Road Brothers: Tales from the Broken Empire #3.5 by Mark Lawrence

28226774Road Brothers is a fantastic little book of treats which, if you love The Broken Empire, I feel you simply have to read.  Coming in at approximately 120 pages it contains 10 separate stories that take us back in time and shares with us some of the histories and motivations behind the characters of Jorg and his brothers.

This anthology was something of a revelation to me.  I’ve always protested that I don’t really enjoy short stories and I still maintain that stance – although now with provisos.  I do prefer something I can really explore and let my mind wander around and with short stories it always feels that just as I’m getting comfortable they up and finish.  The difference with this particular anthology is that whilst it is 10 individual stories they’re all from a world that I’ve already become fully immersed in and they’re extra snippets of information about characters that I’m already familiar with and want to know more about. I read each story eagerly, desperate to know what I’d discover next and frankly I could, even now, happily read some more – I’m greedy like that.

Seriously, this is the perfect companion to the Broken Empire.  It’s a quick read, or maybe that’s because I simply couldn’t put it down and not only do we gain these little nuggets of information about the characters but we get to spend some more time in this world which frankly is a win win if you ask me.

The one thing I must point out however is that this book contains spoilers for the Broken Empire trilogy so please be aware of that before you pick a copy up.  

For me the stories here were perfect little lightbulb moments.  They contain pieces of information not previously included in the trilogy and whilst you could get along reading the series without their knowledge they’re wonderful to discover after completion.  They feel like an insight into what the author had in mind for each of his characters and the substance behind their personality that helps to keep them all distinct.  Also some wonderful pieces that provide closure on some of the storylines – pieces of information that you didn’t know you needed to know but now you do know, well, they feel invaluable!

I’m not going to elaborate on the stories as that would be to spoil them and I confess I find it difficult to choose a favourite because each one was my favourite when I was reading it.  I can say though that I was totally gobsmacked reading Rike’s story!  Kent’s – fascinating to learn how he received his name.  Gomst – scary.   Basically, we take a look at all the main characters from the series and in fact revisit Jorg twice in two completely different settings and all of them were fascinating to read.  But,  even more intriguing than all of that – we get a glimpse into the character of Jorg’s younger brother which I thought was very revealing.  And we have a surprise – I know it’s a bit of a tease to say so and then not expand upon it at all – but it wouldn’t be a surprise then would it!

I found this anthology thoroughly enjoyable, in fact I loved it.  Mark Lawrence has his own style of writing and it’s one that I enjoy reading very much.  He is undoubtedly a master of words and also has a gift for the element of surprise that usually leaves me speechless!

If you love The Broken Empire I think you will love this book of short stories too.  It feels a little like watching the extended version of Lord of the Rings or the Director’s cut of one of your favourite films.  Let’s just be honest here – when you love something this much you never feel like you’ve had enough and this definitely fills a little gap whilst we wait for The Wheel of Osheim. What more could you possibly ask for – other than more books of course (no pressure there then Mr Lawrence).

Definitely recommended to fans of the Broken Empire.

I received a copy for review for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.


9 Responses to “Road Brothers: Tales from the Broken Empire #3.5 by Mark Lawrence”

  1. avasterlingauthor

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Too many times I’ve been distracted by other books and never managed to read the sequels to “Prince of Thorns”, which I greatly enjoyed. This is a very welcome reminder that I *must* revisit again that universe – and soon!
    Thank you 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      No worries. I love Mark Lawrence’s writing. His style and the fact his plots are also so very clever. The Thorns books weren’t everyone’s cup of tea but then of course he wrote the Liar’s Key which is set in the same universe but has a completely different feel. I hope you continue on with them.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    OK, I have a super hard time getting motivated for short stories for some reason (which is silly since they are, well … short). But glad to hear you enjoyed this so much despite similar reservations. I may have to add it to the list.

    • @lynnsbooks

      This is one of the few anthologies (okay the only one) where I’ve enjoyed all the stories and I read it like a maniac because I was so intrigued.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I have been eyeing this for a while, especially since seeing Mark Lawrence talk about it and of course one of the best things about the Broken Empire was Jorg’s companions!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s so good. As you know I’m not overly fond of short stories but, and I have recognised this in the past – when I already know the world and the story I really enjoy reading these extra pieces. The insights into the characters and how they became this band of brothers was intriguing and the look at Jorg’s brother was also really good. Plus the writing is just so good.
      Lynn 😀

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