booktravelingthursdays5Book Traveling Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Catia and Danielle.  Each week everyone picks a book related to that week’s theme, then you write a blog post explaining explain why you choose that book and spotlight all the different covers from different countries. To find out more check out about BTT go to the Goodreads group!

This week’s theme is: BECAUSE MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS! Choose a book that deals with mental health.

This was a tough one for me, because fantasy and scifi aren’t known for spending a lot of time on mental health issues.  But, once I thought about the topic more, I could see where my favorite genres do have lots of crazy people running around causing problems, which is how I picked a book for this week’s topic.

Prince of Thorns is my selection this week.  Mark Lawrence crafting an outstanding portrait of a sociopath in Jorg Ancrath.  A sociopath defined “as a person who has Antisocial Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals.”  Perfectly describes Jorg.  But let’s see some covers for this grimdark classic.


prince of thorns

This is my favorite cover, simply because it is the first one I ever saw for the novel, the one which made me buy the book.  So for that reason it will always be the cover which I think of when referring to Prince.


Different variations of the original, obviously, but each of these covers changes things just enough to make them unique.  I have to admit really liking the cover to the left, where everything is black and white, but ultimately, it was too similar to the original for me to pick it.


Really do not love either of these covers.  They are fairly generic, uninspiring affairs, which lack the moody feel of the original and my two runner-ups.

So that is my Book Traveling Thursdays: Mental Health Edition. Agree or disagree with my book selection and my covers?  Let me know.

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  1. PHS says:

    Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    Fantasy cover comparisons…


  2. Anyone looking for a brilliant novel around fantasy and mental health would do well to find Christopher Priest’s “The Affirmation”. To cut a long story short (spoiler: actually it’s quite a short novel already), the novel follows two characters:
    – a man in and around London suffering from schizophrenia decides to write an autobiography, but he finds that to be true to his perception of himself he has to fictionalise certain elements;
    – a man in another world (light SF, I guess, rather than fantasy per se – no dragons exactly) wins a lottery to become immortal, but the procedure, which involves a memory wipe, requires him to write an autobiography first; but he finds that to be true to his perception of himself he has to fictionalise certain elements.
    Each autobiography is, of course, the other half of the story (it’s suggested that it’s one of the few books that should be read as its own sequel). So while you’re enjoying the SF&F elements, you’re “aware” that you may “really” be reading the mad rantings of a schizophrenic man having a complete breakdown; and while you’re reading the mundane, mental illness parts, you’re aware they may really be a heroic representation of the mundane life of the man in the SF&F world. The result is profoundly disturbing.

    It’s also worth pointing out that a lot of epic fantasy deals with mental health, with depression a particular recurring theme. The Lord of the Rings, for instance, ends with the protagonist developing depression and PTSD and effectively committing suicide (sorry, chosing to journey physically into heaven, leaving his mortal life behind because he cannot wait to cross the great sea and go into the west…), while another protagonist literally does kill himself (sorry, choses to die at a time of his own chosing and makes himself die, it’s entirely different…). More explicitly, Fitz in Robin Hobb’s cycle of novels has always struggled both with traumatic damage and with long-unrecognised serious depression, and the cycle could well be read as primarily a struggle against depression. More dramatically, the theoretical protagonist of the Wheel of Time cycle is effectively struggling against mental health for most of the series, dealing with personality changes, split personalities, hallucinations, mood swings and so forth. Less ostentatiously, several of the characters in ASOIAF have mental health problems – most notably Tyrion, whose serious unresolved family issues and issues of self-worth have lead him to fecklessness and alcoholism even before the novels start, and later throw him into full-on depression and serious alcohol abuse.
    More seriously, I’d recommend Margo Lanagan’s “Tender Morsels”, which revolves around the post-traumatic troubles of an abused young girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookwraiths says:

      Great points! Will definitely be seeking out “The Affirmation.” It certainly sounds intriguing. 🙂


      • It is. Intriguing and… unsettling. I think my review went something along the lines of “I’m not about to go mad, but if I were this book might push me over the edge.”

        It’s a bit cold, though – the protagonist(s) isn’t/aren’t that warm and cuddly and share-y. And there’s not a lot of action. Some people say it’s his masterpiece, but overall I think that The Prestige is a better, more well-rounded book.

        Liked by 1 person

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