At long last we have reached the concluding volume in Mark Lawrence’s best selling Broken Empire Trilogy, Emperor of Thorns. The best way to describe this book is printed right on the front cover “All Reigns Must End…”, but it is not the destination that is the ultimate goal but the journey and the buildup that will leave you speechless. The tension that was building throughout the whole story and the realization that took place in the finale few chapters was astonishing and I still reflect on it to this day. Mark Lawrence is known to throw into his stories certain philosophical ideas for the readers to ponder and it is even more present in this novel. I couldn’t think of a better ending for this trilogy and for Jorg.
Jorg Ancrath is now king of the seven nations but he has a much bigger goal in mind, to become emperor. Jorg’s desire for revenge against his father hasn’t gone according to plan and he is still haunted by the sins of his past. Jorg must keep his desire for revenge move swiftly forward before his inner demons eat him apart. Now married to his Queen Miana, whom is expecting her first child, Jorg must leave her behind to reach the capital of the empire were the crown can not be taken but rather voted upon in a democratic forum. Standing in Jorg’s way is the haunting necromancer, The Dead King, whom we get to see for the first time. These two powers will meet and the fate of the empire and the world is at the edge of a sword. Jorg is not without a plan of his own and it may destroy the world.
Jorg’s plot and character progression in this concluding was both enticing and horrifying to read at the same time. Jorg seems throughout the whole story to be teetering on the edge of madness while being responsible for the safety of his Queen, soldiers, and country. The history and technology of the builders has taken Jorg on a mission to discover their origins and it will play a big part in the upcoming war. The Dead King was an amazing character to read in this final volume. Learning about his magic and desires for vengeance are what drives him to break the known world regardless of the cost. There are plenty of OMG moments in Emperor of Thorns, but the ones involving the Dead King shook me to my core, as we have come to expect in from Mark Lawrence. Familiar faces from the previous novels make returns to the story and they will all meet at the capital of the Empire for one final showdown.
To this day, The Broken Empire Trilogy remains my favorite trilogy written by Mark Lawrence as I have yet to come across an antihero like Jorg Ancrath. He is harsh, brutal, and sadistic while being a military and tactical genius. This is a very deadly combination that Mark Lawrence handles with the upmost precision and care. I will say that this trilogy will not be for everyone as the grimdark genre is not for the faint of heart. For those of you who have made it to the end, what a journey it has been and I hope to see you all when I review the next great series by Mark Lawrence. Jorg will live in infamy as the most badass character I have ever read and I know that Mark Lawrence is smiling somewhere!