Thursday 30 April 2020

A Guide to Lawrence!

It's come to my attention that I have many books published!

Increasingly I get asked by potential Lawrence-readers where they should start. The answer is: "With any book 1 of any trilogy." And: "It depends on what you're looking for."

It should be noted that my trilogies all vary considerably in character and tone - so you may love one and find another not to your taste. It's allowed! And it means that if, for example, you found Prince of Thorns too bleak and violent you might enjoy the hell out of Red Sister or One Word Kill.

(helpfully I include a grimdark rating!)

You can start with any of my trilogies - my other books are not required reading.

The Broken Empire


This trilogy follows Jorg: a violent, amoral young man. It's dark, it's grim, it maybe grimdark. Not for the weak-stomached or those seeking a main character they can cheer without reservation.

Grimdark rating = 4.42 / 5

The Red Queen's War

The main character, Jalan, is an idle, womanising, coward supported by a big-hearted Viking. Still dark and violent but with added humour.

Grimdark rating = 3.27 / 5

Book of the Ancestor

We follow Nona as she's trained by what have been inaccurately described as "gay murder nuns". A much nicer person than Jorg or Jalan but still with a darkish violent streak.

Grimdark rating = 3.08 / 5

Impossible Times

Set in the real world in the 1980s - we follow math genius, Nick, as he navigates life in London, D&D games, that girl, and ... a science-fiction mystery. My least violent books!

Grimdark rating = 1.50 / 5

Book of the Ice

Yaz is the closest I've come to an actual hero who looks beyond her own circle and needs. She's not a warrior but she'll fight for those that need her.

Grimdark rating = 2.87 / 5

 The Library Trilogy

Grimdark rating 1.57 / 5

All books, no matter their binding, will fall to dust. The stories they carry may last longer. They might outlive the paper, the library, even the language in which they were first written.

But the greatest story can reach the stars . . .

Evar has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.

Livira has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where no one goes and nightmares stalk.

The world has never noticed them. That's about to change.

You can read more about this one here.


The Broken Empire & The Red Queen's War are set in the same world. You can read them in either order.

The Book of the Ancestor & The Book of the Ice are set in the same world. You can read them in either order.

If you have any one-line descriptions in terms of tone, content, character etc add them in the comments - I may bring them into the post!

I also have 3 finished books (Gunlaw, Blood of the Red, & Darker Tide), some partial books, and some short stories on Wattpad - completely free!

Finally, don't forget my Grim Oak Press anniversary editions! You've missed out on The Broken Empire & The Red Queen's War omnibuses (which now sells on ebay at crazy prices) & the 10th anniversary Prince of Thorns, but you can still snag the deluxe signed, illustrate, leatherbound, and numbered 10th anniversary King of Thorns edition!


  1. I would say more Hogwarts for holy assassins than gay murder nuns.

  2. Might Yaz ever bump into Nona?

    1. Stories are about 100 years apart so… Maybe?

  3. I have read broken empire n red queens war absolutely brilliant cant wait ti read th rest thank you very much mark

  4. I'd love to see more stories set in Abeth. Maybe from earlier in history, something like the fall of the Missing. The crisis that lead to the creation of the moon etc.

    1. Same, I loved the Abeth setting. Also i will read any and every story you might write in the future about Nona, Ara, Kettle and the rest at Sweet Mercy!

  5. When to read sleeping beauty in the trilogy?

    1. Best policy with all Broken Empire short stories is to leave it until you've finished. Even if they could be sited within the trilogy timeline, the books were not written with the stories in mind, and the stories were written with readers who had finished the books in mind.

  6. Thank you for this blog post! I just finished the book of the ancestor and absolutely adore the characters and the world! I very much wanted more set in the same world and I've found it.

    You're a beast sir, keep writing and I will keep reading!

  7. Will "New World" (short Jalan preview) will ever gets a trilogy?

  8. Since the Jorg and Jalan moment at the "bar" I wonder how would be a bar meet between all your main characters... who would get along with whom? Wonder how an Evar and Jalan conversation might go...?

    1. Could be interesting - but the results would all depend on the context.

  9. I absolutely LOVE that you included a quote from a book titled “Fatherhood” by Jorg Ancrath before chapter 45 of “The Book That Wouldn’t Burn”! Freakin awesome! And many more hidden gems in that pre-chapter flavor text, haha. (Rose L. Axe, lmao). I’m going to have to go back and re-read just those when I’m done the book, see if I can catch any more. :) But (semi-spoiler alert!), question for Mark: will the presence of the Exchange allow for more cross-universe interaction between the different worlds of your books? (Apologies if this is made clear by the end of The Book That Wouldn’t Burn, as I am only on chapter 45 - I just had to find this and comment on the Jorg quote!)

    1. Great to hear you're enjoying it. I'll have to let the book speak for itself ... but a re-read is always a big compliment :)

  10. I've had to explain this to everyone I've recommended you to. This will be a great help. /i deliberately makes a bookmark that'll they'll never be able to find /