Monday, February 18, 2013
King of Thorns giveaway with Mark Lawrence
Of all the new voices in fantasy fiction, Mark Lawrence is fast making a name for himself with The Broken Empire series. Today I'm pleased to have Mark over again and we'll be giving away a signed copy of book two in the series, King of Thorns. Those of you who follow my blog may remember the Prince of Thorns giveaway we did a while ago, and my review of the novel stirred up a few trolls in the process. All I'll say on the matter is that while I certainly don't condone Jorg's behaviour in the series, I can't help but love the character for *how* he's created (and not for the bad things he does). After all, consider why the likes of Hannibal Lector, Patrick Batemen, and the lost boys in Lord of the Flies are so memorable, and what they say about us as a species. We must never forget that for all our thin veneer of civilisation, we hide a savage within our breasts.
So, if you're keen to win a copy of the book, read the following bit of Q&A with Mark then check at the end for the question. The winner must comment on the blog and leave a name and contact email. I will select a winner on Monday, February 25, 2013.
Nerine: Jorg is a young man with a vision, damaged, yes and capable of acts of great cruelty yet also in a position to create great change within his society. Most of Prince of Thorns is essentially a very dark coming of age story in a way--how he establishes himself from next to nothing to becoming the ruler of a kingdom. What would you say is the underlying theme for King of Thorns?
Mark: Well that's actually a surprisingly hard question. First off the under and over-lying purpose of King of Thorns is to entertain. Some works of literary fiction are theme-delivery vehicles. That's not the case here. That said, if pushed I can identify some themes.
One main theme would be how we differ from and are made by our memories. The difference between facing and side-stepping uncomfortable facts about ourselves and events in our past.
Another, as in Prince of Thorns would be the business of growing up. Of seeing the world as more complex, more ambiguous than we thought, and of trying to hold to the clarity of vision we had as youngsters. Also the question of how guilt and responsibility cross that divide between boy and man--what sins stick and what can be attributed to a different person, a younger self.
Nerine: Things happen in book one that are not particularly nice, or easy to read. Jorg's callous attitude toward others' lives got to quite a lot of folks (as I've found out first hand via social media). Yet by equal measure he has the balls and the vision to rebuild an empire. How has Jorg's journey changed him from Prince of Thorns to King of Thorns? Without giving too much away, what can we expect in book two?
Mark: Jorg's finding, as we all do, that responsibility muddies the waters considerably, and that shorn of the purity of revenge to draw him forward he has to be motivated by desire--and when you open yourself to desire you admit all manner of weaknesses, complications, and strengths of new kinds.
What you can expect is the above wrapped around on one hand a varied trek of many months across the breadth of the Broken Empire, and on the other a single bloody day on which Jorg gets married and close on twenty thousand men die in battle.
Nerine: Many genre fiction authors dream about destroying the world as we know it in their novels. The post-apocalyptic setting in yours only struck me once I was a decent way into Prince of Thorns--so what I'd love to know is what were some of your favourite scenes that cropped up in King of Thorns. Are you willing to share which areas correspond to ones we know?
Mark: Hopefully the correspondences in geography are clear in this book (see here for more). There were plenty of scenes I had great fun writing, others which were harrowing to write and which readers have said were just as emotional to read. Sadly most of the scenes I loved writing are spoilers. There's a scene excerpted here that I really like where Jorg rallies his troops.
Add King of Thorns to your TBR list on Goodreads.
Mark Lawrence on Twitter.
Mark Lawrence's website.
So, the question: What is the name of Mark Lawrence's main character in the The Broken Empire series? Leave your name and contact email address with your answer in a comment on this blog in order to be considered for the prize. Winner will be notified by email. The giveaway runs until Sunday, February 24, 2013.