Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)
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Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire #1)

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  20,051 ratings  ·  1,917 reviews
When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar's me...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Voyager (first published 2011)
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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
1st out of 88 books — 212 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
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Community Reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Jan 26, 2014 Mark Lawrence added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine
STOP PRESS:

My next book Prince of Fools is set in the Broken Empire and released June 2014.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


I wrote a Jorg-based short story that's free online - check it out
HERE More of a between book 2 and 3 snack than an introduction - Prince of Thorns is still the best entry into the story.

*

Yay! Robin Hobb (newly welcomed to Goodreads) reviewed my book on Goodreads! LOOK That's officially ten types of awesome right there!

Yay! Terry Brooks reviewed my book on Goodreads
...more
Robin Hobb
I had to grit my teeth several times to get through this, and more than once I wondered, "Why was this recommended to me?" Then the pieces began to fall into place. Not a tale for the faint of heart, but well worth it to prevail. Trust me.
Elspeth
I cant get behind a book that has the main character raping girls in the first few pages.
No thanks, I am good.
I have read a lot of books with rape in them, but I have to say they were mostly with a female protagonist.
One of my favorite fantasy series The Deed of Paksenarrion Paks lets herself be tortured for five days and nights, and rape isn’t the only thing that she has to suffer.
I understood why the character did this, I also understood why the author wrote the story the way she did.
I can...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
Peter
I kept seeing good things and/or controversy about Prince of Thorns everywhere I looked, and everyone loves controversy. I decided to take the arc along with me to Worldcon in Reno, with the intention or reading it by the pool (I am still not comfortable taking an expensive eReader poolside).

Boy, am I glad I did.

Prince of Thorns had me by the balls in the first chapter. I found myself stealing time to read just a page here and a page there, and whenever a rare block of time opened, I commandeere...more
Rick Riordan
I've heard of dark fantasy and anti-heroes, but this is the darkest fantasy with the anti-est anti-hero I've ever encountered. Our protagonist Jorg is only thirteen, but do not mistake this for a kids' book! Jorg is already the leader of a cutthroat gang of marauders, and has killed more men than most seasoned warriors -- including innocent civilians and a few of his own followers. Despite all this, I found myself rooting for Jorg, especially as more of his past is revealed, and we learn why he...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Here's Cliff Notes to my review: The Blade Itself Lite, with significantly less character development, a typical revenge plot and little redemption.

Feels suspiciously like watching a dog-fight video from ASPCA. Violent, powerful with a lack of finesse, subtlety or characterization, and the only redeeming aspect might occur at the end. The main character resists personal growth and opportunities for redemption, and commits violence after violence. We open as he watches a man die with his belly ri...more
Lazy Seagull
Oct 12, 2013 Lazy Seagull rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Potential serial killers/rapists and murderers as a how-to manual.
Recommended to Lazy by: Unfortunately, me.
Well, I did it. I finished it to the last page. I was very much tempted to drop it after, within the first few pages, the protagonist manages to rape two women and murder one of the members of his band of men without regrets.

Anyway. Now I get to yell and scream at the book to my heart's content.

Let's start with the main character. Jorg. It's funny, because he shares the same first two letters of King Joffrey from A Game of Thrones. Your situations and personalities are pretty much identical. Ass...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
I had a lot of fun with this one. I'd read lots of discussion before actually jumping in and I have a couple things to say about it.

1. The rape at the beginning, while I in no way support this type of behavior, isn't graphic and does a good job showing how depraved these guys actually are. If it didn't include rape in some way, I really don't think it would have been nearly as believable, I mean, this is medieval times. Nobles were supposedly exercising their droit du seigneur. Again, not that I...more
Michael
I had heard so many good things about this book and although I'm not a fan of the gritty dark fantasy I think this was done exceeding well. Mark's prose is very well written and I found myself noting a number of particularly well done sentences, which is unusual for me to notice.

From time to time, fans of my series ask me to do a prequel on my character Royce and how he was when in the Black Diamond Thieves Guild and before the calming influences of Gwen and Hadrian started to shape him. From no...more
Steve Drew
SUMMARY: A wonderfully written, feverish dream of a Fantasy novel. I would highly recommend Prince of Thorns to anyone who is willing to step into a shade of darkness in order to experience this unique and well-crafted book by Mark Lawrence.

No question - a lot of readers will have trouble with this novel. The twists and flow of his protagonist's skewed mind and the brutality of Lawrence's world make for some tough sledding.

