Tag Archives: Broken Empire

Q&A with Mark Lawrence

In which I ask Mark Lawrence, author of the The Broken Empire, and The Red Queen’s War, questions regarding horse-sized mercenary ducks, his writing process, and the future of his writing.




1) Typically, I start off interviews with “Tell us something about yourself that we might not know,” but.. instead, I’m going to ask: “If you were a box of cereal, and a horse-sized mercenary duck wanted to eat you.. How would you convince it not to?”

M: Well I guess the easiest out is to note the word ‘mercenary’ and to assume as a sentient box of cereal I would have made millions on chat shows. So I would just pay the mercenary not to eat me. Simples.

2) Once you’ve finished The Red Queen’s War, will you be writing more in that world, or go for something new? What are your plans for the future?

M: I tend not to have plans for the next page, so having plans for a future so distant is not something I do. It’s not a particularly distant future as it happens, since I’m 95,000 words into the third book of the trilogy, so I should be finished before the year’s out.

At the moment I feel like I’ve spent enough time in the Broken Empire. But who knows what will happen when I look at a blank page. I could return to my weird gunslinger fantasy, Gunlaw, and rework that. I could try some literary fiction. I could do some dystopian YA fiction and make billions… it’s always an exciting time when you put one project to bed.

3) For new readers, would you recommend they start with The Broken Empire? Or can they jump right into The Red Queen’s War?

M:If they think they’d enjoy The Broken Empire trilogy then new readers should pick up Prince of Thorns. If the book looks too dark and violent for their tastes then perhaps Prince of Fools would be the place to start. It certainly has more laughs in it! It’s been reviewed by plenty of people who haven’t read the first trilogy and they all really liked it.

4) Are you more of a discovery writer, or an out-liner? What’s your writing process like?

M: Generally I just start typing without a plan. And that’s the whole of my writing process. For my 6th book – the last book of The Red Queen’s War trilogy I had a go at planning, just writing a rough outline of events. I’ve stuck to it, mostly. The experience hasn’t seemed so different. Most of the excitement for me is on a page by page basis so whether I have a plan or not I’m still surprising and entertaining myself as I write.

5) You’re probably one of the most active authors on social media. You constantly run giveaways and contests, and take the time to respond and engage with your readers. How do you balance the time between that, your personal life, and writing? Is it difficult?

M: I don’t find it difficult. It’s probably because as the sole carer for a very disabled child (my youngest daughter, 10), and having a day-job when she’s at school, and having writing to do at night … I really don’t have the opportunity for much of a personal life!

6) What are your thoughts on The Broken Empire Trilogy hypothetically being adapted for the big (or small) screen?

I’m all for it. I would enjoy the $$$ and it would be interesting to see what they did with it. There have been several approaches from significant figures in Hollywood but I’m told the boot-to-film game involves a lot of dancing around, false starts, and in most cases leads nowhere. Studios like to have a lot of options and keep lots of irons in the fire.

7) Who’s your favourite author?

For fantasy it would be a toss up between JRR Tolkien and GRR Martin – sorry to anyone hoping to discover a new author!

8) What are you currently reading?

The Name of the Wind

Thanks a bunch, Mark! 


Mark Lawrence’s newest novel, Prince of Fools, was released June 3rd.

18191460 POF UK

Check it out on:
Amazon [US], [CA], [UK]

Liar’s Key (Book 2 of The Red Queen’s War) is set to be released June of next year.

Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence


The path to the throne is broken – only the broken may walk it.


To reach the throne requires that a man journey. Even a path paved with good intentions can lead to hell, and my intentions were never good.

The Hundred converge for Congression to politic upon the corpse of Empire, and while they talk the Dead King makes his move, and I make mine. The world is cracked, time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days, the future so bright that those who see it are the first to burn. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne whoever seeks to thwart me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending.

This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don’t look to me to save you. Don’t think I will not spend you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don’t follow me.

Follow me, and I will break your heart.

Emperor of Thorns (Book 3 of The Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence is the final instalment in the series; following Jorg, an ambitious, amoral, twisted, violent and selfish protagonist.

Now, I typically don’t do reviews for books until I’ve reviewed at least the first in the series. I’m going to have to do it backwards though, as I’ve yet to review Prince of Thornsand King of Thornsthe first two novels in the series. However, rest assured that I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum where possible (*cough* Snape kills Dumbledore. *cough*).

This series took me a few tries to get into, the characters are rather unlikeable (like the aforementioned protagonist, Jorg, who is a disagreeable guy), and for me, I tend to read books for the connections with the characters. However, that being said, this really was an amazing series. In The Broken Empire series, you don’t really get that optimistic happiness that’s apparently through a majority of novels in the genre — it is rather grim and dark. It’s compelling, once you get into it. Jorg has an unlikely charm about him, and he develops into an interesting character.

In Emperor of Thorns, we see Jorg continue on his path to gaining the Empire Throne — the last hope of uniting humanity to a single purpose, and of course, won’t let anything stand in his way.  The novel, as with the previous two, weaves throughout different periods in Jorg’s life, revealing context, a spattering of horrific events, and the sheer complexity of the world that Lawrence has crafted.

The only negative that comes to mind is that a few of the crucial story elements which Lawrence introduced in the novel arrived a bit too late to be entirely credible.

Emperor of Thorns is probably my favourite in the series, Lawrence has surpassed himself in the conclusion to his series. The story really came together at the end, and provided a satisfying resolution with surprising and unpredictable twists. The Broken Empire is a must read, it’s really a great dark fantasy.

I look  forward to reading what Mark Lawrence writes next.

Emperor of Thorns was released today in the US/Canada.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I’ll most likely be posting my reviews of the first two novels (or at least the first one) in the next month or so.

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