Book Review: ‘Emperor of Thorns’, by Mark Lawrence

As an aspiring author, I find reading Lawrence’s books depressing to a certain degree, because I know my skill with words will never be as great as his.

There are some amazing twists, which one might expect of it, being the third in a trilogy. I very much enjoyed the entire series, as I found the writing itself amazing, with very different and interesting characters. While Jorg must certainly come under the title of ‘anti-hero’, there is no sense that his actions are dark simply in an attempt to shock readers. The use of complementary story-lines is very useful as a character development device, and means that I felt like I got to know Jorg over the course of the series.

What I love most about The Broken Empire Trilogy is the originality of the setting. It blurs the lines between fantasy and sci-fi in my opinion, and is the first such effort I have read. I always find ‘what if’ settings interesting, but that of The Broken Empire is engaging and beautifully thought out.

The only nagging thought I have concerning such a device as complementary story-lines is that it perhaps covers a weak story-line, as it allows for a lot of writing with arguably not much happening. Even in the moments when I think this, I realise that alongside the entertainment derived from powerful characters and settings, it seems near-irrelevant. That said, when I sit back and consider the ending of the book, I am not at all dissatisfied by it. It is certainly epic enough in scale to be considered epic fantasy, something which I tend to look for in books.

Overall: read it. Read the whole series. The originality and imagination of the setting cannot be underestimated, and neither can the sheer darkness of the main character.

‘Emperor of Thorns’ by Mark Lawrence is the third in The Broken Empire Trilogy.



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