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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still reeling.......
Well - not too sure what to say! A very different story to the usual sword and sorcery, it certainly kept me reading, downloading books 2 & 3 immediately after finishing the preceding one. I've never read anything where the hero was a masochistic psychopath - and here's the twist - you actually like the guy and want him to win! I'm still getting my head around the ending,...
Published 7 months ago by l3jog

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3.0 out of 5 stars This book is as good as the two earlier instalments in his trilogy about ...
This is not so much a review as a letter of appreciation and bafflement.

This book is as good as the two earlier instalments in his trilogy about a boy with pretty clear schizophrenic and antisocial personality disorders. Jorg Ancrath is possibly the best anti-hero I have ever come across in any fantasy I have ever read. To be able to create such conflicting...
Published 15 days ago by Jon Eriksson


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still reeling......., 30 Mar 2014
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Well - not too sure what to say! A very different story to the usual sword and sorcery, it certainly kept me reading, downloading books 2 & 3 immediately after finishing the preceding one. I've never read anything where the hero was a masochistic psychopath - and here's the twist - you actually like the guy and want him to win! I'm still getting my head around the ending, but if you want to read something really different from the usual poor orphan kid becomes ruler of the earth same old same old then this is the one for you. Awesome!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My best read this year, 30 July 2014
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What can I say? this is a fantastic last book ending a fantastic trilogy. I have never read anything like this where the main character was such a b*****d but one that you want to win the war - Jorg is horrible if you ever had the misfortune to meet him the sensible thing would be to run to the other side of the world - which unfortunately if he disliked you ( as he does most people) he would follow you across the seas and deserts to stick a knife into you. The only safety from Jorg is your reading his story safely from your chair. This book along with Prince of Thorns/ King of Thorns is amazing. give it a try- although once finished every other bunch of characters compared to those within this book will be a bit bland. For me nothing has yet to compare to the complex, interesting and dark character of Prince Jorg of Ancrath. Although Brent Weeks Night Angel Trilogy is pretty masterful (but that’s another gushing review).
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, 2 Aug 2013
Mark Lawrence is the author who brought to us Prince and then King of Thorns. Both excellent reads. The first book a quite unique experience for me in fantasy and the second which I felt actually surpassed it! (No small achievement) So I confess I went into Emperor with a certain amount of trepidation about whether or not the author could pull the rabbit out of the hat yet again. Personally I think he managed to pull not only a rabbit out of the hat but a long line of knotted hankies and a bunch of other random magical props! I loved it and in fact would go so far as to say it is the perfect way to conclude the series.

How to begin. If you're reading this review you've probably already read the first two books and so the violence and bloodshed that make up a part of Jorg's life are more than likely known to you. If you haven't - get out of here right now and go and read these in sequence. Believe me when I say you can't join this story half way along in some half ditched attempt to find out what's going on. Get thee to the beginning! Also, this review will be written as though you have read the first two books and have a certain level of knowledge.

Okay, I always try to write a review that doesn't contain spoilers and this review will be no different. Obviously with the proviso that a review of a third book is actually already 'spoilery' before you even put pen to paper! The very fact that there are sequels clearly means that the lead character has survived thus far after all.

So, again, with Emperor we have a dual time line taking place. Jorg has grown a little older but we still flit to his earlier self. He's just as ambitious as he ever was and still equally afraid of the memories he carries around with him (quite literally). His father remains the only person who can instill fear in him - something that never happens to Jorg at any other point or with any other foe no matter how terrible. Looking at the current time line, Jorg's wife is pregnant. He still thinks occasionally of Catherine but he's now set his sights on attending the meeting of the 100 and becoming Emperor. He's going to this meeting of his peers and he's determined that nothing will stand in his way (and knowing Jorg you kind of think he'll make it happen). In Jorg's younger timeline he's travelling the world in search of knowledge and also support. Led on by the ghost of one of the builders from the past he goes from pillar to post - almost without knowing it being led by the nose - and yet even under those circumstances never failing to cause surprises and manipulate even the most dire circumstances to his advantage along the way.

