Thursday, 19 September 2013

Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Writing in the 1st person isn’t easy as the value of the book to the readers becomes linked with the value of the single character. In the case of "Broken Empire" trilogy everything becomes binary. There are two types of people in the world: those who find Jorg Ancrath fascinating and those who don’t. I am in the first category. I have found Jorg to be an exceptionally interesting protagonist.

This said, I don’t really like Jorg. There are few things that he does at the very beginning of the series (i.e rape) that for me mean intense dislike no matter how bad his childhood was.

But do the bad deeds made him less interesting to me – no. Not at all! Mainly because I have never stopped wondering what he is going to do next and he always managed to surprise me. But also because he felt very real: arrogance, megalomania and all. I caught myself several times thinking of him as if he was a real person.

Another great thing about “Emperor of Thorns” is it's world building: it is original, detailed, consistent, complex and relatable. The science part of it makes perfect logical sense, and so does the magic part. Everything is explained and no loose ends are left untied at the ending. Beautiful world building!

There was a couple things that niggled me in "Emperor of Thorns": I thought the road trip was too long and several parts of the book could have been edited out without any detriment to the story. And to tell the truth, the book won't pass too far into Bechdel test on gender bias as every female character with more than one line of dialog is in love with Jorg.

To summarise: I enjoyed "Emperor of Thorns" and Broken Empire series a great deal.

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