Radmila Bjelopetrović
Radmila Bjelopetrović asked Mark Lawrence:

I have to admit that I haven't heard about you before I started reading Prince of Thorns and by the end of first chapter you were my favorite author. But Emperor of Thorns killed me and I have to say that there was a brief period of time where I hated you, but than I realized that you are an amazing author all the same, no matter how you decided to finish the book. That said I have to ask why? Why end it like that?

Mark Lawrence People sometimes imagine stories as arbitrary things that can do whatever they want.

Those of us who have written ... at least successfully, producing stories that others feel compelled to follow ... know otherwise.

When a person who carves wood speaks about their craft they often talk about the animal that is waiting in a particular piece of timber, not created by them, but waiting to be discovered by the chisel and the knife. They are constrained by the grain of the wood, the knots, the dimensions, and by the way the surfaces they start to follow travel through the medium.

All this to say that the end of any book is where the story leads the author. Stories develop a momentum of their own, characters will do one thing and not another. When you wake from a dream you may not like the ending of it. But try to tell yourself a different one ... and it will never quite stick.

From time to time a reader will take the time to variously rage, tell, or inform me of their distress with the way the Broken Empire ends. Quite often they will contact me again days, months, or even years later and say that they finally realized no other ending would do. Those emails are quite nice to get.

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