King, Prince & Emperor of Thorns Series by Mark Lawrence

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Werthead, May 12, 2011.

  1. staindreality

    staindreality New Member

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    Has anyone gotten this book early. I'm very interested in it. I plan on getting it or finishing up all of abercrombies books with the heroes.
     
  2. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    My copy should be arriving this week :)

    It's not releasing all that early, to be honest. If it comes this week then it'll be a week early.
     
  3. TooNice

    TooNice Banned

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    Cool, I'll definitely pick this up. I love me some cold, brutal fantasy.
     
  4. Mark Lawrence

    Mark Lawrence The New ... MARK LAWRENCE

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    I should note that Rulkez (above) was open-minded enough to stick with the book and ended up giving it a nice 4* review on goodreads (still having some of his early resevations, though mellowed).

    Mark (sincerely hoping it's not a different Rulkez over there with similar thoughts!)
     
  5. TooNice

    TooNice Banned

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    Why did you write the character so young Mark? Was there any reason in particular? Most protagonists in darker fantasy like this (or what it seems to be, I haven't read it yet) are generally much older, so I'm curious.
     
  6. Mark Lawrence

    Mark Lawrence The New ... MARK LAWRENCE

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    I guess there were a lot of influences and considerations behind that decision. the biggest inspiration for Jorg was Alex from Burgess' 'A Clockwork Orange' (published 1962) who was 15 and as dark as you please. Card's 'Ender's Game' reinforced the idea that you don't need to be old to have extraordinary tactical intelligence or leadership potential - just ... extraordinary. Add to that GRRM's slew of young kings and killers (Arya 11 - Robb 15) and the fact that I wanted Jorg to be close enough to the events of his childhood so that they still mattered in spades, and we got what we got.

    In fantasy most readers will take the first step with you. If you are consistent within the frame-work you create, then it's all good. A fantasy reader probably won't blink when your character takes off on wings or produces a fireball from their fingertips. So a character that is precocious to an extraordinary degree, rather than magically gifted to an extraordinary degree, didn't seem like too much of a stretch to me. After all, he wasn't selected at random - I wrote about him because he was unusual!

    Additionally, as the story unfolds, information comes to light that helps rationalise earlier events.

    In the end though, a book stands on what's between its covers. Readers will like it or they won't. Whatever a writer has to say for themselves after the event is of little consequence :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  7. 3rdI

    3rdI Edema Ruh

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    So stoked for this book! Only a week away from release. Mad happy for you Mark hope you sell like crazy. I have been itching to get my hands on POT. Absolutely my kind of fantasy.
     
  8. Rulkez

    Rulkez Registered User

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    Same Rulkez.

    Age is a bugbear of mine in any novel to be honest. I don't know why I can accept Zombies , Dragons and magical swords but have difficulty with bad ass 15 year old.

    I'm glad I did finish the book though, it certainly lives up to the hype. It's probably going to be huge when it hits retail.
     
  9. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I've got to admit that I'm of Rulkez' view with respect to Jorg. I'm just not convinced at all.

    I'm having a few problems with the book, but I'll spoiler them:
    1. The setting. OK, it's Earth, I got that. There's Christianity, OK. Sun Tzu? Really? The first English translation of The Art of War was supposedly only within the last 100 years or so of us, with the French being 300ish years ago, so I'm at a loss as to how Jorg would be able to be taught it. His master is supposedly from the East, but given the rampant renaming and changes to the world, it just seems weird that Sun Tzu's work would appear in this book.
    2. Nubans. Do we really need to be told they're black every two minutes? It's getting annoying.
    3. Jorg. He's a murderer, a rapist, an arrogant bugger and entirely too mature for his age. I'm really, really not buying him, and I don't know how I'm supposed to respond to him. Am I supposed to like him? Sympathise? Hate?

    100 pages in, and not sure if to put it to one side or to continue reading.
     
  10. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    Here are my impressions:

    Prince of Thorns is a perfect example of two distinct facts about books that I've seen repeatedly across the years. First is that until you open a book by a new author you won't know how you will like it however enticing the blurb is; second is that first person narration is so strongly dependent on the voice that the rest - plot, world building, secondary cast - can be exceptional, but the book will still be meh if the voice does not resonate.

