Vicious and bloodthirsty. Jorg Ancrath is dangerous and without remorse as he seeks retribution for the loss of his brother and mother executed before his 9yr old eyes. The searing screams, the buttery separation of skin as hot knives slice the flesh of his family fuel an omnipresent hatred towards those responsible and those that stand in his way. At the time, held captive by thorns, forced to watch this horror show throughout its bloodcurdling duration, Jorg knew he’d never rest until he too, could evoke those same screams, inflict that same hurt upon his fellow man. He opened his heart to darkness and let it bleed black blood. For Ancrath and its neighbouring environs, the issuing of a new rule had been founded upon by this terrible event, and Jorg, the liege lord of pain was truly born.
PRINCE OF THORNS is told from the perspective of the raged induced prince Jorg Ancrath and depicts horror upon horror across this fantastical landscape that author Mark Lawrence so dutiful created. I like this approach as it allows a seed of doubt to be planted in the reader’s mind, not everything we take in can be ultimately believed as gospel, after all, Jorg is far from a picture perfect wholesome prince. Someone who is more attune to murdering with cell dwellers, rapists, and pillagers, is typically less than an honest and honourable man, yet the reader can identify with his quest for vengeance, if not agreeing with the methods.
As the story progresses so does the fantastical elements; necromancers, dark magic, monsters and other such genre stalwarts are introduced, paving the way for a traditional medieval fantasy feel. Yet, Jorg is such a unique and menacing character (even at the ripe old age of 14); PRINCE OF THORNS is easily separable from other genre books/series such as A SONG OF FIRE AND ICE etc.
With book #2 of the BROKEN EMPIRE titled KING OF THORNS, I’m interested to see how much more menacing and influential Jorg is with the added weight of the outcome of the novel hanging over him and the interesting family dynamic that awaits his attention.