Review: Prince of Thorns
You guys remember last week when we talked about the Grimdark genre and how much I was enjoying a book of that ilk? Ok, good. Your going to need all that this week again as I have another selection.
I have to say first that I like Mark Lawerence. Ya know as a human being? Ya he seems cool. He's pretty active in the /r/fantasy sub-reddit and seems to be pretty free with his time and words for fans and fellow authors. I even entered his amazing contest thing (and wasn't eliminated right away in the first round of cuts at fantasy faction; which was nice.) the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off.
So....I didn't really like this book.
I can easily say that this book is really well written. It was easy to see that Lawrence took his world building seriously. His characters are diverse. His plot is well constructed and interesting at the surface level. All of the pieces are there for a novel I should probably be enjoying, but I hated everyone in this book.
There's not a single character that I felt I could root for. The main character is some kind of mix of spoiled rich kid and serial killer. Jorg has surrounded himself with a wide and diverse cast of even worse representations of human beings who he uses and throws at way at every opportunity. Though this kind of character and environment is pretty common in the genre. So it's not like I didn't know what I was getting into, but I never found the heart that I need in books like this. Something to center events so that I don't feel like I'm on a constant slide into all the worst things that humanity has to offer.
I feel like it's a shame also, because I can see in-between all the murdering an author who could write something I'd really like. The bits of the world that he's building shine bright in the story, and the prose itself is pretty excellently constructed. But when I turned the last page there's was nothing and no one that I wanted to follow on to the novel's sequels. I give Prince of Thorns two stars out of five.