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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: Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

On Books In Progress

Emperor of Thorns

Author: Mark Lawrence Year: 2013 Format: Hardback

Emperor of Thorns is the third in the Broken Empire Trilogy of books. Having read and enjoyed the first two books immensely (Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns) I was really looking forward to this installment and had high hopes. I was not disappointed.

The story takes place a year after the second book, with Jorg on his way to the 4 yearly vote to see if a new emperor can be chosen. This time it is a vote he intends to win, whatever it takes. And with Jorg that doesn't rule out a lot of options. The reader would suspect from the first two books that he is entirely selfish in his ambitions. However we see in the now expected flashback sections that a lot more hangs in the balance than another 4 years of squabbling. Jorg is the only one aware of the peril that threatens the world, and is apparently the only one ruthless enough to avoid it.

There are plenty of set pieces and Jorg is as unpredictable, nasty and single minded as ever. There are a couple of excellent examples of Jog style diplomacy - which naturally involves anybody disagreeing with him being efficiently killed. Somehow despite having got used to this character through the previous two novels, he still has the capacity to surprise and shock. Yes he has matured and Lawrence has done a sterling job to keep Jorg and the events he instigates fresh and interesting.

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