wait.” ~The Founding Fields

If I had to make a most anticipated list of Novels coming out this year, Emperor of Thorns would be in the Top 5, there’s no question about it. Mark Lawrence really impressed me with the first two books in the trilogy, both of which I own in hardback – so that I knew that Emperor of Thorns wa...more
"Dark times call for dark choices. Choose me."

Jorg of Ancrath, the Prince of Thorns, the boy who would be emperor, is back at long last. Our maliciously fascinating antihero is finally on his way to the holy city of Vyene. Escorted by the legendary Gilden Guard, Jorg is ready to make his way to Congression, the gathering of all the Hundred taking place every four years where they come together in the emperor’s palace to choose who among them shall take up the ever vacant throne of the Broken Emp...more
Bob Milne
‘Dark times call for dark choices. Choose me.’

For all you Jorg haters out there, that one line, that simple declaration, sums up The Broken Empire better than anything I might be able to coax from my tired brain. Yes, for the second night in a row, a book has gotten its hooks into me and demanded I stay up far too late reading the final 200 pages. Fortunately, Emperor of Thorns delivered in almost every respect, defiantly answering my every conflicting emotion resulting from its predecessor, Kin...more
Mags~CVAddikt~Your shock-wave whisper has sealed your fate
The cover ... I just LOVE the cover ... it suits Jorg perfectly ...

However, I can't help thinking of The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David at the Louvre, Ok not the original, but the first sketch David did. In that sketch, Napoleon didn't allow the Pope to put the crown on his head, he did it himself, so ... yeah, Napoleon crowning himself, same as little fictional Jorg.

Rick Riordan
A wonderful, surprising, and worthy ending to the Thorns trilogy. If you’ve followed Jorg Ancrath through the first two books, it shouldn’t shock you that Jorg does not give you the ending you might expect, but it’s an ending that makes perfect sense. As with the past two volumes, this book jumps around in time, from Jorg’s journey to the seat of the empire to vote for a new emperor, back to his earlier journeys through Hispania and Afrique in search of power and answers. Looming on the horizon...more
I've never done this before. I've never gotten a book ahead of its publication date. You can't leak the ending. You can't spoil it. So, what do you say? What do I say? In my previous reviews of Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns I brought up scenes I liked and wrote about Lawrence's use of modern science to make these books more than a fantasy. I even wrote about the chronological structure, but I'm not going to do that now.

I'm going to tell a story instead.

When I was sent a DM over twitter ask...more
Alicia Wanstall-Burke
I've made several manic recommendations to friends to read the Broken Empire Trilogy and whenever they ask 'Why?' or 'What is it about?' I find myself hard up against a roadblock.
By roadblock I mean "giant choking lump in my throat every time I think about this series"...

Weird, given it isn't some navel-gazing, chic-lit, sob story, wah-wah examination of the world focussing on how we could and should be better humans. In fact, it's gory, unapologetic and painful. Sometimes even sickening. But th...more
To reach the throne requires that a man journey. Even a path paved with good intentions can lead to Hell, and my intentions were never good.

Once again, as they do every four years in truce, the monarchs and rulers of the Hundred Kingdoms converge to argue over who should become the next Emperor. Jorg, of course, is going to be there, but whereas the other monarchs prepare to politick and connive their way to the Throne, Jorg prepares to do what he does best, with companions most definitely not c...more
D.E.M. Emrys
My world has ended.

And it’s all because of Mark Lawrence.

‘Emperor of Thorns’ was released yesterday in the UK, and even at a hefty 592 pages I finished it this morning…Rome might not have been built in a day, but like I said at the beginning of this review, Mark Lawrence has ended my world in less than 24 hours.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lawrence’s ‘Broken Empire’ trilogy, then you must have been sleeping under a rock for the past few years because its gathered so much attention from reviewer and...more
From my review...

Mark Lawrence’s completed trilogy is like a rabies shot. Sure, it hurts, but if you don’t get it you’ll wind up frothing at the mouth before your throat swells up and you die of thirst. Not that failing to read Lawrence will leave you dead, but that not reading him would have left me lacking something I needed. For me, that was akin to a rabies shot. A rabies shot against the disease of entitlement. Or, more verbosely, the disease of believing that somehow it won’t happen to me....more
Courtney Schafer
Powerful conclusion to one hell of a trilogy. Endings are hard, but Lawrence pulls his off with style - I came away feeling deeply satisfied, not just by this book, but with the trilogy as a whole. Like him or hate him, Jorg Ancrath is a character you'll never forget, and Lawrence succeeds in making the events of the story just as memorable and involving as his protagonist. (Though as compelling as Jorg's voice is, I enjoyed the chance in this book to step outside his POV and see both him and th...more
~♥*Marianna*♥~ (what stays is dry bones)
This will be awesome!

I wish Mark wasn't stopping the series at book number three. Why not a quadrilogy? Pentalogy?

Are these words or am I just making them up?
Myke Cole
This one was so good, it got a blog post. http://mykecole.com/blog/2013/05/jorg...
Péter Holló-Vaskó
Mar 06, 2014 Péter Holló-Vaskó rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone. Literally.
Recommended to Péter by: Németh Vladimir
I was reading Mark Lawrence's Emperor of Thorns while in a hospital with severe myocarditis. While the environment was not as pleasant as it could be, the reading experience proved to be simply astonishing.

