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.

Epic Fantasy I Want to Read

I just started the audiobook for Gardens of the Moon, which is an epic fantasy I somehow haven’t got around to yet. Then again, it’s not *somehow*, it’s just that I’m behind on ALL MY READING LISTS.

Gardens of the Moon is a 1999 epic fantasy book written by Steven Erikson, the first in a huge series that is complemented by Ian C. Esslemont’s series. Both are set in the same world and were conceived by the authors back in the 1980s. There’s so much to dive into with this series and I can’t wait to follow the storyline!

The narrator of GOTM is wonderful! If you’re like me and have to really, really like a narrator to listen to an entire book, this one is definitely recommended! Ralph Lister is a fantastic narrator and brings the universe of this book to life so wonderfully.

After Gardens of the Moon, I want to get started on a few classics of the genre. There’s a whole load of epic fantasy books I want to dive into, but probably the top of the list is The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

For years now I’ve wanted to read Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time series but kept procrastinating because of just how BIG the series is. When I first saw them as a child I was so intimidated, but I desperately want to read them as everyone I know who has read them absolutely loves them. Has anyone else read The Wheel of Time?

I have heard so many good things about this series, as the consensus is that the books are very long, very well plotted and incredibly intricate. Just my cup of tea! And with each book looking around a 1000 pages each, epic might be an understatement! 😉

I’ve heard that there’s a TV series coming for this book, so I’d like to at least read the first one before the show starts, but we shall see.

In addition to Robert Jordan, there are some big name authors whose works I’ve been meaning to read for years and haven’t yet. I see Mark Lawrence, Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss rec’d in every epic fantasy circle, so their books have definitely piqued my interest! All these books look so great that I don’t know where to start.

Has anyone read these? I know Brandon Sanderson also penned the final books in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, so I really want to read his own series, too.

I’d love to know what epic fantasy book others recommend! I need more to add to my reading list. I’d love hidden gems especially!