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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Minimalist Grimdark.

I came at this from the wrong end of the reading spectrum. I tried out one of his later series then fell in love with his Impossible Times fun SF, and then said to myself... "Hey, why don't you pick up the book that started this wild ride of his career?"

So I did. And after having already gone through an old bout of Grimdark Fantasy reading that basically gives us all a hearty, warm feeling in our guts... just as the guts start sliding out... I jumped into this with a light-hearted laugh and said, "Ah, well, this is one of those uber-anti-hero books where we're supposed to root for the heavy-metal Lucifer character, right?"

Yes. And then some.

We go from a dark past to a dark present and headlong, bloodily, into a dark future. The writing itself is some of the starkest, MINIMALIST pieces of writing I've come across in some time. Simple. Right to the point. Move on quickly. Murder, pillage, more murder, revenge, and above all... a young kid doing it all, NEVER GIVING UP, NEVER BACKING DOWN. He's one scary-ass punk.

His pride is actually pretty appealing, even if... um... MOST of his actions aren't.

That being said, I still had a pretty good time that turned into a GREAT time when the worldbuilding started poking its head out from under the sheets. It felt like a historical right out from the Hundred Year War right until some modern terms poked into the page... and then when we got outright SF elements and the Day of A Thousand Suns came along, I was cackling with glee. What a dark future we've got. :)

Suffice to say, this tickled all the dark places in my psyche. :) If you happen to love the really dark stuff, I highly recommend this.

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