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Gaston de Foix

King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (SPOILERS ALERT)

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Actually getting kicked by the horse reminded me of heaps of other stories where the hero is saved by a random event that seems to come from no where and its the only scene that is cliche in the book imo. Considering how i love that Jorg isnt the hero really. More like Michael Corleone is a hero.

Well it's in the nature of random events to seem to come from nowhere - if they didn't we wouldn't call them random.

That luck similarly plays a role in other stories would seem to reinforce my thesis that it plays a large role in people's lives (especially the interesting ones) and as such, to see it reflected in literature isn't surprising.

Cliche, is an often misused word that seems to frequently be co-opted to mean 'something I didn't like'. Here are some cliches http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-cliches.html I don't think luck playing a (large) part in a protagonist succeeding is a cliche.

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I also didn't like the horsekick scenario...though to be fair most stories of this type (ranging from Bakker's to GRRM's) would end with the main character being felled by a projectile weapon if not for luck.

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well then, the horse kick was an open acknowledgement of that luck rather than the traditional sweeping away of the luck (endemic in surviving those annoyingly field-levelling projectile weapons) under the rug of convenience :)

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for me the kick was the remedy to the rather silly (though emotionally appealing and common, especially among young men (Jorg for example)) contention that simply wanting something enough, simply being wholly committed to your goal, will deliver that success as if (taking a random example) some higher power (the author maybe) acknowledged the necessity/rightness of your desire and rearranged the world to give it to you. Jorg rode that conceit almost to the end of the book, but in the final analysis no mattter how important it was to him to break Corion - how passionately his revenge etc demanded it - the 'reality' of the situation simply wouldn't allow it, and if not for a lucky break he would have died there and his story not be told. And (implicitly) for every book such as this one where luck delivered and the tale gets told, we imagine many protagonists who failed in some similar way and led to no tale, no book.

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for me the kick was the remedy to the rather silly (though emotionally appealing and common, especially among young men (Jorg for example)) contention that simply wanting something enough, simply being wholly committed to your goal, will deliver that success as if (taking a random example) some higher power (the author maybe) acknowledged the necessity/rightness of your desire and rearranged the world to give it to you. Jorg rode that conceit almost to the end of the book, but in the final analysis no mattter how important it was to him to break Corion - how passionately his revenge etc demanded it - the 'reality' of the situation simply wouldn't allow it, and if not for a lucky break he would have died there and his story not be told. And (implicitly) for every book such as this one where luck delivered and the tale gets told, we imagine many protagonists who failed in some similar way and led to no tale, no book.

Fair point. Luck is needed in life. It is known. I personally had no issue with it. I wouldn't have gotten to where I am in life without a little bit of luck. Same should apply for Jorg.

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finally finished it thanks to an epic train journey. It was a very good sequel. I think I probably enjoyed Prince more as it was super lean and i think it was more of a surprise to see Jorg doing surprising things (for lack of better phrasing). For example, I wasn't surprised at all by the gun scene at the end, although it was fun. I'd also expected the other prince to stab his brother in the back. This may have caught me by surprise in Prince but I'm onto that sneaky Jorg now.

I'm not sure if the split narrative entirely worked for me. I can see how it functioned in terms of the story being told but again I think I preferred the more straight forward approach of "prince". I'm maybe being picky too but wouldn't Jorg killing his brother made it back to him even if he'd forgotten about it? Surely that would become part of his listed crimes? I also thought there should have been some backlash from his dad for that but then when I thought about it it's more like his dad to send him a "congratualtions" card than be upset,

I did enjoy Jorg's attempt at saving Gog and the rather sad ending of that quest as i'd ecpected Gog to survive. I also liked the twist with Corion and Friar Glen. The flashback with Jorg's dog was also one of the best scenes from both books. I think Tywin would get along with Ancrath's childe rearing skills.

The world was fleshed out a lot more and I really liked how the castle was a multi-story car park, The other builder tech was generally cool too,

Katherine's diary was a nice change of pace too. I had a good laugh at how she thought "red kent" got the name because he blushed a lot.

Jorg is still the anti-kvothe for me which is probably half his appeal. Look forward to seeing whether he gets to be emperor at the end and whether that's a good or bad thing for everyone else involved.

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I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed the last one. I do wish we could see more of the real Jorg. I feel like we have spent hardly any time with him throughout two thirds of a trilogy. The first book he's being exaggeratedly evil cos he's being manipulated by various evil wizards. The second book he's too nice cos he's locking up all his nastiness in a box. The glimpses we get of the true him are the most interesting character, for me. Not deliberately depraved but still unapologetically ruthless.

