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Summary

The second book in the Broken Empire series, Lawrence takes his young anti-hero one step closer to his grand ambition. To reach greatness you must step on bodies, and many brothers lie trodden in my wake. I’ve walked from pawn to player and I’ll win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood…The land burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lords and petty kings fight for the Broken Empire. The long road to avenge the slaughter of his mother and brother has shown Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath the hidden hands behind this endless war. He saw the game and vowed to sweep the board. First though he must gather his own pieces, learn the rules of play, and discover how to break them. A six nation army, twenty thousand strong, marches toward Jorg's gates, led by a champion beloved of the people. Every decent man prays this shining hero will unite the empire and heal its wounds.

Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king. Faced by an enemy many times his strength Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan.

©2012 Mark Lawrence (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Without a doubt the most original and most memorable fantasy debut of 2011. It’s difficult to imagine how another book could top this one." ( RisingShadows.net)
"This is a lean, cold knife-thrust of a novel, a revenge fantasy anchored on the compelling voice and savage purpose of its titular Prince. There is never a safe moment in Lawrence’s debut." (Robert Redick, author of The Red-Wolf Conspiracy)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Excellent world, rest getting even worse

The main character is, admittedly, no longer aggravatingly annoying and sad at the same time (cf. my review of Prince of Thorns), so the book was a lot easier to get through. It continues the investigation of the world I find absolutely fascinating, which is why I continue to rate it this highly. On the other hand, though, while the character is less awful, the story and pacing have really gone rather downhill.

Where the first book tried to present a coherent story with the right mood, escalation and resolution (that I just didn't care about), the tension the start of this book builds up gets resolved about halfway through. The story then tries to claim it was building up to something else all along, but really just limps along until the end.

With this book as much as its predecessor, my recommendation stands: read it only if you're curious about the world. The rest is really not worth your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

"He said", "she said" - ad nauseum

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes! - the constant "he said", "she said" every time any character utters a word. More than any other book I've listened to, this is really intrusive and annoying, especially since the narrator is so good with the different voices he uses that there is really no need for the endless use of "he said". I wish the audio producers would pay more attention to the specific requirements of their publishing medium - it really does come close to ruining an otherwise excellent production.

What did you like best about this story?

Thoroughly engaging and inventive story - medieval neo-noir hybrid?

What about Joe Jameson’s performance did you like?

Excellent voice modulation and intonation - a pleasure to listen to his interpretation.

Could you see King of Thorns: Broken Empire 2 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

The ex-footballer Roy Keane would make an excellent Prince - a highly intelligent, borderline psychopath.

Any additional comments?

The writing itself is a step above the usual fantasy fare where the expression tends to be weak, it really is a well-written book, I just wish the translation to audio book had been carried out more smoothly!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Better than the first in my opinion

I am glad I stuck with this trilogy, as this book was probably one of my favourite listens of 2013 so far

Story – 4.5/5

King of Thorns is a vast improvement on the first in my opinion; growing and maturing the main character Yorg into someone who is more believable. He still has a good portion of ruthless and inhuman personality so he still holds true to the anti-hero element of the trilogy.

Running throughout the book are multiple time frames, similar to the first book. It really stands out in this one though, as the main timeframe arc is a big, impossible to win, battle. There are plenty of unexpected turns in this battle though, and all of the background on the lead up to this battle and the characters is given in the intertwined back flash chapters.

Where this story really blew me away though was in the final few chapters, which every good book should do. If you like epic battles and war strategy like I do, this one will not disappoint. I can’t wait for the concluding novel.

One of the small drawbacks of the book was that some knowledge/actions were very convenient. If ever I think this throughout a novel, I can’t help but wonder if it is down to poor planning/writing on the author’s part. Not that it deterred my enjoyment though, just one of the only things stopping it getting 5/5


Performance – 4.5/5

Joe Jameson was also a big improvement in this novel. His young, high sounding voice suited the narration in the mind of Yorg nicely again, and he did a good job distinguishing all of the characters in his acting. Where he improved was upon his scene setting. If Yorg was in a sticky situation, you felt concerned for him, as if he was actually in danger, unlike with the first book.

Overall – 4.5/5


Apologies for the star ratings not matching the written review, I am forced to round halves on Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Epic unique and unrelenting

Fantasy is always about the hero, the good and honest man saving the day. This book gives us a window into the Machiavellian nature of men and how it would be if we lived through them.

If you need any push to buy this audiobook let this be it, you will not be disappointed and don’t expect to stop listening until it’s over.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

.

Could do with less Katherine. I need to reach 20 words to send this so here you are. Is this good enough.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great ghastly fantasy

This second book in Lawrence's trilogy isn't as taut as the first, but it's every bit as outrageous and gruesome. Joe Jameson's a great talent, only let down by his attempt at what I believe is supposed to be a more-or-less German accent in the case of Kathrine Ap Scorron.

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    5 out of 5 stars

F*cking amazing

an amazing book witch just keeps getting better with each chapter would recommend to anyone and everyone

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

another fantastic listen by Mark Lawrence.

having listened to red sister and the first prince of thorns book I was eager to hear more, this doesn't disappoint, combining just as much intrigue as all Mark's work, highly recommended. The Easter eggs relating the modern world to this post apocalyptic world are particularly enticing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

awesome better and longer than last. performance 5

excellent book so well read and writen. cant wait till next one thank you very much

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Shocking and enthralling

This is the 2nd book, loved it and feel emotionally scarred by some utterly gruesome bits but it's all part of the story. He weaves the plot in an intricate pattern that's fast paced and unpredictable. Intelligent fantasy, totally recommend. Great narrator too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-04-18

All time favourite.

Although I have read it 3 times before. Listening to it in Jameson's impeccable performance shook me once more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia
  • 30-03-17

Awesome

Truly awesome!!!! Well worth reading. I was not disappointed after the first book as can often happen. i highly recommend this series!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cliente Amazon
  • 23-08-16

Decent follow up

Although it doesn't compare to the first book in the series, King Of Thorns is still a good and compelling story.

Joe Jameson is yet again delivering the story with a captivating performance.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Hoare
  • 23-03-13

Darkness continued.

This second instalment of the Broken Empire trilogy is as entertaining as the first but as Jorg has grown up he has mellowed somewhat. (of course everything is relative, Jorg being mellow still means his heart and soul remains as black as pitch).

Mark Lawrence has become a favourite author of mine and his excellent story has been well interpreted by Joe Jameson.

I note that the third instalment of the trilogy is not being published until August 2013. Lets hope that Audible are able to secure Joe Jameson's services to narrate the upcoming instalment so we don't have to wait too long for the next instalment of this great trilogy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 23-09-12

From villan to hero

If you could sum up King of Thorns: Broken Empire 2 in three words, what would they be?

This really builds on the first as the characters develop and our anti-hero starts to show his human side.

What was one of the most memorable moments of King of Thorns: Broken Empire 2?

There are a few challenging and dark sections that I won't spoil here... but I appreciated the lighter lifts!

What about Joe Jameson’s performance did you like?

The performance was exceptional

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The dark light.

Any additional comments?

I can't believe audible has only x2 parts of a trilogy available. Not really good enough!!!