Something must be wrong with me.. This book comes so highly recommended, has so many praising reviews and a great score, and yet, I didn’t like it. To be honest, I didn’t like Prince of Thorns either, so maybe it’s related.

The Good

  • First person view The POV of the story is consistent from a single character and always from the first person. I must say that this does give a special feel to the story and it really sucks you in the world of the main protagonist.
  • I really enjoyed Mark Lawrence’s writing and his narrative style, it’s beautiful prose, with sentencens that feel you feel are crafted with a lot of love, there’s vivid descriptions of scenes, people and events. This was one of the main things that carried me through the book.
  • The omni-present dark humor provides a special tone to the narrative

The Bad

  • The main protagonist is, just like Prince of Thorns, a typical anti-hero, with not many redeeming qualities. Jalan isn’t a sadist, like Jog is, but he’s a pathological coward, scared of his own shadow, and this character trait is combined with a juvenile lust for life (which basically translates to “bang anything that moves” and “get drunk as often as you can”). This put me off so badly from page one and it never got better. It might have helped if these character traits would have become less obvious as the story continued, but no, it goes on to the very last page.
  • The story didn’t really interest me and it never had me into it, I don’t really know why, maybe because the previous flaw had me constantly sighing?
  • The world building is confusing to me, it seems to be some alternate medieval history that takes place in Europe and references christianity and norse mythology quite often, but never goes into much detail about it.

So, in conclusion, the book was “ok”, so 2 stars. I won’t be reading the next installments though.

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