Cannonball Read IV: King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
After reading the previous book, Prince of Thorns, last spring I immediately put this one on my watch list. Because never have I found a world as richly imagined, an honest to god dark protagonist (not one of those shiny heroes who just needs a little polish), and a truly original take on the classic medieval fantasy tropes.
Prince Jorg is now a king of a small, inhospitable corner of the empire. But the Prince of Arrow, on target to unite the empire under a single rule. But if there is any truth in Jorg it's that he hates nothing more than losing, and has no intention to let the noble Prince of Arrow roll over him. Unfortunately, Jorg has no army and scant friends. He burns for Katherine but she has more reasons to hate him than appendages to count. Jorg has also placed a bit of his own memory in a box (along with some spare change and a ticket stub from last Sunday) and has been told that he did so because the memory drove him to madness. However that memory may hold the only clue to defeating the Prince of Arrow.
This is not a fast read, you'll need to pay attention to the details or they'll escape from you. Jorg is hard to root for (in fact you may not). But it's like a great meal, you'll enjoy it thoroughly while reading and think back fondly after it's over. My only regret is that now I have to wait another year to find out what happen next.
If you haven't already read the spectacularly dark and enjoyable Prince of Thorns you would want to start there. Lawrence is not an author who feeds you the relevant backstory so this is not a series you would enjoy jumping into at the midway point.
This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read IV. Read all about it, and find more of Alexis's reviews on the group blog.
(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)