Read Prince of Thorns if you love excellent, refreshing writing and can
...more
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

I’d heard a lot about Prince of Thorns before I picked it up. Naturally, some of the reviews were positive and some of them were negative. After reading the novel, I can honestly say I understand both points of view, because I found myself mesmerized by Mr. Lawrence’s first-person narrative yet horrified at the person I was reading about. But, beyond any doubt, this is a book that every fantasy fan should read at least once - and many will read over and...more
Didi
Please check out my blog at www.choicebookreviews.net! and check out other reviews and great suggestions while you're there!

WOW! where have i been? to say this book was a surprise is an understatment! i can't even remember how i stumbled upon this amazing read, i think a discussion of the best apocolyptic novels to date? but am i ever thankful i did.
a story so rich in beautiful writing, witty dialogue, magic and endless action is what this is. and the main character, jorge. he is so beyond his 1...more
Peter
*even better on a re-read

The story follows a young prince who has witnessed a truly traumatizing event, his mother was raped and murdered and his younger brother murdered in front of his eyes at the age of 9. The novel for becomes a character study in how this effects a developing mind, violence ensues. Even though he is only 14 through most of the book, Prince Jorg is a complex and well thought out character. I found myself wondering how it was possible I could be rooting for someone like him,...more
Nathan
Forget all the comparisons, the book is nothing like GRRM or Abercrombie's work. It is however, very good. A very tight and focused sprint to the finish, when finished with this short book I was shocked by how much world building was actually involved. And it is a world that I can not wait to learn even more about.

Dont be alarmed, this book at first seemed to be dark for darkness sake. But we gain revelations toward the end that changed my view somewhat. It is not an every bad guy turns out to...more
Marc Aplin
Disturbing, Beautiful, Chaotic, Poetic, Haunting, Exhilarating… Believe it or not these are all words I would use to describe a single book. ‘Prince of Thorns’ is the debut novel of British author; ‘Mark Lawrence’.

“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 and what is left of them lies in my mother’s tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride th...more
Todd
I got half way through 'Prince of Thorns' and could go no further. The over-the-top violence that some have written about didn't bother me or put me off the book. No, what DID put me off the book was this- I never, for even one moment, bought the 'Justin Bieber Meets Rambo' title character.

Yes, I've read ASOIAF, several times, and I'm aware that there are preteen and teen characters of derring-do in those books. The difference, and it is a fundamentally crucial one, is that George R.R. Martin ca...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Like most of the reviewers I'm baffled as to who I could possibly recommend this book to or if I should recommend it. On the other hand I couldn't put it down. The protagonist, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath, is someone I abhored/admired from the first page until the last page. This book is disturbing, compelling, haunting, beautiful, disgusting and completely entertaining. The writing whispers evil thoughts into your mind. Your hand itches for steel. You start running through your mind every pett...more
Georgia
One of my Moste Favourite books. It's inclusion of every topic under the sun with topics such as witchcraft, the-world-is-evil-whichever-side-you-choose, lost prince, prince of thieves, cannabalism, unknowing medieval-like dystopian world, and it's lack of romance shoots it up to too-many-stars-to-count level, in my opinion. The dystopian world is hinted at near the end of the book, where ancient devices similar to, (or synonymous with), nuclear missiles/bombs are referenced. I love it and put i...more
Natalie
Prince of Thorns is definitely a very intriguing read. I'd first come to know of it through Jason Chan's wonderful cover (from his blog), and bought the book shortly after.


The cover is an instant win, and as for the content?

I loved it and finished pretty quickly, props to Mark Lawrence for creating such a violence infested yet believable world. Jorg's psychotic nature would have been repulsive in any other setting, or any less developed setting, but Mr. Lawrence anchored him and his no-so-merry...more
Alexandru Mihalcea
Duality is perhaps hardest to accept in ourselves, of all things. We claim that "thought" and "love" make us human and we relentlessly ignore our darker side, a clearer glimpse of which would make even the most vicious predator of the animal kingdom flee in terror. To know a man is to try walking in his shoes, and throughout these three books you will fight tooth and nail to get out of Jorg Ancrath's bloodied boots. Truth be told, you're a hero if you make it past the first pages. You'll hate th...more
Ranting Dragon
http://www.rantingdragon.com/prince-o...


