I just finished King of Thorns today. To quote my own tweet posted minutes after, “WOW! Most powerful book I’ve read since… well, shit! I don’t know.” If the rating scale would allow, I’d enthusiastically give it a 10/10 or a 100/100 for that matter.
Nothing in this book gave me any kind of pause – from thinking some character was acting too unrealistic, even for fantasy, to feeling the events simply couldn’t have unfolded the way they did – everything in King just made logical sense. Structurally the book was organized as scenes taking place in the present followed by memories from Jorg’s past (or Katherine’s diary) giving insights into what is to come or shedding light onto what just happened. Past and present alike were full of adventure and as the book progressed Jorg’s shattered mind was slowly pieced back together.
In KoT Dr. Mark Lawrence (one very smart guy who holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and works on Artificial Intelligence) writes a book that is chock full of magic both mysterious and lucidly detailed at the same time. This coupled with sinister court intrigue and our antihero’s occasional, unquenchable bloodlust make this book my hands down favorite read of the year, maybe even the decade! Although even some of my own past reviews make comparisons between authors, I have grown to hate the practice, so I won’t name names here. This said I’m sure Mark Lawrence is a name you will begin to see a lot more of and I hope his stories are made for HBO someday.
Two final notes: There is a heart wrenching scene dog lovers are going to have a very difficult time getting through. Also, let’s just hope Dr. Lawrence never actually cracks that AI code and creates the world he envisions in his books.
You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/King-Thorns-The-Broken-Empire/dp/1937007472/