Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review - King of Thorns

Jorg Ancrath stared out as a murderous teen. The opening of Prince of Thorns made this abundantly clear, but that book went on to give us a reason. In a similar format, but interestingly different, King of Thorns continues that journey. In Jorg’s present, he is now 18, getting married, and facing an impossible siege. The success or failure of that endeavor hinges on events from four years earlier as Jorg, new King of Renar leaves his castle on a journey. The journey takes many stages, as does the attack on his castle in the present day.

The story weaves back and forth, but hinges on a single event, but the memory of it is locked away. It is revealed piece by piece along with the two other story lines in a masterful feat of story telling. Mark Lawrence knows his stuff and gives us a fantastic sequel filled with action, bloodshed, and character development.

The world is further explored with magic and the remnants of technology. Scenes of nightmares and wonders push the boundaries of the world to give us an even better picture of this future. Jorg meets a variety of people on his journey and everything ties into the siege that the present Jorg faces.

But this story is more than world building. Jorg as a character had just begun to change at the end of Prince of Thorns. Now, through the weaving of the three tales, we get to see where he went from there. Little by little he ceases to be a rogue and becomes a King. Where the previous Jorg felt little compunction about offing one of his brothers, this Jorg finds them all important and, while he passes off their deaths casually, it is obvious he feels the losses. The boy has become a man and in the climactic battle, we see all those pieces forge Jorg into a true King. Not perfect. I don’t think Jorg could ever be perfect. Yet definitely grown from that young ruffian we first met.

This is a more than worthy continuation of Jorg’s story. This is a must read for anyone who liked the first book.

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