**Warning: minor spoiler in the last paragraph of this review. Read with caution.**
Prince of Thorns is about a boy who becomes a monster on his way to becoming a man. There’s some fantasy twists in it, but that’s the main story.
I wanted to love this book. But, sadly, the title character is simply unlikeable. And, the role of women in the book is either sex object or nothing.
“Two hundred dead farmers lying with their scythes and axes. You know, I warned them that we do this for a living. … I gave them that chance, I always do. But no. They wanted blood and slaughter. And they got it.” pg 1, ebook. That’s the very first page, folks.
And all of this cynicism and blood thirst is from a 14 year old. Sure…“There’ s a reason I’m going to win this war. Everyone alive has been fighting a battle that grew old before they were born. I cut my teeth on the wooden soldiers in my father’s war room. There’s a reason I’m going to win where they failed. It’s because I understand the game. pg 19, ebook.
Mark Lawrence tries to use a magical reason to explain this adult reasoning from a child, but it didn’t work for me.
“We wrap up our violent and mysterious world in a pretense of understanding. We paper over the voids in our comprehension with science or religion, and make believe that order has been imposed. And, for the most of it, the fiction works. We skim across surfaces, heedless of the depths below. … Until that moment when something from the cold unknown reaches up to take us.” pg 205, ebook.
If you want dark fantasy about a band of thieves, may I recommendThe Lies of Locke Lamora. If you’re looking for an epic fantasy about humankind being the pawns for something greater than ourselves, try Gardens of the Moon. As for Prince of Thorns, if you must read it, borrow it from the library. Because then, like me, you can give it back, only have lost the time it took to read it.
Thanks for reading!