King of Thorns is a spectacular addition to this series. Though the plot moves slowly, it was still engaging and I loved the mystery behind it. Much more of the world was explored and there are even clues to its history. I thought Jorg was a lot more mature and develops quite a bit in this book, but I was disappointed that the other characters are still bland. The writing is great and I thought the cover was almost perfect.
Jorg is now King of the Renar Highlands, an eighteen-year-old about to get married, and already has an army at his door. The Prince of Arrow assumes that with large numbers he will be able to roll right over Jorg and his pitiful army; however, this is Jorg we are talking about, he is rather cunning and able to get himself out of the most difficult of circumstances. We also follow Jorg and his brothers as they travel to Hiemfrit in order to help Gog, which actually occurred just after the events of the previous book.
There are several different time periods we focus on and, at first, it can be quite confusing. However, it doesn’t take too long to figure out what is going on. There is Jorg’s wedding day (the present), four years previously, and four years previously (the time Jorg forgot). This method actually works quite well to build tension and introduce new plot points and characters.
“In fire and in blood I will bend them to my will, because this is a game with no rules, and I will be victorious if it beggars hell.”
King of Thorns was actually a rather slow read until the last third of the book though I wasn’t uninterested in the story. The actions scenes are few and far between, which I was totally fine with. I loved this aspect of the book. The battles/action scenes that were present were all described perfectly, were interesting, and just…awesome. The majority of the book focused on Jorg and the battles ranging within and without. There is a lot going on with him; he develops quite a bit throughout the book.
Though I had an idea how the book would end, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had no idea how exactly it would be accomplished, nor did I predict anything else about the book.
More of the world is uncovered as Jorg and his Brothers travel around the country. We ‘see’ new places and creatures, learn more about the magic systems within the world, and even uncover more about the history, though I have more questions than answers. The history is actually quite intriguing and I’m not sure if my suspicions are correct. I look forward to learning more about this world and its inhabitants in the following novel.
Again the only character that I thought to be well-developed was Jorg. Still, the other characters, besides Makin, I cannot tell apart. Jorg has grown so much from the young boy we read about in the first book. No longer does he overreact if looked at the wrong way and the ghosts he has created are now haunting him. He is much more mature and actually seems more human. His emotions are much more apparent and we begin to see how much he regrets some of his past actions. I know we will see him development even more in the next book and I can’t wait.
“Memory is all we are. Moments and feelings, captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason. Take a man’s memories and you take all of him. Chip away a memory at a time and you destroy him as surely as if you hammered nail after nail through his skull.”
Makin is the only other ‘brother’ that I actually like and I enjoy him quite a bit. It is slow-going but we do learn more about him, even if it is just a little. I also liked Gog and there is a lot more of him in this book.
The magicians in this book or “dream-witches” are also very intriguing and now this Dead King is mentioned and I’m even more interested in finding out what is going on. Is Jorg being controlled by someone else or are his actions really his own. Why does the Dead King want him?
I do want to mention that I didn’t like Katherine all that much in the first novel, but her journal entries in this one gave me a new perspective.
Other than switching between time periods, which was quite confusing at first, I had no problems with the writing. I thought it was fantastic.
“They say that time is a great teacher but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.”
I like how the cover is similar though different than Prince of Thorns. Covers that are part of a series should always go together and this one does. The illustrations are just gorgeous. I also like that it clearly states both the book number and the series. However, I don’t like that there is a blurb on the front; it really ruins this cover.