Amidst the darkness that is Jorg Ancrath, you will find also find wit and wisdom in abundance far outstripping a young man of eighteen years but then he is not a normal young man.
Jorg Ancrath despite the brutality has a confidence, charm and swagger that endear you to the character, quite simply he is one of the best characters in fantasy fiction.
Told largely in first person there are two main story arcs, the first in the present sees Jorg facing a six nation army, twenty thousand strong, marching toward Jorg's gates, led by a champion beloved of the people and prophesised emperor. Faced by an enemy many times his strength Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight but playing fair was never part of the plan. The second story arc takes place shortly after Jorg becomes King of the Renar Highlands and encompasses an epic journey east to Maladon and across the breadth of the empire to Morrow on the Horse coast to his grandfathers kingdom. Jorg always seems to have a cunning plan and during the journey, the start of many strategies are laid that all come together during the battle for his own kingdom.
Jorg also provides insights on his brothers, he describes their appearance and nature, all of them seasoned killers and the following story hinges or turns on the acts of each. All of them are characters worthy of the story and we also see Jorg through Katherine's eyes, providing a second point of view as recounted in her journals. Katherine is the only person who has ever pierced the veil of Jorg's single-minded focus. Her perspective is an important one because she is privy to events of which Jorg is unaware until his memories are laid bare with startling revelations that disgust even him.
This is not one of those books you can skip paragraphs and never lose the thread of the story, you have to read every word to take it all in, just in case you miss something.
A fantastic main character, a fantastic story and I now eagerly await the third novel Emperor of Thorns with a hope that this is not the last we see of Jorg and his brothers.