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I'm an equestrian so the horse kick scene made me laugh (poor warhorse though...). It's always struck me odd that no one seems to get kicked by a horse in books unless they're pregnant. I've seen horses fall in arenas and they do kick a lot as they are scrambling back up. It was dumb luck, but it worked because it wasn't too far out of left field. The horse had just gone down; of course it would be flailing around.

I loved the shift in Jorg after he fully opened the box. Not too over the top, but if definitely felt like he got few gaps filled in. I want to see more Miana; she's like a pint-sized Eleanor of Aquitaine.

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When a game cannot be won, change the game. I read that in the Book of Kirk.

:thumbsup:

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I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed the last one. I do wish we could see more of the real Jorg. I feel like we have spent hardly any time with him throughout two thirds of a trilogy. The first book he's being exaggeratedly evil cos he's being manipulated by various evil wizards. The second book he's too nice cos he's locking up all his nastiness in a box. The glimpses we get of the true him are the most interesting character, for me. Not deliberately depraved but still unapologetically ruthless.

I guess that's what we might get in the final installment. Saving the best to last.

I feel like I really underestimated the importance of that horse-kicking scene.

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Finished reading and when Jorg pulled the gun out, I started laughing like a maniac in the middle of the college library.

I am in love with the series and can't wait until August 2013.

Thanks Mark!

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Great book, really enjoyed it!! Definetly one of the top I've read this year. That said I have a bunch of questions:

1) Who the hell is this Dead King and what's his deal?

2) We still don't know anything about these "Players" who seem to be superhumans manipulating everyone. Obviously they are the real enemy here but any ideas on them?

3)Sagaceous got killed, but how? Jorg just wills him to be there and he is?

4) What the hell was with the fire summoning in the end? Where did he get the ability to use fire? I mean why didn't he just do that at the beginning? Are his powers including necromancy all gone now? I mean it seemed like a damn desu ex machina.

5) Where did he get the box for storing his memories? We never see that?

6) Katherine, is she really dead?

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Great book, really enjoyed it!! Definetly one of the top I've read this year. That said I have a bunch of questions:

1) Who the hell is this Dead King and what's his deal?

Who indeed. Good thing it's a trilogy!

2) We still don't know anything about these "Players" who seem to be superhumans manipulating everyone. Obviously they are the real enemy here but any ideas on them?

The careful reader won't know everything, but they will know something. Sageous and Corion have been front and center. Skilfar, The Silent Sister, Kelem, Lady Blue etc have all been mentioned. Figures with unusual skills that manipulate the Hundred rather like Corion and Sageous did.

3)Sagaceous got killed, but how? Jorg just wills him to be there and he is?

Jorg's interaction with the Builder ghost made it clear (I hope) that there's a scientific explanation for the apparent magic in this future and that the basis of all such magics is focused will/desire. Jorg's good at that and was given a specific hint by Fexler as to how to keep Sageous in place. In addition Katherine spent 4 years studying exactly the flavour of 'magic' that Sageous specialises in and worked very hard to support Jorg's efforts in stopping Sageous slipping away. Once he was prevented from fleeing it was the having his head ripped off and set on fire that killed him :) That often does the trick!

4) What the hell was with the fire summoning in the end? Where did he get the ability to use fire? I mean why didn't he just do that at the beginning? Are his powers including necromancy all gone now? I mean it seemed like a damn desu ex machina.

Again all the ground work for this is laid out in the book (but clearly not sufficiently for every reader) - Jorg started to have an effect upon (and be affected by) fire immediately after Gog's becoming one with fire - anchored by the burn he got from Gog that embedded traces of the leucrota in him. There are probably a dozen mentions of it and it gets more pronounced up until the point where Fexler halts the progress of both the necromancy and fire-related powers by anchoring them into the box and preventing them tearing Jorg apart. When the box is finally emptied both fire/necro powers grow rapidly as Fexler warns.

So - he didn't do it in the beginning because he didn't know what was happening to him, didn't remember what had been done, and couldn't until the box was emptied in any case, and if he had remembered (the memory being in the box) he would have known it was a suicidal act anyhow. (the fact he escaped death and merely had both sets of power burned out of him is down in part to luck and in larger part to Gog being on side).

I guess if all the foreshadowing passed you by then it would seem pretty deus ex

.

