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Road Brothers (The Broken Empire, #3.5)
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Road Brothers

(The Broken Empire #[10 short stories])

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,476 ratings  ·  135 reviews
10 short stories from the lives of Jorg and his Road Brothers. Contains spoilers for the Broken Empire trilogy. 5 of the stories have previously been published in anthologies, Contains the short story 'Sleeping Beauty' that is also sold separately. A total of 43.000 words or just over half the length of Prince of Thorns.

Cover by Pen Astridge.

A Rescue
Sleeping Beauty
Kindle Edition, 124 pages
Published December 14th 2015
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  1,476 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Jan 18, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
So this is the old, shorter Road Brothers with ten stories. You can no longer buy this edition.

The new, 50% longer Road Brothers with fourteen stories can be found here:

& can be bought in kindle on and in kindle & hardcover on or AND on there is also a kindle catch up that contains just the additional 4 stories!

Vote on which of the ten stories you liked best here:
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

By now, most fantasy fans have either read or heard all about Mark Lawrence’s seminal work Prince of Thorns and The Broken Empire trilogy it launched. Some love Jorg Ancrath and his world; others hate him and/or the place; but everyone has strong feelings about the story. Yet Jorg’s tale is not a solitary one. In fact, throughout his journeys, the young Ancrath prince is accompanied by many companions, the most important of which are his road brothers.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant collection of short stories, which give background to some of the characters in the Broken Empire series. The stories are the kind I really love - short, to the point, but full of nuance and story elements. I miss this series and love getting to delve back into it a little bit.
Tracey the Lizard Queen
More brilliance from Mr Lawrence. How I have missed the Broken Empire and its memorable inhabitants!
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-grimdark
If you're a fan of The Broken Empire saga, then you know that it was very much Jorg's tale. While every reader has a favorite from his band road brothers, we really only got to know them through their interactions with their Prince/King. Any background that we were able to glean came largely from conversations on the road.

With Road Brothers: Tales from the Broken Empire, Mark Lawrence allows many of those brothers to step off the road and tell their own tales. These are stories that strip away t
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Despite being a fan of Mark Lawrence, I didn't buy this book straight away as it's a series of short stories - not my favourite format. I was wrong to not to believe in him. I strongly recommend reading the Broken Empire series first, but if you do, this is a fantastic addition.
I really liked the author's footnotes for each story, giving additional information on the background of each tale.
Highly recommended for those who fondly remember the likes of Rike and Red Kent and would like to know mo
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, shorties
So, it's basically been two years since I read The Broken Empire series. I read it in my freshman year of college, and now I'm a junior in a few months. I've forgotten most of the side characters and plot lines, but retained the main ones. (Not the fault of Mark Lawrence, but it's just that I've become an adult and I can't ruminate on plot lines of books past forever. I've got work and school to focus on.) This was more of an experience of really finding out just how badly I need to re-read the ...more
Nerine Dorman
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don't read this collection of short stories unless you've read Mark Lawrence's The Broken Empire. Here be spoilers. Road Brothers does exactly what it says – short stories sketching in back story for Jorg's band of brothers, offering tasty little snippets of history, to colour in the details.

So I'm assuming that if you've read Mark's other books, you'll be no stranger his style, which offers astute observations on the darker side of human nature set in a world that's still picking up the pieces
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Rescue - a story about Makin in different moments of his life at the Tall Castle - 3★

Sleeping Beauty - a mix between the famous Perrault/Grimm's fairytale and SFF - 3.5★

Bad Seed - a story about Red Kent - 4★

The Nature of the Beast - a story about Rike and Chella's sister, wonderful in its implications - 4.5★

Select Mode - a story of Jorg and the Nuban - 3★

Mercy - a second story about Makin, this one about a most common theme in this series: revenge - 4★

A Good Name -
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
***update: a little info here on the upcoming print edition: ***

I read some of these tales as far back as the summer of 2014 and after all this time they still resonate with me. To me Mark Lawrence is and has always been an artist unmatched in talent and skill. His stories beat with a heart that makes them both powerful and unique.
I would also like to take this opportunity to applaud Pen Astridge for her once-again brilliant cover, it is fantastic!

Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A killer (hah) collection casting limelight on Prince Jorg’s boon companions. The stories are action-packed and thought-provoking at the same time with many a familiar face.

Mark Lawrence writes some of the most well-rounded characters in genre fiction. Good can be bad, weak can be strong, down might, in fact, be up. With this author, expect nothing, expect everything.


—The only thing I did wrong, seeing this is #3.5, was read this out of order. What’s also neat is to see his Sim sto
T.O. Munro
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My goodreads target of 42 books to be read (and reviewed) in 2015 continues to mock me, supremely confident in its inevitable victory as - even now - I just crawl over the halfway line. However, I am determined to go down fighting and Mark Lawrence's latest publication - an anthology of short stories about Jorg and his "brothers"- is an easily digested morsel which nonetheless packs quite a punch.

Jorg bestrode the Broken Empire trilogy dominating his stage as completely and charmingly as Shakes
lee d woolsey
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it

Really liked the insight into the supporting characters, and the very interesting character of the landscape. His style is an attractive blend of economy and lyricism. More more more!
DeAnna Knippling
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A collection of short stories from the Broken Empire.

I stretched this out as long as possible, but alas, I have finally come to the end. I enjoyed it, although none of the stories knocked my socks off the way the novels do, which I suspect comes from the length more than anything else.

