Jorg, Makin, Katherine
King of Thorns is the second book in Mark Lawrence's The Broken Empire fantasy series. The book picks up the story of Jorg Ancrath four years after the Prince of Thorns. This book is a little different to Prince because it has two different story lines. The first is that of the ‘Wedding Day’. On this day, Jorg is (obviously) getting married, but that is but one small detail in the day. The wider plot to this story line is that Jorg is defending his Castle against the might of the Prince of Arrow, Jorg’s rival to the Imperial crown. Things are not looking good for Jorg. He is outnumbered nearly twenty to one by a Prince who is a great strategist and who is very likeable. Jorg also has no great plan to save himself or his Kingdom and must take the initiative and think on his feet if he is going to survive the day!
The second and more substantial story line is that of ‘Four years earlier’, which tells the tale of how Jorg manages his new Kingdom and more importantly follows the story of the ‘box’ which holds one of Jorg’s worst memories. This side of the book really shows how the burden of been a King turns Jorg from the bloodthirsty boy in the Prince of Thorns to the man he becomes in the King. It also reintroduces us into Jorg’s passion over Katherine and how someone else’s terrible action means that he can’t be with her.
This was another great book from Lawrence, however I didn’t enjoy it as much as Prince. I think one reason for this was that Jorg was less of the unpredictable, fierce Prince who was driven by hate and his desire for revenge. I think there were some aspects of the old Jorg in this book but most of the time Jorg reigns himself in. I think Lawrence did this to show how Jorg was maturing into a man because he was not lashing out and killing on a whim. However, in the Prince, this was my favourite characteristic of Jorg and I would have liked to see more of it in this novel. I also found some aspects of the dual plot sometimes confusing, especially if they were based in Castle Renar because I couldn’t remember if it was the ‘Wedding Day’ plot or the ‘Four years earlier’ one!
Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed the book! It was gripping, (I read it in a couple of days) at times funny and full of action and battles. I also like how Lawrence widened the story of the ‘Builders’ in this novel!
As I said, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait until the next saga of Jorg’s life is released! I would suggest this book to anyone who is a hard-core fantasy fan or anyone who likes writers such as Patrick Rothfuss or Hank Quense.
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And don't forget to check out Mark's blog here for updates on his Broken Empire Series.