Short Fiction Friday: Select Mode

Select Mode by Mark Lawrence, The Broken Empire

A short story set in the Broken Empire. It features Jorg and The Nuban shortly before the start of Prince of Thorns. The story originally appeared in the Unfettered Anthology edited by Shawn Speakman.

Yes I am going to say it once again. Mark Lawrence is currently on the big names when it comes down to Epic Fantasy. His first series, The Broken Empire completely won me over, it was rich, dark and eerie, earlier this year he launched his second series, The Red Queen's War, again with a lot success. I was recently going through my shelves and came across these books, they urged me to venture once again into the amazingly rich world (yes i can talk for hours about how the world of Mark Lawrences books intrigue me), this time with another short story, set between Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns

Mark Lawrence wrote this story with the thought in mind to make this a self contained story, enjoyable for readers who are not familiar with The Broken Empire, yet. Select Mode takes place prior to the events of the first book Prince of Thorns. If you do have prior knowledge of the series that undoubtedly you would have felt the same when you read the first sentence of the story. Jorg is back in his bad-ass attitude. Now I have praised the series because of the transition of Jorg as a protagonist and was good to say that Mark Lawrence captured him in his arrogant self once again. Both Jorg and The Nuban are caught by an order that worships an ancient relic of the Builders (yes those people once again). The Builders have been mentioned in having build several parts of the world. The relic that they worship judges a person on whether he passes or fails and I think you can already feel that when you fail, it doesn't end well with you. But as they, Jorg and the Nuban are being led to the relic, something happen and it wouldn't be a Jorg influenced story if he would act and react with the utmost innocence. Jorg also isn't a person that likes to be captured and with his quick wit and sharp mind he easily set something into motion that... you will have to figure that out for yourself! But let me say it is true to Jorg's character.

The great thing about Select Mode is the ease of access to the story and makes Prince of Thorns and the whole The Broken Empire series readily approachable. If you like this writing style (which you will) that you are safe and sound for the rest of the series. Select Mode is a fairly short story with only 10 pages but it already covers a lot of background of the whole series. It gives a nice insight in the younger years of Jorg and how several things came to pass but also you get to see a glimpse of the world that Mark Lawrence uses in his books. Part Epic Fantasy, part dystopian and part Science Fiction. The good stuff. 

At the end of the story you will have developed a either a love or hate relationship with Jorg and even though you hate him, you will want to read his adventures. I know you want to. It´s this trait about him that will urge you to read one. Select Mode is a great place to start.


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