three-stars

Let me say that I enjoyed this book and the series as a whole. As a grimdark fan, graphic depictions of bad behavior do not deter me. I liked the story, the milieu, and the post-apocalyptic landscape. I also liked any glimpses we got of secondary characters in the story.

Jorg Ancrath, however, I never liked. He is definitely an interesting character, but unlike some of the bad-behaving characters from other series, I can’t find enough empathy for him or his motivations. Since the whole story was told in the first person from Jorg’s POV, it was kind of like listening to a story being told by someone you can’t stand to be around and who you know is lying to you. Jorg’s constant semi-poetic navel-gazing ruminations in his narration did not endear him to me. He is a psychopath and I really don’t want to listen to him.

The flashbacks and missing chunks of time in the narrative also tended to kick me out of the flow of the story. The gaps mainly seemed to hide extensive actions and preparations by Jorg that would later be revealed as fait accompli.

This made the series a tough slog for me, but still rewarding and enjoyable.

What Makes it Epic Grit:

  • Adventure and Wonder: There’s lots of action and immersive worldbuilding.
  • Believable Characters: For the most part.
  • Real Consequences: Yup.
  • Epic in Scope: Fate of humanity, etc.
  • Subverts “Good versus Evil” Tropes: If it’s psychopath vs. psychopath, Jorg’s the psychopath you want on your side–just not too close to your side. Actually, it might be best if you were behind him and out of reach.
  • Different Perspectives: Not really. The narrative stayed in the first person from Jorg’s perspective most of the time. Since Jorg is a psychopath, we really don’t get much insight into the other characters, and we can’t trust what we do get.

Verdict: three-stars

Good story, great worldbuilding. I would have enjoyed this more if it had been written in the third person limited point-of-view. That would give enough insight into the thoughts and motivations of the characters without having to listen to an unpleasant psychopath tell his story.

Review: The Broken Empire Series by Mark LawrencePrince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Series: The Broken Empire #1
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Release: 2011
Type: Novel
three-stars

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Review: The Broken Empire Series by Mark LawrenceKing of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Series: The Broken Empire #2
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Release: 2012
Type: Novel
three-stars

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Review: The Broken Empire Series by Mark LawrenceEmperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Series: The Broken Empire #3
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Release: 2013
Type: Novel
three-stars

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Book | Ebook | Audiobook | Goodreads