Book Review – Prince of Thorns

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire #1)Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Fun review time, people! Today it’s a…..



Disappointed? Well I was too, given all the good stuff I’d heard about Prince of Thorns. In all honesty, it’s not a bad book. It’s got good writing, a decent plot, a different premise and a really strange world. I just wasn’t interested in the main character. He didn’t really shock me (though maybe his..err…stamina did, considering his age; he’s 14) and I didn’t care what happened to him. So let’s move on to the recipe, you’ll probably understand my feelings better.


20 kilograms of beefy dudes
A bagful of powdered nettle/briar
5 cups of dirt
5 cups of grease
A hospital’s worth of blood (coloured corn syrup will also do)
3 feminists and someone’s granny
2.5 philosophical tomes
1500 kilograms of steel
1 gullible Labrador


Firstly, take this

and this

and a bit of this:

and put it all in the blender. After a minute or so, add half of the nettle powder and blend again, until you get a nice poisonous mixture. Set this in the refrigerator to chill. This will be the base of your hero.

Then, take the beefy dudes, along with the grease, dirt and blood and whisk them all together in a bowl. Add steel shavings slowly while mixing so that the batter doesn’t too foamy. We want hard boiled killers.

After the batter has reached a nice, thick, idiotic consistency, heat the furnace (no, not oven) to something over a 1000 degrees Celsius and shove the batter in. Bake for a long time. 3-4 years is ideal.

While the main dish is baking, take the hero out of the fridge. Pull out every destructive tool you have – meat tenderiser, mallet, cleaver, screwdriver – and use it on the protagonist. This stands for the emotional devastation of the hero, so the more damage you do, the more delightfully vengeful he will be.

Note: Sometimes you may notice a certain heaviness in the upper left of the hero. This is common with characters that been left to stew too long. If it it becomes heart-shaped, immediately pull it out with a sharp implement and some antibiotic, you’ll be fine.

After brutalising the hero, shred the philosophy books into a million pieces. They should look something like this when properly torn:

“You soon learn there’s no elegance or dignity in death if you spend time in the castle kitchens. You learn how ugly it is, and how good it tastes.”

“There’s something brittle in me that will break before it bends.”

“Strange how deeper the hole the stronger it draws a man. The fascination that lives on the keenest edge, and sparkles on the sharpest point, also gathers in depths of a fall.”

Fold this into the hero-dough. If the dough is hard, congratulations, you’re doing it right.

Note: The folding part is difficult, what with the non-malleabilty of the protagonist and the tiny bits of paper. I never said this recipe was easy.

When the main dish is about to finish baking (you forgot about it, didn’t you?), it’s time to make the sauce. For that, first crush the feminists. Your own views on women and equality are not important. The idea is to not provide a single positive female character.

To the now powdered suffragettes, add the dried up granny, for a satisfying crunchy texture. A generous dose of cream and that blood will create the sauce. You can boil this on sporadic bursts of heat. The hero’s age has nothing to do with anything, remember.

Now quickly, using industrial grade gloves, take out that thing in the oven. Hazmat suits recommended. You will see a cracked, bubbling lava cake sort of thing. That is the world building. I call it a thing because it defies standard understanding. The concocted cake will be a mysterious object. It will look like a post-apocalyptic dessert (or desert) at one time, a medieval fantasy trifle at others. That is part of the charm.

Set the moulded hero in the centre of this. Pour the sauce all over the dish with a flourish. Sprinkle Xanatos Speed Chess over the protagonist for taste and to fool people into thinking the hero is a strategist. In reality, spray some deus-ex-machina-in-a-bottle all over the cake.

Voila! Serve it to whoever can stomach it.

Best served cold with a cannibalism dip. The trusting Labrador is a stand in for Makin, who follows Jorg (the hero) everywhere despite his increasing abuse of him.

P.S. Despite the awful recipe, the book is not horrible. I repeat, the book is not to be burned. i just didn’t find anything convincing and found everything a little too convenient. This is strongly a book that depends on the reader for appreciation. Death of the author and all that. If you can get behind the hero, you will most likely enjoy this a great deal. Bewarned, this book has a scene that made me feel sick. And I have a higher than average tolerance for gruesomeness.


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