A layered story of past and future, familiar and foreign, fantasy and apocalyptic fiction, Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns is an enjoyable entry to a series that points where it wants to go, and colors the path with as vivid a collection of antiheroes as you could hope for. For me, the narrator became, at times, unbelievable in conceit: Jorg, a fourteen-year-old exposed to incredible violence at an early age, jaded beyond the awkwardness of his age -- and too sure, too solid, for someone matured by violence before he was fully aware. I expected either more awkwardness or jarring edges -- not the smooth leader of men I was presented. His adept physicality became a bit of a stretch for me as well. These things can be explained away by the uniqueness of circumstance, but the best stories make the difficult believable in visions of experience, not in the unbroken confidence of their bravado. I'll stick with the series, but I hope it grows (up) on me.