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

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, Book 1)

By Mark Lawrence

  • Release Date: 2011-08-01
  • Genre: Epic
Score: 4.5
From 170 Ratings
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From the publisher that brought you Game of Thrones… Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging.

Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse.

From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.

Mark Lawrence's debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.


‘Dark and relentless, Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two in the morning page turner. Jaw-dropping’
Robin Hobb

‘This is a lean, cold knife-thrust of a novel, a revenge fantasy anchored on the compelling voice and savage purpose of its titular Prince. There is never a safe moment in Lawrence’s debut’
Robert Redick, author of The Red-Wolf Conspiracy

'Prince of Thorns got hold of me from page one and didn’t let go until I finished it on my second reading session on the second day. There’s humour here, gut-wrenching realism, high adventure, something that might be magic in the story, and certainly is in the telling of it. It was almost as if the shade of David Gemmell had returned, somewhat nastier for the experience. Thoroughly recommended. Thanks Mr Lawrence'
Neal Asher

'Prince of Thorns is one of this year’s most anticipated fantasy debuts; and now I know why! It's incredible'

About the author

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say 'this isn't rocket science … oh wait, it actually is'.
Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.


  • So so good.

    By EmmaOceanxo
    This is a brilliant series. Enjoyable in its deviancy and the pure antagonistic character of the protagonist Jorg. I highly rate if you’re into fantasy or well written books with an intense storyline and a dark style of humour.
  • Prince of Thorns

    By Trishman
    Clever storyteller and skilled writer of surprising, unexpected, exciting storyline. Wonderful voice and dialogue, maintained in changes of time place and pace, unify and retain the rage and the ruthlessness utilised to exact justice and revenge for this anti-hero's loss of his murdered mother, the queen, wine his brother father prince. I do hope by the end of Vol 3 there is peace!
  • A good story

    By Monkey style
    Really enjoyed the writing and characters, look forward to the next one. Interesting hints of post-apocalyptic world too. Enjoy.
  • Good setup

    By BookMeerie
    Fast paced read and finishes really well. Some great sections of witty dialogue I hope can be built on in the next books. Interesting and different protagonist. Will be good to see some characters develop more in later novels.
  • Excellent.

    By Ronin1984
    I started this book with no prior knowledge of the author or having read any reviews, all I can and will say is........excellent, BUY IT!
  • Grim, Dark and Gritty

    By bubble-baby
    Perfect for when your sick of the same old heroes, a quest for revenge, dirty revenge. A young man willing to not just dirty his hands, but to bathe in the blood of those who stand in his way. A must read.
  • Great but grim

    By I love predators
    Quite grim and rude but amazing when it gets going, I would recommend this to almost anyone who is 14-15.
  • Good, but is short

    By Markwibro
    This is a short story the first half is extremely detailed but the end becomes rushed with big gaps in the story that would normally be filled in a longer story. Only about 2-3 hours to read it. However it is a good read