Recommended if you're a fan of the world; otherwise, there's not enough information to put things in context.
Lynn Williams
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent 4.5 of 5 stars
Road Brothers is a fantastic little book of treats which, if you love The Broken Empire, I feel you simply have to read. Coming in at approximately 120 pages it contains 10 separate stories that take us back in time and shares with us some of the histories and motivations behind the characters of Jorg and his brothers.

This anthology was something of a revelation to me. I’ve always protested that I don’t really enjoy short stories an
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Fantastic. Amusing return to the Broken Empire, but more specifically, to parts of Jorg's story. Can't have enough of that. And now through other characters, like Sir Makin, Kent, Rike, Gorgoth and others.
The fact that I read The Broken Empire in October of last year and I still remember who these characters were and their nuances despite Jorg's extremely dominant voice is proof of how the author wrote an amazing work back then.

I did wish a story with William, specially when he (view spoiler)
Karolina Kat
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, apocalypse, dark
This collection of short stories is a great companion to the Broken Empire Trilogy. It gives a much appreciated insight into the characters' pasts and minds. Surprisingly, though, the best stories, at least in my opinion, are those revolving around secondary characters, like Red Kent, Gorgoth, or Sim.

I particularly enjoyed the following stories:

* Bad Seed (Kent's origin story)
* The Nature of the Beast (Rike's side story)
* Mercy (Makin's revenge story)
* The Secret (Sim's story)

In the collection t
Liviu Szoke
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting collection of short stories about Jorg Ancrath's Road Brothers and their stories. We have Gorgoth (yess! Gorgoth), Sim, Makin, the Nuban (a very young and reckless Nuban) or big Rike and the witch and even Jorg, characters we long to read more about, and these collection it's the perfect choice (and the only one) to read more, to find more about them. Stories about honour, about justice, about Jorg and his brother, William, about their father, King Olidan, about loyalty, about ...more
The Grim Reader
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Grimdark shorts from the Broken Empire.

A really good collection of short stories from the Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence. I haven't read the sequels to the first book in the trilogy 'Prince of Thorns' and admittedly it was a few years ago when I read that. What this means is that I was unfamiliar with most of the characters; their personalities and backgrounds. All stories were well-written with Sleeping Beauty being a particular highlight. Fans of Lawrence may have read some of these already, b
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Well worth splashing out some pennies for this little gem. I've not read any of the short stories before, even though some of them available individually, and my favourite is Know Thyself. A fascinating insight into the lives of some of the brothers, and somewhat lighter in tone than the main series itself (which is good, because sometimes the darkness of the characters and the situations they find themselves in, can be a little overwhelming for those who prefer light and fluffy most of the time ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
This is a superb collection of short stories, if you are a fan of The Broken Empire this will be a great treat. My review is on my blog:
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one. So much I read it in one night. And made me want to read more about the Broken Empire again. Oh Jorg, I did follow you, and you broke my heart indeed.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy, owned
Entertaining if you're a fan of the various Broken Empire books (which I am). Only real complaint is that it's so short. ...more
Anna Shelby ☕
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Every additional story with Jorg is a little gift! That last story: "Know thyself", is my favorite one, closely followed by "Select Mode". A sidestory with Katherine would've been nice too. ...more
The Nerd Book Review
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to preface this by saying that I normally hate short stories. I feel like they only give me the smallest taste of what I really want. I absolutely loved Road Brothers. I am a huge fan of the Broken Empire books but one thing that I felt was lacking, especially in Prince of Thorns, was any real backstory on any of Jorg's murderous little band. Road Brothers remedies that shortcoming. If this had been the Interlude between chapters Prince of Thorns would have been one of my favorite book ...more
Chris Boulton
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ahh I do love the Broken Empire series and now we get a brief glimpse of the characters that we don't get to hear much about. Usually in anthologies, I'd make a list of the ones I particularly enjoyed and jot them down here for you all to mull over and tell me how clever I am to chose those stories but it's impossible to do that with this one because they're all so good. Though I have to say that I think I preferred the second Makin story rather than the first, just so I can have a touch of nega ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Road Brothers is basically ten more reasons why you owe it to yourself to read Mark Lawrence and get yourself inducted into his Broken Empire series. His writing is just as beautiful in short form as it is long, and I loved getting the chance to get some further insight into some of my favoirite characters tied to Jorg's tale. I was sad to see the series end, but any extra time to spend in this world is the icing on the cake. ...more
JL Lucaban
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-love
I loved the Broken Empire Trilogy ever since the first book, where I met Jorg and his road brothers. After the Emperor of Thorns, I've felt the need to reread it again every once in a while, and every time I feel it, I succumb to it without any fight.

To read this, to read Jorg's and his road brother's individual story, was like reacquainting myself to a very long time friend. The memories of those three books while I read them came back as I read every story in here.

I love it.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great companion to The Broken Empire trilogy, providing insight into some of Jorg's Road Brothers. With The Broken Empire being so neatly tied up, this collection of short stories is a welcome return to that world and it's characters, delving a little into how they came to be. There's even a couple Jorg short stories which is wonderful, because who knew I missed him so much? ...more
Coby Heitz
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you loved the Broken Empire trilogy, this book is great. You get a little more backstory from some of the characters that played a big role in the main characters lives but didn’t get much of the spotlight during the original trilogy. Some characters from the Red Queen’s war trilogy have cameo’s here and there too. It was great.
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Other books in the series

The Broken Empire (3 books)
  • Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)
  • King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2)
  • Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3)

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