Prince of Thorns
I initially put off reading Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns due to some earlier reviews which discussed the novel’s copious amounts of violence and depravity. However, I came across another review that mentioned the world of Prince of Thorns, revealing a minor spoiler, that rocketed Lawrence’s debut to the top of my read pile. Those initial reviews that discussed the novel were absolutely correct Prince of Thorns is an often shockingly violent novel with a protagonist about as far from being a hero as a person can get. At the same time the violence is not aggrandized in any way and the acts of the titular Prince Jorg and his band of outlaws is never painted in a welcome light.
Prince Jorg Ancrath witnesses, at a young age, the murder of his mother and younger brother. Surviving only because he escaped the carriage his family was riding in and fell into a thorn bush. The pain, both physical and emotional, of this event radically change Jorg whose cool analytical and highly intelligent mind hide a near bottomless well of icy rage. Towards the end of his convalescence Jorg frees several bandit’s from his father’s dungeons and escapes joining with them on a quest for revenge. Four years later, at age fourteen, Jorg is still on his quest now leading those same bandits pillaging the countryside and harassing the people who serve, and live, under the rule of the man had his mother and brother killed.