I have such mixed feelings about this book. In one regard it is an absolutely discussing world with discussing characters. Yet, while the world is graphic and deadly it is also brilliant. And while Jorg, the murderous boy King is horrific, he owns his sins and continues to grow as a character. It does not make it forgivable, but it does make it worth reading.
Lawrence grew in this second book as well. In the first book there were all of two female characters that were developed enough to have names. The side female characters were all rapped and killed. It was not all that endearing as a female reader. I also wonder at how so little progress can be made in the world that we are back to such discrimination and sexism. I cannot say that King of Thorns made much progress, but it did make progress. Women are now evil villains as well. Which, considering the book, works.
While I could probably write an entire thesis on the gender bias in fantasy novels, the plus side is that the novel is well written with an engaging literary style. The lack of memory in this second book is a little disconcerting. It was understandable in the first book, but a bit trite in the second book. However, like the first novel, by the end of the book it all comes together. I honestly think that if Jorg did not make such great strides in character growth that I could not stomach these books at all. Instead I am left with this weird love hate feeling about these books.
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