Synopsis: All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world.
Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate, however, has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end, it’s win or die. Continue reading “The Wheel of Osheim – Mark Lawrence”
Synopsis: After harrowing adventure and near death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki’s key, an artefact capable of opening any door and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire—including the Dead King.
Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living.
And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death’s door, Jal’s grandmother, the Red Queen, continues to manipulate kings and pawns toward an endgame of her own design… Continue reading “The Liar’s Key – Mark Lawrence”
Synopsis: For all her reign the Red Queen has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.
The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Content with his role as a minor royal, Jal pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war with the undead is coming, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks that nothing that will affect him. He’s wrong..
Continue reading “Prince of Fools – Mark Lawrence”
Synopsis: At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls.
Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself. Continue reading “Red Sister – Mark Lawrence”
Synopsis: King Jorg Ancrath is twenty now—and king of seven nations. His goal—revenge against his father—has not yet been realized, and the demons that haunt him have only grown stronger. Yet no matter how tortured his path, he intends to take the next step in his upward climb.
But he soon finds an adversary standing in his way, a necromancer unlike any he has ever faced—a figure hated and feared even more than himself: the Dead King. Continue reading “Emperor of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
I drive my knife in low, at the base of his scrotum. I leave it there. I don’t want it back. Also, if I pull it free he will bleed to death quickly. I think he should linger.
I am in love with this series! Mark Lawrence is a new favorite, for sure. This is a violent story told in a grim future, but with Lawrence at the helm there is a haunting elegance about it which makes my senses tingle in all of the best ways! Continue reading “King of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
And now, an exhaustive look at the dos and don’ts of kicking a severed head, as told by Jorg Ancrath:
“I dropped the head and kicked it into the crowd. I say ‘kicked’ but in truth it’s a bad idea to kick a head. I learned that years ago, a lesson that cost me two broken toes. What you want to do is shove the head with the side of your foot, like you’re throwing it. It’s going to roll anyhow so you don’t need that much force. See, the thing about severed heads is the owner no longer has any interest in minimizing the force of the blow, or any ability to do so for that matter. When you kick somebody in the head as you do from time to time, they tend to be actively trying to move themselves out of the way and the contact is lessened. A severed head is dead weight, even if it’s watching you.”
I just finished King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, and I am literally in awe of this author. This is some of the best dark fantasy I’ve ever read, easy. For all the grittiness and horror and bleakness in this series, Mark Lawrence writes beautifully, and turns a phrase as well as anyone. Continue reading “King of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
The town-square ran red. Blood in the gutters, blood on the flagstones, blood in the fountain. The corpses posed as corpses do. Some comical, reaching for the sky with missing fingers, some peaceful, coiled about their wounds. Flies rose above the wounded as they struggled. This way and that, some blind, some sly, all betrayed by their buzzing entourage. Continue reading “Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
“When cutting out a heart-and I speak from experience here-expect to be crimson head to toe.”
This is the first book in Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy, and my first-ever Mark Lawrence book! And fuck, it was awesome! It’s a first-person narrative, and centers on Jorg Ancrath, a 14-year-old prince, coming of age on the road with his merry band of murderous and treacherous brothers. Continue reading “Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”