Prince of Thorns is the spectacular debut novel of talented new British author, Mark Lawrence. The first installment in the Broken Empire trilogy, it promises to be one of the most exciting releases of 2011. Dark, captivating, relentless and haunting, this brilliant epic fantasy more than delivers in all regards.

Imagine the earth as a desolate wasteland. The dead rest uneasily and hundreds of claimants battle for various thrones across the Broken Empire. N...more
Michelle
Spectacular.

Full review, by Stephan and I, published under The Ranting Dragon

Also, an interview with the author.


Prince of Thorns is the spectacular debut novel of talented new British author, Mark Lawrence. The first installment in the Broken Empire trilogy, it promises to be one of the most exciting releases of 2011. Dark, captivating, relentless and haunting, this brilliant epic fantasy more than delivers in all regards.

Imagine the earth as a desolate wasteland. The dead rest uneasily and hu...more
Nermin
Jun 05, 2013 Nermin rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of gritty fantasy, The First Law Fans
Recommended to Nermin by: myself :p
Shelves: fantasy, series
If Kvothe and Prince Joffrey could somehow come together and have a love child, that child would be Prince Jorg. This fourteen year old prince is one arrogant nasty little bastard, raping girls and killing innocent people, but at the end of the day you find yourself rooting for this vengeful psycho. How does that happen? I DON'T KNOW, but it happens. And I find that I don't even feel guilty about it. Yet I understand people who don't enjoy the book and are disturbed by it.

There are a very few ch...more
Lillian Hong
Barely got into the first few pages and I love it.

---------------AFTER READING-----------------

First of all, let me narrow down the audience: those who can not handle the darker side of Medieval England are advised to GTFO. Go home and enjoy your happy-ending Disney tales. There will be enough rape, murder, and other delightful things in this book that will make softer readers a bit uncomfortable.

Second: if you're looking for a hero, move along. This Prince Charming lost his golden heart a long...more
Kelly  Maybedog
This "hero" is a sociopath. I get that. But though his general psychopathic violence is disturbing enough, when he refers to rape almost as an aside, I get particularly angry. Our society is already inured enough to violence which is awful. Do we need to look at rape as akin to burning a house down or killing livestock? I know which I would never choose.

I've read the passage from the book which occurs in the first chapter and you can, too:

(view spoiler)...more
Mags~CVAddikt~Chaos defies imagination!
Ahhh what the hell ...

This book deserves 5 stars ... yep ... if an author makes me like a sociopath killer prince with several issues ... the author is a genius!!!
Suzanne Rooyen
This story is violent and uncompromising with a protagonist who's not afraid of the darkness within his soul. The writing is magnificent and the book is well worth reading purely for brilliance of syntax.

I think a comparison between Lawrence's Prince Jorg and G.R.R Martin's Prince/King Joffrey is unavoidable. They are similar in their conceited, teenage reach for power and their lack of empathy or compassion. But Joffrey is a spoiled brat who's never known pain or hardship, feeling entitled to...more
edifanob
I read the German edition. What a great debut. So expect a review in German.
I will read the english edition too and will post this review near publishing date in August.

Nach langer Zeit habe ich mal wieder ein Buch in Deutsch gelesen.
Ein großartiges Debut von Mark Lawrence.
Ich werde das Buch auch in English lesen und reviewen. Allerdings erst im August.

Und hier ist nun die deutsche Review.
Bevor nun jemand anmerkt, dass es diese Review auch auf Amazon.de unter dem Namen brienneselwyn gibt, möchte...more
Bastard
http://bastardbooks.blogspot.com/2011...

Jorg Ancrath is a charming fourteen year-old sociopath who has set in motion a path to reach the high throne. Prince of Thorns is the debut book by Mark Lawrence, first of the The Broken Empire trilogy. It's a novel I've been highly anticipating, and it didn't disappoint when I finally managed to read it.

Prince of Thorns introduces us to Jorg as he travels with his band of Brothers; stealing, killing, and raping at their will and pleasure. Behind all the...more
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Blog here: http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.co.uk/

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

[My next book Prince of Fools is out in June 2014]

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...more
More about Mark Lawrence...
King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2) Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3) Sleeping Beauty (The Broken Empire) Select Mode Prince of Fools (The Red Queen’s War, #1)

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“Tell me, tutor,' I said. 'Is revenge a science, or an art?” 162 likes
“There’s something brittle in me that will break before it bends.” 117 likes
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