King of Thorns - Mark  Lawrence Like the first book, on the surface the story of King of Thorns is a simple one; in one timeline, a young man goes on an adventure to seek help from a wizard, and four years later in the present time, he is defending his kingdom from a rival prince. Sounds straightforward and rather typical, but the truth is that this book is as dark as its predecessor. If you're an avid reader of fantasy, the story elements and tropes will feel familiar...except more twisted and messed up.

I was glad to see that Jorg has grown up and matured a bit in this sequel; I admit his attitude and anger management problems in Prince of Thorns drove me crazy, but to be fair he was practically a child in that book. Slightly older now, it is nice to see that a couple years have taught him to stay his hand in certain situations, and that he is a more thoughtful and contemplative character. Don't get me wrong, he's still the asshole we know and love, but at least he's not thinking about gutting someone like every other page.