Ok, I have spent a fair bit of time discussing Historic Novels this week, so I’d like to return to fantasy novels in this post. I have chosen to discuss one of my favourite recent series, The Broken Empire Trilogy, written by Mark Lawrence, starting with the novel The Prince of Thorns.
When you first meet Lawrence’s character, Jorg, you are shocked. No really, you are. I’m used to un-conventional characters and anti-heroes, but this guy is just plain nasty, and the fact that he is just a young damaged youth somehow makes it worse. But that is the attraction of these books – the complex but darkly charismatic Jorg gradually pulls you into his angry world. I’ll not give too much away, but his psychopathic behaviour is intrinsic to the plot as the story unfolds. Jorg leads a rough bunch of mercenaries, through a post-apocalyptic world full of knights, magicians, and radioactively mutated monsters. If you’re hoping for brotherly companionship amongst the band of mercenaries, you’ll again be disappointed, as this lot will not only sell your grandmother, they’ll eat all her cats too! But somehow Lawrence keeps the story together through Jorg’s wit, dark humour, and dare I say it…charm?
Surprisingly you really start to warm to Jorg, and it is not long before you’re rooting for him to bring everyone down with his particular skill for chaos and mayhem, especially after his deviant behaviour is explained. The greatest creation of these novels is certainly the main character, but he has some engaging companions, most of which have back stories that are well thought out and explained.
These novels will not be loved by everyone, but if you’re bored of the ordinary fare of heroically brave and honest souls, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed with Jorg.