As usual I’m late to the party that is Prince of Thorns, but now that I’ve read the bloody tale of Jorg I can honestly say that I’m a fan! The book had a lot of hype involved with it and I think it made matters worse when another reviewer compared the book to the works of R. Scott Bakker. Now I know that’s not really fair to compare two separate books by two separate authors, but I wasn’t the one who made the comparison! After I heard that The Prince of Thorns was reminiscent of The Prince of Nothing I was immediately intrigued. Having finished Prince of Thorns I can report that the two stories are nothing alike, but Jorg’s tale was nonetheless extremely entertaining.
The plot is pretty straightforward: A young Prince witnesses the brutal murder of his mother and younger brother and seeks revenge. This isn’t your typical coming-of-age tale though, nor is Jorg your typical 10 year old… One half Conan and one half Norman Bates, Jorg is one dude I wouldn’t want to piss off. The age factor, while completely unbelievable didn’t really bother me. I had to remind myself that Mark Lawrence is writing a trilogy and that Prince Jorg will be developing in the latter two books, so I took his age factor with a grain of salt.
The one thing that bothered me with this book was the subtle references of modern technology. This is literally my biggest pet-peeve in fantasy literature. Why would I want to read about a wizard that carries a shotgun and rides around in a convertible? In my opinion it just ruins the setting. Jorg and company stumble across a hidden compartment that is essentially a security door, and then the door utters, “External sensors malfunctioning. Biometrics offline”. I couldn’t help but be a little upset with this, but then again this is a personal pet-peeve and others might enjoy these genre-blending references. Personally I like my fantasy separate from my Sci-Fi and I will be greatly disappointed if Jorg stumbles across a machine gun or a spaceship in the next volume.
All in all I did enjoy the opening sequence to Jorg’s tale and will gladly read King of Thorns. Snappy dialogue, a love to hate main character, and some bloody good action scenes make this one a must read. Fans of PG rated fantasy should steer clear as this one would probably get a NC17 rating. Bring on King of Thorns!