Book Reviews

Book Review: Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (2014). Red Queen Wars- Book 1.

I found this book whilst exploring recommendations on good reads. I wasn’t sure exactly what i was getting into with this novel but I found myself compelled to read it and at least give it a go. I am glad I gave it a try. In fact, I have spent several months reading this particular novel (due to life responsibilities, a new child in the house, and the finding of a new hobby!) I have to say it has intrigued me enough to keep coming back to it every time I hadthe chance to read. 

It all begins with the introduction of a spoiled young prince by the name of Jalan, the Grandson of the Queen of the Red March. Jalan, as it turns out, has an eye for the ladies both in and out of court, as well as a liking of number of gambling activities, including the fighting pits. The former being the precise place he comes into contact with a huge Viking by the name of Snorri. He had already known of his gigantuen size from previous engagements, and this offered him a variety of opportunities, all of which he wished to exploit for his own benefit. Unfortunately for Jalan, both Snorri and the silent sister had other plans for the duo’s future. A carefully planned and executed spell pronounced one “Light sworn” and the other “Dark sworn”,  with visiting beings of the same value at dawn and dusk of each day. 

Hell bent on finding his family, kidnapped by a mad man, Jalan finds himself a part of a possible suicide mission, with Snorri at the helm. Traveling in the opposite direction proved too uncomfortable, assumed effects of the spell cast by the Silent Sisters, Jalan had little choice but to go along. With this only the beginning of a much deeper and more elaborate plot, we follow these two unlikely hero’s through Jalan’s eyes, and delve into an era of Vikings, in a world covered with snow. It was this wasteland and Jal’s personal descriptions of it, that had me constantly returning.

Overall, I have to say that this novel authored by Mark Lawrence has captured both my attention and imagination. Jal has a way of progressing through the story line with terrific humour, so even when things get a little slow there is always amusement to observe. With all the obstacles they face during their mission it’s a surprise that Jal has a sense of humour left! Thus far I am enjoying the” Red Queen War” series, and this the first novel – Prince of fools has been a great opening for many future adventures. I give the book a rating of 8/10 stars. Well done Mark Lawrence.


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