The Prince of Thorns – A Book Review

This is the first book in The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence. It has been on my to-read list for a long time. I tried to read it a while back but after the first couple of chapters I left it. It was too gruesome for me at the time. But after reading The Prince of Fools (my review) by the same author and checking out many reviews by fellow bloggers and friends who highly recommended it, I thought I’d give it another try. Glad I did. The book was still too gruesome and quite dark but as you read further you get to know more about the characters and their reasons. I’m not saying that the reasons justify their actions, I’m only saying you understand them. [No spoilers in this review].9579634

The book follows the journey of Prince Jorg Ancrath, aka the Prince of Thorns, to take revenge on his mother and brother’s brutal murder that happened when he was 10 years old. At 13, he leads a group of bandits to find and kill the person who ordered their deaths. Jorg and his bandits, whom he calls Brothers, attack villages and torture and burn everyone in their way. He is not your average teenager, he’s brutal and has no remorse for his actions. This doesn’t sound like a book that could appeal to everyone nor make you feel any empathy towards the main character but there is a lot more to this book than that.

What I liked about it

  • The author’s writing style: I don’t usually read dark fantasy like this one, but the author did a great job with the writing and after getting past the first chapters it kinds gets easier to go through once you get into the story more. The book easily flows back and forth in time describing Jorg’s past and showing the reader how he ended up the way he did.
  • Humor and wit: As dark as it was, the book also had humor and wit which are two things I really like in a book.
  • The story line: it will keep you intrigued. After reading The Prince of Fools I am already a bit familiar with the setting of the book and some of the characters mentioned so it was easy to get engaged in the world of the broken empire.
  • The magic: there is no specific magic system, but the magic in this book was more of characters who posses magic and the existence of magical creatures and the way they were portrayed was interesting.
  • The cover: what can I say I like good covers.
  • Memorable Quotes: from the many here is one

         “Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you’ll find an edge to cut you.”

There wasn’t anything specific that I didn’t like. I did get a bit mixed up with the secondary characters, Jorg’s Brothers. I couldn’t get a clear vision of who they are besides two characters; Nuban and Makin.

Jorg is a character who is confident and arrogant and has been leading a group of grown men but while I was reading there was a question that kept popping up in my head: why did the author make Jorg so young and how did he realize that this age will be appropriate for the story?

If you’re looking for a typical hero that everyone will root for, this is not that book. But even so, you’ll find yourself following Jorg’s journey, wanting to know what he will do next and maybe rooting for him just to see him reach his destination.

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My Book Year in Review

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It’s that time of year to take a look back at what I have read, my likes and dislikes and to catch up with the goodreads book challenge. I have one book left to finish before I reach my goal of 25 books this year, and I’m almost done, yay!

Looking back at the books I’ve read this year, here are my favorites (in no particular order):

18007564The Martian – Andy Weir

I loved this book. I listened to this is audio and it was awesome, here is my review of the book. I also watched the movie but I don’t think it was as good as the book. Here is my movie review.

 

9361589The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

This is a book you would love to give as a gift. It’s fairy tale like story with magic and romance. I listened to it in audio and would recommend listening to it. Here is my review of this book.

 

9969571Ready Player One – Clive Ernest

I had so much fun listening to this book. I loved the 80’s references (my favorite decade in music) and I loved the imagination of how life would be when virtual reality takes the lead. Here is my review.

 

republicofthievesThe Republic of Thieves – Scott Lynch

Book 3 of one of my favorite series The Gentleman Bastard series. This book was not as good as the first, but much better than the second. I can’t wait for the 4th book that should come out sometime next year, I hope.

 

Academ's FuryAcadem’s Fury – Jim Butcher

This is book 2 of the Codex Alera series. Reading this book was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the first book too but this one was even better. I’m at book 3 now and plan to finish the whole series by next year.

 

518848Sabriel – Garth Nix

This was an easy, fun and interesting book. It had magic, weird creatures and a new world. It follows the journey of Sabriel, an 18 year old necromancer looking for her father in a magical world called The Old Kingdom.

