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Book Review: Emperor of Thorns

Table of Contents

“King Jorg Ancrath is twenty now—and king of seven nations. His goal—revenge against his father—has not yet been realized, and the demons that haunt him have only grown stronger. Yet no matter how tortured his path, he intends to take the next step in his upward climb.

Jorg would be emperor. It is a position not to be gained by the sword but rather by vote. And never in living memory has anyone secured a majority of the vote, leaving the Broken Empire long without a leader. Jorg plans to change that. He’s uncovered the lost technology of the land, and he won’t hesitate to use it.

But he soon finds an adversary standing in his way, a necromancer unlike any he has ever faced—a figure hated and feared even more than himself: the Dead King.”

Title: Emperor of Thorns

Series: The Broken Empire #3

Author: Mark Lawrence

Page Count: 434

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: January 20th, 2023

Reading Emperor of Thorns was next up within The Broken Empire and also allowed me to finish out another open series this year. I’ve truly been enjoying this series far more than I anticipated going into it. This is the third series I’ve read now by Mark Lawrence. I didn’t realize until after discussing this one with the community that several of Mark’s series are all within the same world. I have already read The Book of the Ancestor so I might try and reread that series via audiobook in the future to see how these may be connected.
Initially I had begun reading this particular series because Jorg allowed me to hit prompt for a readathon. He’s certainly not the usual protagonist that read. But he along with the world and story was entertaining enough for me to want to keep going. I’m glad I did.
The world building has been solid throughout this series. Learning that this world is far larger overall including several other series by Mark Lawrence did put a bit of a different perspective on things for me though. I felt the world was detailed and large enough in these three books. Book three definitely felt a bit larger than the first two as Jorg travels the world for his backing to become Emperor though. I really liked the names that Mark uses for the regions to give that subtle connection to our world still yet so far removed they have their own names or saying.
The character development was great as usual. We have certain characters that perhaps are never truly loved or even liked but there are deep regardless. We might not be pulling for these characters specifically but we still want things to succeed for the world in the end regardless of how we get there.
The pacing was steady throughout book three as well. The ending definitely felt like it was wound a little tighter as things came to a close though and then how the very end wrapped up. I honestly have no complaints on how this was done even if I didn’t see a couple of things coming.
All in all I’m pleased that I have read this series and continue to enjoy Mark’s writings. As previously mentioned I want to continue reading more in this world with a couple of the other series including a reread of the Book of the Ancestor just so I can try and see some connections to this series.
I’d recommend this book and series to fans of epic fantasy that tend to lean a bit more on the darker side of things. Especially if you’re looking for a protagonist that isn’t the usual squeaky clean kind of character. If that sounds up your alley, Jorg and the Broken Empire just may be for you!

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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