King of Thorns (The Broken Empire)
The boy who would be king has gained the throne...
At age nine, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath vowed to avenge his slaughtered mother and brother—and to punish his father for not doing so. At fifteen, he began to fulfill that vow. Now, at eighteen, he must fight for what he has taken by torture and treachery.
Haunted by the pain of his past, and plagued by nightmares of the atrocities he has committed, King Jorg is filled with rage. And even as his need for revenge continues to consume him, an overwhelming enemy force marches on his castle.
Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But he has found a long-hidden cache of ancient artifacts. Some might call them magic. Jorg is not certain—all he knows is that their secrets can be put to terrible use in the coming battle...
dagger. Feathers everywhere. He seeks to steer me with the most gentle of prods. Even a soft touch, if it is made sufficiently far ahead of the crucial event, can have a great impact. Sageous seeks to steer me, to steer us all, his fingers swift and light as spiders, pulling delicate threads, until the power he wants is delivered into his lap as if by accident. Tutor Lundist said Sun Tzu should be my guide in war. My father may have executed Lundist a week after I fled the Tall Castle but what
carriage and the thorns. I see, but I can’t hear. When I climb, and only then, on the very edge of everything, I catch stray notes. Like words robbed of meaning on the cusp of hearing…the music almost reaches me. And for that I would dare any height. I made an eighth assault on the Spire at the start of the summer in which the Prince of Arrow crossed my borders with his armies new laden with loot from conquests in Normardy and Orlanth. Loot and, it must be said, recruits, for the lords of
in main, from the local recruits. “That John of Bryn had my bowstrings while I was on wall watch.” “What you gonna do about that?” “Don’t you worry none, already happened. Lost his flock he did.” Up in a high place, especially one hard-reached, you gain a fresh perspective. Looking out over the peaks and cliffs and slopes I’d come to know, I noticed something new. The shadows gave it away, leading the eye here and there to places where the land didn’t lie quite right. It took a time of empty
said. Makin shook his head. “No.” “Nobody else does either,” I said. “Pope Anticus took in every bible that survived the Thousand Suns in deep vaults, all the books of doctrine, all the Vatican records. All of it. Could have burned the lot. Could be following every letter and footnote. The scholars can tell you nothing except that you’re not allowed to know.” The priest up on the platform had found his stride, patrolling the edge before the crowd and bellowing about wickedness and witchcraft.
was true. “Make sure there’s nothing left for Chella to play with,” I told Kent. He set to beheading the first of our attackers. Someone had already taken its arms off and mud filled its mouth, but it still wriggled and glared. Seeing Makin tend his wounds I thought to pat myself down. Sometimes it’s hours before you notice an injury taken in battle. “Fuck,” I said. “What?” Makin looked up. “I’ve lost the box.” I ran my hands over my hips as if I could have missed it the first time. “Good