    And here lies my main issue with the book and why despite the enticing storyline and fast and very well flowing prose, the book was a big meh and I have no intention about reading more in the series; namely I just could not care a jot about Jorg and his narration; hard to pinpoint why, but I thought the narrator was taking himself too seriously and the moments of self-deprecating humor a la Joe Abercrombie sounded false and the book does not work without appreciating the humor since its grimness is over the top.
     
  11. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    OK, I just got the answer for my first spoilered point. Yeah... Not sure what to think about it.
     
  12. 3rdI

    3rdI Edema Ruh

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    Just bought the book today. Should be here in about a week. I am so stoked! :D
     
  13. JustaStaffer

    JustaStaffer Registered User

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    This thing got reviewed WAY to early by the blogs. I've been anticipating this so long now that it's here I'm almost burned out, haha.

    Looking forward to reading it soon myself.
     
  14. Spears&Buckler

    Spears&Buckler MJ Dusseault

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    I ordered my copy last night. Buzz is good and I like the descriptions I've seen. I'm sure this will be a good one.
     
  15. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I breached page 150 today, and I have to say I'm doing a bit of a reversal on my original thoughts. I'm not entirely sure what I think about this book, but that chapter with Sally the Whore was pretty good.
     
  16. Ornery Wyvern

    Ornery Wyvern 50% Certain

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    I enjoyed this, comparisons to Martin are ludicrous imo, my copy came with a sticker on it saying as good as Martin or something similar, but it was a solid read. Jorg worked for me, the mysterious background players were interesting, and the brothers both amusing and well realized.

    Sure there were a few moments where coincidence seemed stretched, but I think they were for the large part forgivable.
     
  17. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    To be honest, and I mean no offence to Mark here, I think this book is riding on the wave of Martin-philia currently in the US and UK. Leviathan Wakes has Martin mentioned, Prince of Thorns was given away with preorders for ADWD in a UK book chain and it has that big sticker on it. I think it's also published by Martin's ASoIaF publisher (Fevre Dream and Dreamsongs are Gollancz, whereas ASoIaF is Harper Voyager), hence the Bearded One over it.
     
  18. Mark Lawrence

    Mark Lawrence The New ... MARK LAWRENCE

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    I did an interview here:
    http://danieljeffreygoodman.wordpre...ith-mark-lawrence-author-of-prince-of-thorns/

    From which I will lift these pertainent portions:

    Q: For example, being associated as the ‘British answer to GRRM’s ASOIAF series’ – with it being in the peak of its prime, with the tremendous triumph of the HBO series and (finally!) the release of ADWD- must help getting readership, surely. How does it make you feel, your work being called that?

    A: Being compared to GRRM whilst obviously a compliment is more of a burden than anything else. GRRM is my favourite fantasy writer and probably the only fantasy writer I read whilst writing ‘Prince of Thorns’, but my book is nothing like ASOIAF and my style is not like his. In fact we’re quite possibly polar opposites. I’m given to brevity and have used a single first person point of view.

    Q: Very true. While I did find both the books in ASOIAF and your debut extremely gritty, it would be a stretch to say that they’re similar. One’s stretching leagues and histories, but the other is focused strongly on one amoral person.

    A: In fact, I call the comparison a burden as I’ve seen on multiple occasions people take it as a personal affront and then be prejudiced against my work because of a marketing statement made by someone I’ve never met – a marketing statement that I only discover once it’s in print. I have no control or input to these things. Seriously . . . bash me because a publisher rolls out the most predictable hype since everything was ‘comparable to Tolkien at his best’ in the 80′s?

    I did hear that one bookseller was considering a sticker that read ‘As good as George Martin, or your money back’. I emailed my publisher a ‘please God no’ letter, and fortunately that never happened.

    Let’s be real here. The chances are that like most ‘next big things’ I will be gone in a season or two, and that in five or ten years nobody will remember me. That’s fine. I have already vastly exceeded my expectations and at this stage everything is a bonus. I have both feet on the ground and the hyperbole just makes me smile.

    <end section>

    In case that's not clear - yes, GRRM is a much better writer than me. And pretty much everyone else too.
     
  19. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    To those who it may concern or interest, Borders is shipping my pre-ordered book of Prince of Thorns.
     
  20. Mark Lawrence

    Mark Lawrence The New ... MARK LAWRENCE

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    If you google on:

    "prince of thorns" bastard

    you will see the two have a close association :)