Top positive review
Not as good but still great!
on 8 May 2014
Although somewhat disappointing, “King of Thorns” is far from a disaster and is in fact quite a good fantasy book. It just fails to fully take advantage of the huge potential the previous book showed in both the “world” and the main character, Jorg Ancrath.
The book suffers from an uneven pace, plot points with little interest, taking up many pages and breaking the flow of the story and a somewhat “different” Jorg from “The Prince of Thorns”. Yes, Jorg goes from being ruthless, calculating and plain old evil to being a bit too “emo”. Many times he is on a huge guilt trip, wallowing in self pity, regret and... well trying to do the right thing for others, instead of for him. If you read the previous book, you can imagine how this is such a huge depart from the rapist, killer we came to know. Lawrence tries to still give him an “edge”, a bit of his old ruthlessness but its just not the same. The book also wastes too much time on a diary, written by Katherine which is both uninteresting and far too long, chapter after chapter, breaking up the story, almost as an intermission with nothing of value. Katherine is not the most likable character and her pages just seem to drag endlessly with no point, really!
The book, although filled with action, both well written and imagined, still manages to feel a bit tiresome and a bit too long. Mark Lawrence is a good writer, with a way with words, but his style can become a little exhausting and the plot, although interesting seems to never really come together to hold the reader's attention. At times it seems Lawrence and Jorg, are just going through the motions until the inevitable climax where all will be resolved. Such climax is exciting and well written, setting up the final volume of the trilogy and is a satisfying conclusion but it still felt a bit weightless and empty considering all the build-up right from the first page. The book also feels too “metaphysical”, going on and on, about dreams and what makes a man, its memories and all that stuff that seems a bit pretentious when the rest of the book is so vulgar. A fun, entertaining vulgar but still vulgar.
The book is still very much a worthy read. Its well written, with strong characters, lots of action and an interesting “world”. The middle book in a trilogy is always the weakest and as far as that goes, “King of Thorns” is still a good, sometimes brilliant book. It just lacked that special something, the previous book had. That energy. That savagery. Ultimately, “King of Thorns” is too safe and predictable making it forgettable.
On to Emperor!