Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Empire of Thorns with Mark Lawrence #guest

Today I welcome fantasy author Mark Lawrence, author of Prince of Thorns, to my blog. One lucky reader who answers the question I'll ask at the end of this blog will receive a signed copy of the novel from the author.

A while ago, I read a review of Prince of Thorns that appeared on a blog I encountered during my browsing. The reviewer wasn't 100% sure how he felt about the novel, and when he went into why the story bothered him, I knew immediately that this was a novel I would add to my reading pile.

Of course I have gone one step further by asking Mark how he'd describe Prince of Thorns to someone who's never heard of the book before. Mark says: "A violent swords-and-sorcery romp, a moving poetic literary exploration of the human condition - take your pick."

The main character, Jorg, was quite an engaging character to write and Mark also shared why he thought Jorg appeals to some of his readers ... or not ... Mark adds: "He's clever, imaginative, unpredictable and dangerous, with hidden depths... what's not to like? His passionate and amoral nature will turn off readers looking for a hero to inspire them and engage readers with less simplistic expectations."

And as a scene from the novel that Mark reckons has high impact, he says: "I like the title scene, visited twice, where Jorg is in the thorns. If that doesn't touch you then you should probably chuck the book at that point."

With regard to what makes the world of Prince of Thorns stand apart from other books in its genre, Mark says: "I'd like to say the quality of the writing, but that's not my call. The most commonly cited reason is that the main character isn't a hero, and isn't an anti-hero either. Anti-heroes are variously hard-bitten loners who turn out to have a heart of gold and do the right thing whilst grumbling through it, or cowardly every-men who bumble through a tale accidentally succeeding and discovering hidden reserves. Jorg isn't like that."

And, lastly most authors can attest to the fact that writing a novel is pretty much a journey. Did writing the Broken Empire series changed him? Mark concludes: "Well that's hard to say. It's been written through some very dramatic years. I started the first book just before my daughter Celyn was born very badly damaged at birth and not expected to live. The past 8 years dealing with her severe disabilities have been life changing to say the least - writing has been a much needed diversion and the possibility of making a living whilst caring for Celyn has been very welcome as I may not be able to keep looking after her whilst continuing as a research scientist."

Curious? Want to read more? Go check out Mark's website at http://www.princeofthorns.com/ or follow his blog at http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.co.uk/

Now for the question. What is the title of the series that Prince of Thorns is part of? Email your answer to nerinedorman@gmail.com with your name and postal address, and if you're the lucky sod who comes in first with the correct answer, I'll forward your details to Mark, who'll be visiting the post office before long with your prize. Trust me, you *want* to read this book.

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