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70 Years From Now

In the year 1853, the Ottoman Empire had been in power for 554 continuous years. Abdülmecid I was Sultan and, shortly into the year, the Albanian-descended Governor of Crete Giritli Mustafa Naili Pasha took the post of Grand Vizier.

Queen Victoria was the Monarch of the British Empire and Lord Aberdeen was her Prime Minister, though the Queen favored one of his rivals, Benjamin Disraeli, as an advisor.

In France, Napoleon III had been elected President of the Republic in 1848, and had dissolved the National Assembly two years previously in 1851. In December of 1852, the Second French Empire was established, with Louis-Napoleon becoming named "Napoléon III, Emperor of the French."

Across the Atlantic, Franklin Pierce was the President of the United States of America and Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War. There were 31 states at that time, and the American Civil War had not yet been fought.

In mid-1853, the Russian Empire started maneuvering troops to key places on the Baltic Sea near Ottoman territories. Hostilities were about to break out into the Crimean War. The primary forces were Ottoman, British, and French fighting the Russians. The war ended with a decisive British/French/Ottoman victory.

Review - King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

On Books In Progress

Having finished Prince of Thorns (see previous blog post) I was fulling intending to pick up a different book but the world of Jorg proved far too attractive when compared to anything else I had lined up.

It won't be a surprise that in this book we find Jorg installed as king in his own right. It is also his wedding day. Rather inconventiently his castle is also about to be attacked by a huge army and he just doesn't have the troops to stop them.

The main story thread takes place over the day of the wedding and the battle to save his castle and kingdom. Any worries that Jorg has become soft in the years since the first book are swifly put aside as it's clear that with a proper army he can simply cause mayhem on a larger scale.

Like the first book there is also a 'flashback' story, again taking place four years previously, a year after he declared himself king. In this his journey takes him to other parts of the broken empire, showing more variety than the first book. There is also more use of arcane powers - for good and evil - and other adversaries join the story.

I thought the first book was excellent, if a little light on plot. This follow up is another notch up on the scale. The battle scenes are tenser, the plans even more desperate. The plot is now in full swing and moves nicely between the two story threads, evens from four years previously having direct impact on the present.

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