Book Review: Prince of Thorns (2011)

Prince of Thornes by Mark Lawrence, narrated by Joe Jameson

❧ audiobook review
I swallowed the night, and the night swallowed me.

This sentence is so good for one-lining the theme of the book. Darkness, and what happens when you allow it to devour you.

This is my first of the classic grimdarks, really. I’ve heard so much about the genre and have so many of the books on my list, but other than GRRM’s books (which I think are considered grimdark?), I haven’t delved much into the genre. And now I’m sure I’m going to fall face first. Can’t wait. 😉

This is a book of brittle and bleeding characters. Especially young, furious Jorg, our MC. After the horrific deaths of his family, he’s grown into a boy with no forgiveness and no desire for anything but vengeance and bloodshed.

‘I don’t require your forgiveness.’

My heart absolutely breaks for bitter, brutal, broken Jorg. What a life he’s endured already in so short a time. No wonder he’s as unforgiving and terrifying as he is. That’s all he’s ever known. Mark Lawrence really knows how to make a character study, goodness.

I cut from myself all the weakness of care. The love for my dead, I put aside, secure in a casket, an object of study, a dry exhibit, no longer bleeding, cut loose, set free. The capacity for new love, I burned out. I watered it with acid until the ground lay barren and nothing there would sprout, no flower take root.

Everything about this book left me stunned. It’s dark. Way dark. So very, highly, muchly dark.

But it’s done so, so well.

They say fear lends a man wings.

Mark Lawrence has such a way with characters and words despite this darkness that draws you in and makes you want to keep reading even when you don’t love what the characters are doing. You feel for the same characters you don’t agree with, and that’s a really special talent for a writer to achieve.

It’s the silence that scares me. It’s the blank page on which I can write my own fears. The spirits of the dead have nothing on it. The dead one tried to show me hell, but it was a pale imitation of the horror I can paint on the darkness in a quiet moment.

It must be noted that the narration for this is sublime. Joe Jameson is officially one of my favourite narrators. He narrated The Magnificent Sons, one of my favourite books from last year, as well.

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