* * * B
The second installment of the “Broken Empire” saga, “King of Thorns”, does not disappoint. The story begins four years after the end of “Prince of Thorns”. King Jorg is under attack, and his forces vastly outnumbered, by the Prince of Arrow. The novel then jumps back and forth between back story, showing how the current situation came about, and how Jorg deals with his enemy.
While older and wiser, Jorg remains very much an anti-hero. This time around, part of the narrative is from the point of view of his aunt (and love interest) Katherine, told in a series of journal entries. I’m impressed that Lawrence was able to continue to come up with new situations that stretch and test Jorg. Despite foreshadowing future conflicts, particularly with the mysterious Dead King, lord of the necromancers, the book stands alone as an enjoyable read.
The genesis of the future dystopia of the Broken Empire is further revealed, particularly in Jorg’s conversations with the ancient simulacrum of a man who lived before the Builders changed the world. The blend of feudal society, magic, and ancient artifacts from an advanced technology, form a compelling background to what I hope continues to be a great new fantasy series.