As with the last book you need to think of the bigger picture. It may feel at points as though you're simply reading a little anecdote from here or there. A faint reminisence of something from Jorg's past. But this isn't the case. The stories are, of course, all entertaining by themselves but this isn't the overall intention. Lawrence is the master of looking at the whole and nothing contained within these pages is unnecessary. Every word plays a part. Lawrence wrote a masterful story and then deconstructed it in such a way to make it both incredibly compelling and much more difficult to second guess than if it was told in a linear fashion. This may seem like a fairly simple plot device, or even like a lack of straightforwardness but for me it made all three books riveting. That's not to say that I didn't sometimes feel like growling when I was dragged away from the current story, just as it reached a critical scene, to be taken either backwards or forwards to another part of Jorg's timeline. And yet, no matter how begrudgingly I might tear myself away before I knew it I was completely immersed in the new story which then seemed to gain equally compelling status. To be honest Jorg's stories are gripping and in this final instalment we get to see so much more of his inner emotions. The more human side of him if you will. I'm not trying to say he's become a bit of a simpering faint heart but he has developed. He longs for certain friendships, he doesn't really love his wife but he cares for her in his own way, he's scared to be a father. On the flip side of course, and just in case you're getting all worried round about now, he's still a raging psychopath who stabs and beheads people first and asks questions later. I'm not saying it's big or clever but the way in which this is done never really gives you much sympathy for the victims because they're frankly usually pretty horrendous and the sort who you can't help thinking he's doing his world a favour in getting rid of. Okay, there are a few victims who you have a degree of sympathy for, who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time but I think Lawrence has a reason for all this. Put simply I love what Lawrence has done with all of these individual threads. Basically I think that in writing a character such as Jorg there are very few limits. He will do and say virtually anything and as a reader you're never quite sure what to expect. You still hang on in there each time a new situation arises and foolishly expect Jorg to act in a typical fashion and of course he never does and this is his surprise.

The other thing that I loved in this last instalment is the resolution and the coming together of the story in a way that leaves you no internal niggles. The answers to all the 'whys' and 'wherefores'. Okay, I'm not talking about a straightforward show and tell here. But, as far as I'm concerned every piece slotted into place for the grand finale. This all comes together like a symphony. Taken individually and the pieces might be pleasing to listen to, interesting or amusing even but put them all together, the full orchestra and now you're listening to something amazing that will for a moment make you sit perfectly still and listen, take you some place else.

So, as a fairly brief synopsis, we have a convergence of worlds here. As in previous worlds the veil between things living and dead has grown thin. The Dark King and his necromancers, also not content with their lot in life and equally as ambitious as Jorg, are crossing that veil. The other rulers are also all trying their hand for the ultimate prize. Jorg, blood thirsty and afraid of nothing is marching forward with his retinue and another faction, not previously acknowledged as a threat, now enter the fray - the ghosts of builders past. They're all going to come together for an explosive ending. It's a brave ending and I think it's perfectly fitting not to mention has a couple of twists that I didn't see until they were upon me. It's obvious that the author had an amazing time writing this character and threw convention to the wind and it makes it a great reading experience. As a result Jorg is unlike any character I've ever read before. He's terrible but in such a way that I still want to like him!

Be in no doubt though - there is violence here not to mention other scenes such as torture that some people may find uncomfortable to read. You've been warned.

End result. A great trilogy. Dark fantasy at it's grimmest and an absolute must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read, 31 July 2014
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At first I thought this was going to be a remake of games of thrones but as I read on I became more and more hooked on a completely different story and I couldn't have loved it more. It a great change to have the good guy be more of a terrible man and I sincerely hope more people will read these books and love it as much as I have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I take my hat off to Mark Lawrence., 24 Aug 2014
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This man is an honest writer who has the balls to stay true to himself. In fact this trilogy may now be my top rated due to the honesty he writes with and maybe the single best ending in recent times (hard to explain without revealing spoilers).
He writes so beautifully painting a vivid picture but at the same time, manages to keep within the feeling of the book; crude, violent and bloody refreshing.
If your a fan of the likes of joe Abercrombie, Ryan Anthony, Brent Weeks etc and other current big hitters but feel they are missing something, well that something is in every page of this trilogy.
A big statement I know but give it a read and you will come to understand brothers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A NEW DEFINITION OF CUTTING A SWATHE THROUGH YOUR ENEMIES, 4 Oct 2014
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Breathtaking. Terrifying. Unique. Big words eh? But, for me, they apply here. This trilogy has built up in pace, detail and output with each new novel until this final episode hurtles to conclusion. So, what do my extravagant words mean? Well, Jorg's actions are, almost literally, breathtaking; when faced with a problem, he just hacks his way through it without any attempt at justice, logic or any of the normal rationales that other heroes would apply. At one point, Jorg cuts the head off a companion just so that he can have something to throw at an opponent (OK, so it is disputed, but I still believe that's why he did it). As a reader, you just don't know what Jorg will do at every step because he really will do anything at all, often illogically.

