Our new Voyager Genesis Guide aims to help you get started or find the best place to start with one of our fabulous Voyager authors. We’re really proud of all our authors and want to make it as easy as possible for you, our incredible readers, to find your next amazing read. Forget the reading FOMO and become obsessed with your next favourite Voyager series, today!
Introducing fantasy heavyweight Mark Lawrence (if you haven’t heard of him before) presented by Thomas, our resident fantasy expert, writer and total book nerd.
ith the recent release of Red Sister, we thought now would be a good time to look back at Mark Lawrence’s writing so far. Just in case you weren’t aware, he exploded on to the fantasy scene with his tale of Jorg Ancrath in the Broken Empire trilogy, which was then followed up with the just-as-good-if-not-better Red Queen’s War series which follows the story of Prince Jalan. Both are set in the same detailed world of the Broken Empire, both feature nuanced characters arcs, and both are filled with glorious battle and fighting. The main difference between the two is tone; the first series is a fair bit darker than the slightly lighter second series.
Controversy can be a great way to sell your product. If people are talking about it, it means that people are thinking about it. And if they’re thinking about, well … they MIGHT buy it. As they say, all publicity is good publicity. Now, Prince of Thorns is a divisive book, and it’s easy to see why. From the very start we are witness to a gruesome massacre (and worse) which could throw a lot of readers off. The violence doesn’t really let up, and Jorg is one mean protagonist. But this is grimdark territory, and there is no respite for the weak.
If you check out the Goodreads page you can see that people either love it or can’t read it (but mostly love it). A good writer can ease their readers’ misgivings if everything makes sense within the world the story is set in. This is the key to the magnificent world building that Lawrence manages through both trilogies. It’s a clever combination of fantasy tropes mixed together in a post-apocalyptic landscape, and some of the cleverer plot points come from this mixture. It’s also a very philosophical story, weaving the nature of truth and real-world science into the narrative. Endings are beginnings, and the circle completes itself. It’s a very elaborate mythology, and a reader who is paying attention is often rewarded.
This complexity can probably be explained by the fact that Lawrence has a PhD in mathematics and has done complicated work involving decision and reasoning theory. Much of this knowledge comes out in his books, and plays a strong hand throughout the series. If you like your grimdark fantasy with a bunch of smarts, something like The Traitor, you’ll love the world of the Broken Empire.
But wait, there’s more! Lawrence is a prolific writer, and a prolific writer is good for everyone, most especially the fans. Lawrence definitely has writing in his blood. Apart from his officially published works, he’s written a bunch of short stories and you can read his first novel ever and a Weird Western called Gunlaw. And of course, if you loved the world of the Broken Empire, you’re going to love what Lawrence has in store for you with Red Sister. And if you thought Jorg or Jalan were badasses, just wait until you meet Nona …
The Red Queen’s War Trilogy
Brand new: Red Sister, first in The Book of the Ancestor series