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The Broken Empire Trilogy - A 2Sides Review.


Facts:

 

The Broken Empire Trilogy is a trilogy of fantasy novels written by American-British author Mark Lawrence. The first volume, Prince of Thorns, was published on August 2, 2011. The second, King of Thorns, was published on August 7, 2012. The third and final volume, Emperor of Thorns, was published on August 6, 2013.

Set in post-apocalyptic Europe, the trilogy follows the life of Jorg Ancrath as he goes from scorned prince to Emperor; using whatever means necessary.

 Buy the full trilogy here : Broken Empire Trilogy - Mark Lawrence

Side:


The Broken Empire trilogy is not a read for the light hearted. It is filled to the brim and overflowing with sex, violence, gore, profanities, cold murders, slow tortures, child abuse and infanticide, to name a few. And most of these horrors perpetuated by the central character of the story himself, in the first person narrative. Honorous Jorg Ancarth is a sociopath à la Ramsay Snow of the Game of Thrones world, except that, here, Jorg is the hero of the series and is allowed to rampage across the fictional world killing literally tens of thousands of people in increasingly innovative ways.

Jorg is not an easy character to digest, let alone empathise with. He passes the moral event horizon into evil with no hope of return in the scene he is introduced to us itself, wherein he, along with his band of ‘road-brothers’ - bandits by any other name – slaughters an entire village and rapes a dying man’s daughters. And that is just the first few pages of the first book in the three book trilogy. In a genre of defined by valor, valiance and ultimate triumph of good over evil, Jorg stands out like a sore thumb. Or rather, in a slightly different setting, he would have become the ultimate morally repulsive antagonist. Except that in the broken empire trilogy, he is the protagonist.

The trilogy also suffers from the common pitfall of first person narrated stories – Jorg is a character with so much depth that almost all others pale in comparison, often reduced to the one dimensional. The female characters of the story and how they are portrayed is also bound to ruffle some feathers. Another sore thumb of the series is Jorg's age. As much as he may be a ruthless genious, its hard to imagine a boy of twelve leading a band of bandits. His decisions often show an emotional maturity well beyond his years, and it takes a measure of suspension of belief to accept him as a teenager. All in all, Broken Empire is a wild and raw ride down some really dark paths.


Flip-Side:

 

The Broken Empire trilogy is a cunningly clever piece of work. It takes the everyday trope of the ideal hero with at most one fatal flaw in the accepted world of fantasy and drops it on its head. Add to it a world set it a post apocalyptical fantasy setting with quite a few nods to our current civilisation and its social structures, and we have on our hands a tale that is rich, dark and beautiful all at the same time. Lawrence is a wordsmith par excellence, he draws the reader in and leads him through his world, one exciting step at a time. The world and character building is on spot, with neither long expositions, nor too much berevity. The author cornerstone of show, not tell is followed to a T.

Jorg is a dark character, sure. But once over the fact that he is deeply flawed in too many ways to count, we see the other part of him. The all to humane part – the hurting and longing-for-acceptance teenager. We learn of the deep wounds that formed him and made him what he is. The darkness of his character itself is a strong point of the story as, with the broken moral compass that he has, it is impossible to even remotely predict what his next move would be. This leads to many an unexpected twists and turns in the story, most of them which left this particular reader slack-jawed.

Mark Lawrence's brilliance lies in being to carry off a story based on such a character, and the equally dark people and circumstances surrounding him. In fact, he manages to make an ideal prince a main antagonist in the second book. This inversion of the familiar roles in fantasy tales is at once a challenege to the intellectual reader and an exceedingly delicious read to those looking for a refreshingly fresh breath of air in the do-gooder choked world of fantasy novels.


Check out the first book of this series here:  Prince of Thorns



About the Author 

  Athul Krishna A is an ardent fan of everything DC, everything fantasy and everything sci-fi. You can read short stories written by him at YourStoryClub. Currently pursing a B.Tech degree from College of Engineering Trivandrum. He can be reached


at athulkrishnaa@gmail.com

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