Quite possibly the beginning to my new favorite series. The main character Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath is a sadistic narrative voice fully capable of walking the hard line separating evil from whatever's left in this harsh world. Oh, and he most definitely treads (skips, frolics, jollies) on the path of evil. What's left is a diverse cast of ne'er do wells who don't ever do well - and honor and virtue are rewarded with a momentary feelings of loss as Jorg treads the path of losing what's left of his innocence as the world around him lets him know that he is just a boy playing in a man's world. This is Dark Fantasy at the top of its game - the violence may seem gratuitous at first but you really need it to pave the way for King of Thorns - a book that rewards Jorgy boy with regret, anguish, and the false hope that he could be a better man.