Prince Jorg ran away from his castle with a band of highway robbers. This merry company kills, rapes, burns, and does all kinds of related activities with full Jorg's participation. Did I mention sometimes the merry band is afraid of Jorg? Did I mention Jorg is only fourteen? Anyway, the guy decides it is time to return home. This is where the real fun begins.
The shocking part of the book - atrocities committed by 14-year-old - did not work for me. There are several reasons. I suspect I became immune to endless violence in all kinds of media. There was time when one rape scene was enough for me to throw the book against the wall (Thomas Covenant, always a true gentleman). Now my only reaction is, "So what? I have seen it worse both in the media and real life".
Jorg does not feel like 14-year-old. None of his acts, none of his thoughts indicate he is that young; the story is told from his POV, so we are exposed to his inner thoughts. Remove the age reference from him (it is irrelevant anyway), remove the violence: what is left is a completely two-dimensional guy. The book is totally based on his character, so it feels flat for me. It really is a mystery why people rate it with 5 stars. Everything the book has to offer I saw done somewhere else before and sometimes better. "Bland" would be a very fitting description.
The novel is still a decent read which deserves 3 stars despite all the lack of excitement, but at the moment I have no desire to read the next book of the series which is weaker according to what I heard.
This review is a copy/paste of my LeafMarks one: https://www.leafmarks.com/lm/#/users/10968/books/21611/review