Adult · Broken Emprie · Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire #1) by Mark Lawrence



I enjoyed Prince of Thorns much more than I thought I was going to. The plot was interesting, not overly complicated or complex, and moved at a great  pace. Following around an anti-hero was fascinating and unique. Jorg was well-developed and multi-dimensional but the rest of the characters lacked development. The world-building though decent was also lacking, and I hope to learn more about it in the next book.


I’m not superb or anything at writing synopses, but I will try to explain the overall plot of the book as simply as I can. At the age of nine, Jorg witnessed the murder of his mother and little brother while he was trapped in a poisonous briar bush. Throughout the book, we follow Jorg on his journey for revenge, but the actions that he takes may not be his own.

I actually loved this book! First of all, it was very interesting to follow an anti-hero. Although he commits horrible acts and appears to be a bit crazy, you can’t help kind of liking him. I thought it was great to finally follow around the non-perfect prince. Though the plot appears to be very simple, it is slightly more complex, which you learn further on into the story. The actions Jorg takes are not his own because it seems he is being manipulated by an evil mage, though we are not sure why.

“Tell me, tutor,’ I said. ‘Is revenge a science, or an art?”

The plot moves at a great pace, switching between the present and past, so we get to understand and learn more about Jorg and those closest to him. There are quite a few action scenes scattered throughout the book but nothing huge nor prolonged. Just the right amount of action and character development for me.  It also wasn’t overly detailed. Yes, the characters commit horrid acts, but even the rape scene at the beginning of the book was just glossed over. Nothing was ever so detailed that it would make you stop reading.


As far as the world-building goes, it was actually pretty terrible. We know little to nothing about this world other than there are somewhere around 100 kingdoms that have been divided. The world is also filled with necromancers, mages, ghosts, dream-witches, and other monstrous creatures. I honestly hope we learn more about this world in the following books. I wasn’t impressed.


This is most definitely a character driven novel. However, the only character we really learn anything about is Jorg. Through both present day and flashbacks, you learn a ton about what motivates him to commit such heinous acts. He does need therapy but we can easily see that his traumatic childhood experience is causing some significant problems. He is a horrible person who cares about no one and will instantly kill someone for just giving him the wrong look. What I found to be incredibly interesting about him is his superior intelligence. This kid is smart! Jorg is definitely an intriguing, multi-dimensional character and I can’t wait to learn more about him!

“Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you’ll find an edge to cut you.”

Sir Makin is the other character we know a little about, though I was hoping for some more back story. We know that before he became a knight he was an outlaw so following Jorg around must have been nothing new. He is also a very skilled swordsman and could be considered Jorg’s closest friend. I just wanted to know more about the time Jorg ran away and how Sir Makin ended up finding him and chose to follow him instead of bringing him back to his father.

As far as all of Jorg’s “brothers” are concerned, there are just too many of them and the only one that was the least bit developed, the only one we got to know just a little bit about, and the only one that was interesting ends up being killed. 😦 WTF. Secondary character developed really lacked in this book. I still have a hard time deciphering who is who. They all need to be more distinguishable.


I thoroughly enjoyed the writing! It’s not too often when you get to enjoy a story told through first-person. I didn’t ever find the writing to be difficult to understand nor was switching between time periods confusing.


The only thing I don’t like about the cover is the blurb at the top. Sigh… Otherwise, it fits the book really well, the illustration is awesome, and the cover even mentions both the book number and the series!

~Review Spotlight~

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6 thoughts on “Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire #1) by Mark Lawrence

  1. You do understand that the world is our world in the future right? he used a nuke, tall castle was a sky scrapper, he talks about philosophers like Aristotle.

  2. I can definitely relate to your feelings about the main character – it is so refreshing to see characters with edges and flaws that are far from perfect! I also enjoy character driven novels, because well-written characters are everything 🙂

      1. Oh no, that came across wrong – I didn’t read the book, but I can relate to what you said, because there are way too many all too perfect characters out there and it always makes me happy to encounter real characters with proper flaws!


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