REVIEW: The Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns - Mark  Lawrence King of Thorns - Mark  Lawrence Emperor of Thorns - Mark  Lawrence

First off. This series is what most people would call grimdark. All three books, especially the first are very bleak and the characters described have few, if any, redeeming features.


The story follows a young teenager who roams the earth in a post-apocalyptic aftermath (a thousand year prior). Rather than a Mad Max like setting, we get a feudal era with magic instead. The story itself is original and the world setting unique, although I did found it to chafe at some of the edges, like an ill fitting suit.


Also something of note, this book again uses the 'two story lines at once, one current, one in the past' format I see in a lot of recent novels. Luckily in this case it wasn't detracting as these are books were the journey is important and not the destination. After all, you can tell from the book titles how the protagonist does for himself over time.


One thing I dislike; the author uses a Deus Ex Machina several times, at least once every book. These really break the tension of what should be intense moments and cheapen the 'victory'. This is made even worse due to the fact that the rules of the world are being kept consistent for the most part.


Final verdict:

If you like dark and original fantasy, and can forgive shaky plot resolutions, then this is the series for you.