I originally stumbled onto Mark Lawrence because I loved the cover. I know! How shallow of me. I judge a book by its cover. Now the third book has been out for little over a month and I finally had time to sit down with it, and I am so happy that I stumbled onto this brilliant author.


Before you start reading this review, I must warn you. If you haven’t read the first two books of The Broken Empire, then do it. I will reveal some of the elements of the previous books in this review.

Emperor of Thorns follows King Honorous Jorg Ancrath on his way to Congression where it will be decided if someone finally will be the Emperor of The Broken Empire. He moves from his castle the Haunt towards the holy city of Vyern. His wife, Miana, is pregnant with his first child. He is still a ruthless and cunning individual, and he is still determined to become the first Emperor in several years. The Empire is now under the real threat of the Dead King, who is moving towards an attack on the other kingdoms of the Empire.

The book is split in three stories, Jorg as a twenty year old king on his way to Congression, Jorg as a fifteen year old traveling around in the Empire and at last the necromancer Chella’s story, who serves the Dead King.

I love how Mark Lawrence has managed to make me discover the world, where The Broken Empire is situated, on the same level as Jorg. As he travels and discovers new things about the Builders and the cultures, I feel like I grow on the same level as Jorg. I am definitely not as ruthless as him, but you sympathize with him and he does end up doing something really out of character. Jorg is one of my favorite characters of all time. The more you discover about his past, the more you sort of understand why he does what he does.

I love how Lawrence has been able to weave in our civilization into this wonderful world. This is after all our world after a major catastrophe and we have been cast back to a middle age culture. The Builders are a enigmatic people and I couldn’t help to draw comparison to the EU and NATO.

If you have read Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns and you liked them, pick up a copy of Emperor of Thorns now. Wow, what an ending is all I can say. Thank you for a brilliant book, Mark Lawrence.

JH Lillevik is a writer of sci-fi and fantasy. He writes screenplays, novels and short stories. He also works as a writing consultant for upcoming writers. His specialty is mythology, world building and psychology.

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