I blame the internet. Earlier this year I was telling my roommate about a run of books I was in that were great, but sad. She’s dubbed my year as “The Depression Readings”. I mean, to a certain extent this is fair. I have read Burial Rites, The Black Country, Tell the Wolves I’m Home and The Age of Miracles in a 6 week period. That’s a lot of heavy reading, emotionally.
So, at some point she decided that it was her mission to bring some light-hearted reading into my summer and began emailing me with lists from various websites about Summer Books. While on the search she came across an article on Buzzfeed which talked about Prince of Thorns (either this one or this one, I think) and decided to read The Broken Empire series herself. Well, she did, and has now forced them on me. I’m not complaining, but I like to mention to her that these books seem more in line with the “Depression Readings” I was doing before and less to do with her goal of light, happy reads. Oh well.
Prince of Thorns focuses on Jorg, who is quite simply, a bit of a dick. He’s young, he’s tough, he’s got a score (or three) to settle, and he’s leading a bunch of ‘brothers’ around the Broken Empire causing all kinds of mischief. And that’s before he decides to return home after a four year absence. You see, Jorg left home at age 10 (!) following witnessing his mother and brother’s deaths while he was trapped in a bush of terrible thorns which dug into his flesh. He is scarred both outwardly and inwardly, and decides the life of a road assassin is his best choice to avenge these deaths.
Jorg is a bastard of a character, but his saving grace, and what keeps this book in your hand and not back on the bookshelf, is that he’ completely understandable. He’s killed a seemingly innocent bystander? No worries, he’ll explain it in due course and have you on his side, or at least resigned that this was the only possible solution given the world and fight Jorg is in for his life. He’s decided he’ll be king by his 15th birthday, and it’s going to involve a lot of fighting and death.
I say read this book, but don’t get too attached to any of the characters and don’t expect there to be any redeeming qualities in Jorg. You’ll love him while you hate him.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.