Monday 20 February 2012

King of Thorns - fragments, part (iii)

Brother Grumlow
In the long ago, in the gentle days, Brother Grumlow carved wood, worked with saw and chisel. When hard times come carpenters are apt to get nailed to crosses. Grumlow took up the knife and learned to carve men. He looks soft, my brother of the blade, slight in build, light in colour, weak chin, sad eyes, all of him drooping like the moustache that hangs off his lip. Yet he has fast hands and no fear of a sharp edge. Come against him with just a dagger for company and he will cut you a new opinion.

& a non-blurb I wrote for Independent Thinking, a publication that seeks to inform and attract the buyers at independent book shops across the UK and who are already bored of your actual book-blurb:

Readers and reviewers repeatedly identify three things about Prince of Thorns – firstly the power and beauty of its prose, secondly the shocking violence and amoral nature of its protagonist, and thirdly the surprising youth of Prince Jorg. King of Thorns is a progression rather than a formulaic repeat. Prince Jorg is older, his world view develops, and whilst he neither seeks nor attains redemption, he does grow.

King of Thorns is in many ways a more sophisticated book than its predecessor but, whatever its literary merits, it maintains the trilogy’s high energy and murderous pace. As Jorg says, all paths to the throne require that you walk on bodies. Like Prince of Thorns this book is an ungentle one, shot through with blackest humour, and if the reader doesn’t laugh then cry, I’ve not done my job.

This book was not written for a demographic or aimed at meeting any common set of fantasy elements – it’s the story I needed to tell. For me the writing page by page and line by line is as important as the story chapter to chapter. I hope what marks it out is a level of passion and honesty uncommon in the genre.

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