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Broken Empire #01: Prince of Thornsby Mark Lawrence
Synopses & Reviews
In her debut solo novel, Stella Gemmell, coauthor of the powerful” (Booklist) conclusion to David Gemmells Troy series, weaves a dark epic fantasy about a war-torn civilization and the immortal emperor who has it clutched in his evil grasp.
The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it has sprawled beyond its bounds, inciting endless wars with neighboring tribes and creating a barren wasteland of what was once green and productive.
In the center of the City lives the emperor. Few have ever seen him, but those who have recall a man in his prime, though he should be very old. Some grimly speculate that he is no longer human, if he ever was. A small number have come to the desperate conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperors unnaturally long life.
From the mazelike sewers below the City, where the poor struggle to stay alive in the dark, to the blood-soaked fields of battle, where few heroes manage to endure the never-ending siege, the rebels pin their hopes on one man—Shuskara. The emperors former general, he was betrayed long ago and is believed to be dead. But, under different aliases, he has survived, forsaking his City and hiding from his immortal foe. Now the time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.
"This morbidly gripping, gritty fantasy tale is not for the squeamish. Prince Jorg was 10 years old when Count Renar's soldiers hung him on a hook-briar while his mother and brother were murdered. Vicious and desperate for revenge, he joined a bandit gang. Four years later, he's their leader and determined to end a multigenerational war by resurrecting the old empire and becoming emperor. Jorg is the epitome of the antihero, killing not just in battle but whenever he feels the need to set an example. Only toward the end of the book does a startling revelation focus his violence on clearly deserving targets. But Jorg is a product of his world, no worse than any other power there, and Lawrence increasingly makes readers believe that Jorg may indeed be able to use small savageries to end the ongoing greater ones. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Anyone can plot a coup or fire an assassins bullet. But in a world of muskets and magic, it takes considerably more to seize the throne.
The ailing King of the Vordan lies on his deathbed. When he dies, his daughter, Raesinia Orboan, will become the first Queen Regnant in centuries—and a ripe target for the ambitious men who seek to control her. The most dangerous of these is Duke Orlanko, Minister of Information and master of the secret police. Having meticulously silenced his adversaries through intimidation, imprisonment, and execution, Orlanko is the most feared man in the kingdom.
And he knows an arcane secret that puts Raesinia completely at his mercy.
Exposure would mean ruin, but Raesinia is determined to find a way to break herself—and her country—out of Orlankos iron grip. She finds unlikely allies in the returning war hero Janus bet Vhalnich, fresh from a brilliant campaign in the colony of Khandar, and his loyal deputies, Captain Marcus dIvoire and Lieutenant Winter Ihernglass.
As Marcus and Winter struggle to find their places in the home they never thought they would see again, they help Janus and Raesinia set in motion events that could free Vordan from Orlankos influence—at the price of throwing the nation into chaos. But with the people suffering under the Dukes tyranny, they intend to protect the kingdom with every power they can command, earthly or otherwise.
First in a brand new series from the author of The Broken Empire Trilogy.
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign she 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 Sisterand#151;unseen by most and unspoken of by all.
The Red Queenand#8217;s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendethand#151;drinker, gambler, seducer of womenand#151;is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks itand#8217;s all a rumorand#151;nothing that will affect him.
But he is wrongand#133;
About the Author
"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
"Dark and relentless, the Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two in the morning page turner."
-Robin Hobb, author of The Inheritance
"Vivid...smooth and compelling... gritty and full of wonder. This book is brilliant."
-Galaxy Book Reviews
"Disturbing, Beautiful, Chaotic, Poetic, Haunting, Exhilarating."
"Without a doubt the most original and most memorable fantasy debut of 2011. It's difficult to imagine how another book could top this one."
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