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Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, Book 1)


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About the Author

Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbanan, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the 'Star Wars' missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy, and both Emperor of Thorns and The Liar's Key have won the Gemmell Legend award for best fantasy novel. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.


The only survivor of a treacherous ambush that killed his mother and younger brother, Jorg Ancrath learned to survive by his wits and his gifts for combat and leadership. By the time he turned 13, he commanded a group of cold-blooded mercenaries. On his 14th birthday, Jorg decides to return to the castle of his boyhood and reclaim his rightful title as Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath. Lawrence's debut features a young protagonist with the sensibilities of a man many years older, whose hard life and harder companions lead to a brotherhood based on loyalty and blood. Dark sorcery and fierce combat are the hallmarks of this action-packed tale of revenge and intrigue set in a darkly somber medieval world. VERDICT Strong writing and an unforgettable narrator lend firsthand intimacy to this series opener. The author's style is reminiscent of Glen Cook's "Black Company" series and should appeal to readers who enjoy their fantasy tempered by gritty realism and gore. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

'An excellent writer.' George R.R. Martin

'Dark and relentless, Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two in the morning page turner. Jaw-dropping'
Robin Hobb

'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

'Prince of Thorns got hold of me from page one and didn't let go until I finished it on my second reading session on the second day. There's humour here, gut-wrenching realism, high adventure, something that might be magic in the story, and certainly is in the telling of it. It was almost as if the shade of David Gemmell had returned, somewhat nastier for the experience. Thoroughly recommended. Thanks Mr Lawrence'
Neal Asher

'Prince of Thorns is one of this year's most anticipated fantasy debuts; and now I know why! It's incredible'

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