Loved it. Positively loved it – and I am among the most finicky readers, period. But I literally read it in a day.
My reason for 5/5 stars: crisp, fresh prose; colorful uses of language and wit; distinct, colorful characters; layered situations; sophisticated plot structure; rolling pace that kept me turning pages all day; scenes that surprised and delighted; unpredictable outcomes; disciplined, gradual reveals of interesting things; realistic combat; iron-bound self-consistency; absence of any problems that I can recall.
Like all first person stories, Prince of Thorns presents the narrator’s views and asides – which were arguably among the best aspects of this novel. They rang with pragmatic, sometimes sardonic truth, and ranged from witty to somber, without ever straying into being pithy or flippant or preachy. Perfect.