If you regularly follow my reviews, you should probably already know that 9 in 10 times I don't get to enjoy the next installments of a book trilogy as much as the first one (probably due to the fact that I already know the world & character building, as well as the magic system, so i am less impressed by the rest of the story). King of Thorns is the exception to the "rule". The 1 in 10.
"Fifteen! I'd hardly be fifteen and rousting villages. By the time fifteen came around, I'd be King!"
Prince Jorg of Ancrath succeeded in defeating his uncle's forces, claiming his kingdom and crowning himself King. But, perhaps it was not meant to last... King of Thorns has three different POV's. The first is featuring Jorg sometime in the past, trying to locate the origins of a mysterious box. The second POV is some journal entries of Katherine Ap Scorron. The third and final POV is featuring Jorg in the present, following his desperate efforts to defend his Kingdom from a massive army set to conquer the entire Broken Empire.
“Memory is all we are. Moments and feelings, captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason. Take a man’s memories and you take all of him. Chip away a memory at a time and you destroy him as surely as if you hammered nail after nail through his skull.”
Lawrence manages once more to deliver a grimdark masterpiece, combining old school fantasy with modern elements. The pace is slow at first, offering an enjoyable and relaxing read, while building momentum for the finale. The world building is exceptional and ever-expanding, and the magic is beautifully structured and well balanced. The rest of the characters are further developed, making the reader to identify with their feelings and actions. Finally, the excellent use of archetypes, didacticism and euphemism, as well as the philosophical and existential dilemmas raised by the author, are placing King of Thorns as one of the best fantasy fiction books of our time.