This capacity for the main hero to act utterly remorselessly, illogically and apparently suicidally, coupled to a character without any redeeming features at all, is unique in my experience. And I loved it.

But the 'terrifying' label is the most troubling. I really hope that no mal-adjusted adolescent and socially dysfunctional boy is sitting in his bedroom reading these books. They will teach him that Jorg's approach of simply killing anyone in his way; any gender or age and in the quickest way possible, works wonderfully. Unlike other fictional characters, Jorg doesn't need a good reason to kill someone, he does it simply for convenience or, occasionally, just 'cos he feels like it. If a person is a problem to you, just march up to that person and kill them and the whole problem just goes away. Quite a lesson for a pale and twitching youth weaned on 'World of Warcraft' video games and who thinks that Lara Croft is a real person.

As I have said in my reviews of the earlier books, I'm not enamoured of the amount of 'magic' that is in this trilogy, and there's even more of it in this final novel. Mark Lawrence can (and does) make absolutely anything happen simply by playing the 'it's magic' card. The reader can't think "well, that's implausible" in a world where absolutely nothing is plausible in the first place. So it's best to just hang any vestiges of your disbelief on a very high peg and let the story wash over you.

This trilogy is a ridiculous story. The hero is an appalling individual. The extensive use of magic in the plot takes away any chance of a reader actually following the plot and projecting what might happen. But it is still one of the best trilogies of its kind that I've read in a very long time. The writing style is not the best that I've come across but it is still far better than most, making the story line fairly zing along. All of the characters are colourful, vibrant and leap off the page (it's just a shame that some don't survive very long!). And you just have to keep coming back to the main staple of this trilogy; the unique character of Jorg.

It's been a blast reading these books and I will certainly read more from Mark Lawrence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want it to end ... But I couldn't put it down!!!, 1 Aug 2014
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Brilliant read .... Just a view of what could happen ... I wanted jorg to go on and on ... In this book he can ..but not as we've learnt to live him!! The author was right to leave us wanting more .... But there are so many spin offs that he can do from just thes three books ... Can't wait for the next one. If you love game of thrones you'll love these ... Different but with the same gripping story line
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3.0 out of 5 stars This book is as good as the two earlier instalments in his trilogy about ..., 15 Oct 2014
This is not so much a review as a letter of appreciation and bafflement.

This book is as good as the two earlier instalments in his trilogy about a boy with pretty clear schizophrenic and antisocial personality disorders. Jorg Ancrath is possibly the best anti-hero I have ever come across in any fantasy I have ever read. To be able to create such conflicting feelings towards a main protagonist is very commendable and I remain impressed. Impressed enough to possibly contemplate reading the new book out by Mark Lawrence. However, when I finished this book around a year ago I read something so deflating I almost wrote a letter of complaint to the author demanding my money and time back. Since that particular segment of writing is in the book it must also be subject to review and taken in to account when the enjoyment of the entire book, as well as trilogy, is considered.

I had so much respect for ending the story like it ended. To apologise for it and asking me to buy your next books is not on. Authors who admit to being bitches for being authors should not be authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent shame it had to end, 27 Jun 2014
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Very good anti hero was good and writing was excellent. Interesting physics involved in the magics well worth a read :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Climax to a Brilliant Series, 25 Jun 2014
Firstly, the reader has to have read the previous two books to follow the plot. Mark Lawrence scatters references to events from Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns throughout Emperor of Thorns. I love his writing style, the skewed rational that has Jorg squander life to fulfil his ambition, a free spirit when it comes to making the hard decision seem obvious and taking the necessary the actions. Jorg is generally unfettered by our normal daily morality and that fear of consequence for action. Its true and marvellous escapism!
Mark himself speaks of his decisions regarding this character as a footnote and I have to admire his commitment to his art, and it is art, he paints some wonderful pictures with his words and weaves a story that held me captivated through three superb books.
Anyone reading this, please take my advice, if you haven’t read any of these books, please read them all.
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Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, Book 3)
Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, Book 3) by Mark Lawrence (Hardcover - 1 Aug 2013)
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