True, Lawrence already made me a fan with Prince of Thorns, so me loving this novel was not a big surprise. What the author did is something really extraordinary: he did not just finish up a story arc elegantly, but also managed to do something that no other fantasy writer could ever (yes, th...more
WARNING: I am about to wax rhapsodic about Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire series which I unabashedly love. There are not enough stars. It speaks volumes to me at this time for many reasons. I do not begrudge anyone the joys that penetrate the walls of their heart and mind; please do not begrudge me mine.

THE BROKEN EMPIRE WORLD: This world has always had one eye on the past. It has a fascination with the world that was and its Builders. It yearns to understand its own origin and history which it r...more
Some authors will squander chapter upon chapter, of a sequel, rehashing all that has gone before. In case in your slow wit you have forgotten the vitae of a novel.
Others, will throw you in at the deep end, and kick you in the balls on the way down.
And make you enjoy the experience.

Looks pointedly at Mark Lawrence.
David Sven
Having a bit of a wait between reading book two and the release of this book, it took me a while to remember and reconnect with a lot of the side characters from the story so far. But after about a quarter of the way in I kinda caught up and the story swept me away.

At the same time as reading this I was also listening to the second book in Robin Hobb's Tawny Man Trilogy and it's hard not to notice the differences in characterisation between Hobb and Lawrence. Lawrence's characterisation is prett...more
Emil Söderman
So this is the end of this thing?

I have a hard time actually liking this book. I think it comes down to a problem that is between "anti-heroes" and "villains". Y'see, a sympathethic villain is good. Even if it's a villain protagonist, but when a supposed hero crosses the line this many times? It's kind of skeevy. Not to mention rather silly how the world conspires to make everything go Jorg's way.

I like a lot of the stuff, there's a certain joy to the postapocalyptic world, but the attempt at a...more
Yeah, I know I'm being a bit too generous to award a book that took me months to finish 5 stars. But damn, what other rating can I give to a book with such mind-blowing ending that left me with a teary smile? I'm not ashamed to admit that Jorg is the most interesting fantasy protagonist I've read about in a long while and I will miss him terrible. Can't we have any Broken Empire prequels soon, Mr. Lawrence? Please?

So what can I say about this book? The first half of it took me 2-3 months to rea...more
Mr. Matt
I struggle with how to describe this book. There are many good science fiction/fantasy books out there; however, there are very few that make you think about quantum physics, artificial intelligence, religion, and the meaning of reality itself. Emperor of Thorns does all that.

The author's prime achievement in this series is world building. It is an impossibly deep yet fabulously simple world. And in this final volume the veil is finally lifted and we understand the nature of the world that Jorg...more

Gaah, what an ending, I don't know how Mark Lawrence pulled that off and I'll be re-reading this book again before writing the review, just so that I can beleive all that happenend in this conclusion.

Folks who liked/loved/hated the previous books will have a similar reaction but one thing is certain. This trilogy will stand a seminal fantasy trilogy that will force you to either like/love or hate/detest it. There are no middle of the ground feelings. Mark Lawrence you cruel, cruel writer....
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Update: Interview with the author on my book blog http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

4.5/5 stars. This was a book I received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, so thank you to Ace books and Penguin for this most excellent reading opportunity. The cover of Emperor of Thorns proclaims, "All reigns must end..." and I have to say, the prospect of getting my hands on this third installment of The Broken Empire series and finding out what will become of Jorg Ancrath made this on...more
Paul Nelson
A fantastic ending to the Broken Empire trilogy, a little sad to say that its all over and still reeling from a mesmerizing and fascinating climax.

Once again Mr Lawrence entwines past and present story lines to devastating effect as the knowledge and actions accumulated five years earlier bear consequence in the present.

The story line set five years earlier sees Jorg undertake another epic journey first to the Iberico hills and the promised lands, drawn by Fexler Brews and the builders of old. T...more
Steve Drew
SUMMARY: Great conclusion to a memorable, unique and well-written trilogy. Pick up all three books today if you haven't read them. Buy some for your friends if you have - they will thank you.

I finished Emperor of Thorns two weeks ago and have been struggling how to express exactly why I found this book and the trilogy to be exceptional reads. Homework is due, though. This is more of a non-spoilery reflection of the series itself.

CHAOS - Prince of Thorns is a great, out-of-left-field reading expe...more
Thomas Ranney
I tweeted once, that I felt The Broken Empire trilogy was the most original Fantasy series since LOTR. After finishing Emperor of Thorns, I feel even stronger in my conviction. For me, great Fantasy has three key elements: characters you fall in love with, believable worlds which are immersive, and endings leaving you begging for more.

Many interesting characters rise and fall throughout the series, but all roads lead to Jorg Ancrath. To say Jorg is an "interesting" protagonist, is like describ...more
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…

I enjoy the way Mark Lawrence spun Jorg's tale through all 3 books, this one was especially fascinating. The point of views, moving back & forth between specific periods of time, and the completeness of the characters made the story compelling.
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Broken Empire (Emperor of Thorns) Ending confusing. *Spoilers* 1 25 Aug 06, 2014 09:07PM  
Amazing writer 1 23 May 17, 2014 02:38PM  
Fantasy Book Club...: Emperor of Thorns-Finished/Spoil away 9 99 Jan 31, 2014 05:42PM  
Fantasy Book Club...: Emperor of Thorns--Planning/started to read-No Spoilers 8 39 Jan 23, 2014 09:37AM  
Shop made a woopsie 3 95 Oct 02, 2013 01:47PM  
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Blog here: http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/MarkLawrence...

[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) King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2) 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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“This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don't look to me to save you. Don't think I will not spend you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don't follow me.

Follow me, and I will break your heart.”
“Every man has his thorns, not of him, but in him, deep as bones.” 33 likes
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