Been a bit slack with the book reviews of late - but every so often a book comes on the radar and it's so startling that it's worth mentioning.
Prince of Thorns is one of those books.
Now don't believe the "Excellent - on a par with George RR Martin" on the front cover. Couldn't be further from the truth. This is an easy read. Quite deep in content but the language is plain and simple - sometimes to an extent where I found it lost it's mark just because of a lack of a certain richness I crave in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure. Startling. I'm going with startlingly good, a gripping read that will keep you turning the pages and finally when it is done - cursing the end of the book
Young prince Jorg, determined to be king, is a ravening fiend out on a blood and revenge fuelled rampage across the countryside - deter. Yes I know, rather awful, and normally I wouldn't be endorsing a book with a character so unlikeable and downright evil. But against all my better value judgements - this one somehow hits the mark and this is because the young prince and his motivations are somewhat humanised by the back story and a wayward contrariness that seems to fuel his every action. Of course at some point Jorg needs to go back home and confront his father - and while it is obvious that is not going to be a happy meeting the sheer scale of the disaster is great, and played with the same very subtle black humour that threads it way through the story like a piano-cord - as if waiting to tighten the noose.
Well that's it I'm afraid folks - if you like dark fantasy this book is unmissable. so read it!!!! And if you write I suspect copying this simple and dramatic style will be far easier than the more accomplished, but sometimes cumbersome storytelling of the inestimable George RR
Another slightly more comprehensive review - http://www.afantasticallibrarian.com/2011/06/mark-lawrence-prince-of-thorns.html
Until next time (probably the King of Thorns) but I'll try to finish NaNo Wri Mo first. I think can hold of reading it - possibly - until the end of the month!