 

MistbornMistborn – Brandon Sanderson

No matter how many times you read this book it still gets a solid 5 star rating on goodreads. Intriguing, awesome new world building and magical system. Here is my review. I reread this book earlier this year thinking I’d finish rereading the whole series before the publication of the 5th book Shadows of Self but I didn’t have the time to squeeze them in. So it’s in my plan for next year.

 

5Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

I received the Harry Potter Boxset as a gift last year and being someone who has never read the books (only watched the movies and loved them) I was pretty excited to start reading. So far I’ve only read the first 4 books and this one was my favorite.

I did enjoy other books but they didn’t make my favorite list. So what were your favorites this year?

 

Sabriel – What I’m Currently Reading

This time I knew what I was going to read after I finished my last book. Sabriel is one of those books where many of my Goodread friends gave it high reviews, and because of my curiosity and wanting to read something with a lot of good reviews, I had to get it. 

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This is the second time I’m starting this book. I was unable to get into it the first time so I left it for a while and got back to it now, so far I’m enjoying it.

This is the first book of the Abhorsen Trilogy by the author Garth Nix. The book is about an 18 year old girl named Sabriel who studies at a boarding school and knows a little about charter magic. Before she graduates she finds out that her father Abhorsen (who is a necromancer) is missing, so she goes on a journey to find him in the Old Kingdom. Two types of magic exist, Charter Magic and Free Magic. I found more details about what they are.

According to the Old Kingdom wiki Charter Magic:

“uses a multitude of symbols, either drawn on paper or in the air, spoken, engraved or embedded in an object, or whistled. Charter magic is reliant upon the user having a Charter mark on their forehead.”

On the other hand, Free Magic is:

“which is unconstrained by the Charter. It existed as the sole magic in the Beginning, but when the Charter was created, it was made “ordered, subject to structure, constrained by symbols.” All Free Magic that remained separate from the Charter became the magic of necromancy.”

So far this book is intriguing and I look forward to see what happens to her along her journey.

Latest Book Releases

I thought I’d share a bunch of interesting books in the fantasy and sci-fi genre that have been recently released. I have added links for each book that will take you to their Goodreads profile.

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  • The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Ann Noble. It received the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. This books talk about a  sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie and then one day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin.

Mermaid's Sister

  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. This is the 15th book in the Dresden Files series ( I have only read the first one Storm Front so far). It was published in paperback this month.

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  • The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn. This is the first book in the Singularity series and was published in paperback last month. I like the cover of the book and the story line seems very interesting.

LegacyHuman

  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson: this is book 2 of the Stormlight Archive series. I have read this one and it will have its own blog post so I won’t say much about it (only that it is awesome!). It was released in mass paperback this month.

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  • A Blink of the Screen: Collected Short Fiction by Terry Pratchett. This book is a collection of short fiction from Terry Pratchett, spanning the whole of his writing career from schooldays to Discworld and the present day.

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From the list, I have read only “The Words of Radiance”. If you have read any of the above books then would love to hear what you thought about them.

The Gentleman Bastard Series – A Brief Review

These books, by the author Scott Lynch, are about a group of thieves and their adventures stealing and conning the rich and powerful. It is one of those series that you either love or hate (I noticed from the various reviews I have read). I’m one of those who love it for many reasons:

  • The story line is entertaining and very intriguing. I like a book that keeps me wanting to know what happens next.
  • The world building, the author did a great job building a new world and culture. The way the city is governed and designed I thought was awesome.
  • The characters, each one has its own characteristics that make him or her interesting. The main protagonist Locke Lamora is my favorite. He is witty and smart even though he is a thief.

The first book in the series is The Lies of Locke Lamora (as seen in the imalockege).  The series should be 7 books in total while 3 are already published and the fourth coming out this October (yay!).

I will talk in more details about each book I have read in further posts. I am currently reading book 3 in the series called The Republic of Thieves. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend you do.