Archive for mark lawrence

THE GRIM COMPANY By Luke Scull – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2015 by stanleyriiks

Having recently enjoyed the delights of Mark Lawrence and Andy Remic’s action fantasies, I was looking forward to this. But this is not Mark Lawrence or Andy Remic. Upon starting to read this I was most disappointed.

It starts slowly….

Mages rule the city states, tussling for power. They killed the gods, dooming themselves to limited magical material. But the brutal ruler Salazar, having lost his navy to one of his rivals, ups the stakes, destroying the city of Shadowport in a massive tidal wave that wipes out everyone and everything.

Two warriors, hunted by their former tribesmen, find themselves part of a rebel band.

A young man, desperate to be the hero he knows he is destined to be, has a rude awakening when he is almost killed, and runs away from his friends and family to try to prove himself.

Mmmm… The slow start isn’t particularly helped by the lack of a good hero, I don’t think the author knows who he wants us to root for: the annoying twerp who thinks he’s a hero, or the grizzled old warrior who groans with every move. The characters in the book just aren’t compelling, or likeable.

The story does start to get going in the second half, the characters actually start to come into their own and grow, and the long awaited action begins to take place.

What could have been a really good action fantasy, feels mostly flat and unrewarding. Sure, the second half of the book really does pick up, and here you get to see Scull at his full potential. But I very nearly didn’t make it that far.

If you’re looking for action fantasy, and have read all the books of Lawrence and Remic then go for Polansky. When you have exhausted all of those and if you’re still desperate for some fantasy action give Scull a try.

Really not sure if I will bother with the second book in this series or not. Disappointed.

KING OF THORNS By Mark Lawrence – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Spoiler alert, if you haven’t read the first book in the trilogy (Prince of Thorns) then go and do it now and then come back and read this review. The first book is the series is a glorious, action thriller of a fantasy, brutal, inventive, original and compelling. Read it and come back, the review will still be here!

 

Jorg Ancrath, now King after killing his uncle is about to be attacked. The King of Arrow, a man who is prophesied to become emperor of the hundred kingdoms, is on his way with an army of thousands. Jorg isn’t the type to stay behind locked gates and hope for the best, even when outnumbered twenty to one there is only one thing (ok, may be two things) he can do, get married and attack.

With a similar structure to the first book the present takes place on Jorg’s wedding day as he plans to attack the King of Arrow and his advancing hordes, meanwhile there are flashbacks to four years past where we discover what brought Jorg to this deadly and final moment.

Whilst some of the flashbacks are exciting and integral to the story, others act to slow the fast pace of the present battle and towards the later stages of the book become a little irritating. I just wanted to get on with reading about the exciting fighting.

Lawrence writes with a style that lends itself to action, and this is a very slightly slower book than the first (a rip-roaring thunderball of action!), but still has a passion and imagination that goes well beyond your standard fantasy.

Absolutely amazing fantasy adventure, truly relentless, and at times exasperating, this second book in the trilogy moves the story on and will have you begging for more, exactly like the first book. I can’t wait to see how Jorg’s story ends, and if the past two books are any indication the third book in the trilogy is going to end with a massively exciting bang.

Can’t wait for the third installment, intelligent, brilliant fantasy.