5) Where did he get the box for storing his memories? We never see that?

You never 'see' it - but you're told about it in some detail immediately after the event.

6) Katherine, is she really dead?

There doesn't seem a great deal of evidence to suggest that she died.

Glad you enjoyed the book. If you ever get around to a re-read let me know how it goes - I often find I read books I'm anticipating really fast and breeze past a lot of detail that I appreciate a lot more next time round.

Cheers,

Mark

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What really lost me in the book was that he was near Katherine and then BAM! He was out in the desert with the box, I was like WTF! Then it all started clicking as he started opening the box and memories started to come back.

and Mark, the thousand suns they were what atomic bombs of some sort right? Especially since Jorg's uncle was able to see the light of the one he blew at Gelleth - so atomic bomb?

Thanks and when he goes into the swamp with the dead things I could not help but notice that the name of it was similar to Catalonia

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Thanks and when he goes into the swamp with the dead things I could not help but notice that the name of it was similar to Catalonia

I would imagine this has a lot to do with the fact that it is Catalonia.

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Yeah, I quite enjoyed all the "evolved" names of places. I guess they were in book one but i noticed them more readily this time around.

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Yeah, I quite enjoyed all the "evolved" names of places. I guess they were in book one but i noticed them more readily this time around.

Same. I don't remember noticing any from book one, although I knew it was a far future europe. Second one i was able to pretty much keep track of where he was all through it. So the Tall Castle's in Paris? Had to do some mental rejigging there, I don't mind telling you.

Thanks and when he goes into the swamp with the dead things I could not help but notice that the name of it was similar to Catalonia

And that song the minstrel sings is really similar to a Don McLean one. :P

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Same. I don't remember noticing any from book one, although I knew it was a far future europe. Second one i was able to pretty much keep track of where he was all through it. So the Tall Castle's in Paris? Had to do some mental rejigging there, I don't mind telling you.

And that song the minstrel sings is really similar to a Don McLean one. :P

I wasn't able to gather the info that well.

Horse Coast where would it be?

Actually could any of you more observant readers make a list of the cities Jorg goes to and it's real life counterpart

Thanks

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I would appreciate a list of cities too as I was trying to puzzle out their identity but to no avail! It puts me in the mind of another book I read years ago called "Family Tree" by Sheri Tepper which was set in a post apocolyptic world with many places and words mirroring their 'this day, this reality' equivalent. Had a fantastic twist too that book.

I loved KOT, although initially I struggled with Jorg's verbose inner monolog was there a lot less of that in POT? Although the author's writing is anything but verbose. I loved the spareness of it, the simplicity and yet how poetic it was. I loved how it had me wondering how, at each crisis, Jorg would prevail. The ways in which Jorg did overcome these obstacles was wonderfully done with everything (EXCEPT of course that old flying hoof in POT) cunningly hinted at or foreshadowed. I also struggled slightly with the two time frames....I would be heavily immersed in one then be into another in the next chapter and it was like...."noooo take me back or forward as the case may be" and sometimes I would get confused about what timeframe I was in and what events pertained to either of them but that was only because I was galloping through the book at pace so obviously falling victim to the old flying hoof myself on a couple of occasions.

I liked seeing the remnants of the modern world being interpreted through the character's eyes and trying to guess what they were looking at, there was one excerpt in particular describing Jorg using the satellite ring which was marvelous.

I liked how Jorg twisted the prophecy so that he himself became the Prince of Arrows. I guessed that the ghost baby Jorg was seeing was his half-brother Dregan at the beginning and steadfastly refused to believe that he would have deliberately murdered him which he didn't...it was an accident...PHEW! But one question.

1. How is it that Fexler's image/hologram which Jorg interacts with is somewhat sentient? He just is?

2. Why would Jorg think that Fexler's real body (which we are told was in a stasis chamber of some sort) is even remotely recoverable? Because the guy's a genius and would have preserved his body somehow?

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I was most impressed when a reader (in Canada I think) correctly guessed that this line: "When I was seven, and William five, tutor Lundist took us secretly to the caverns of Paderack." Referenced the Gouffre de Padirac http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padirac_Cave

As to questions above: I wrote Prince of Thorns as a stand alone. King & Emperor are a touch more interwoven and hoping that the trilogy would be successful I anticipated that most readers would have all three books available to them at the time of reading, thus curiosity could be satisfied on a short rather than long timescale. Suffice it to say that the final book shows things that illuminate the middle one.

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