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Prince of Fools: The Red Queen's War, Book 1 | [Mark Lawrence]

Prince of Fools: The Red Queen's War, Book 1

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister - unseen by most and unspoken of by all. The Red Queen's grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth - drinker, gambler, seducer of women - is one who can see The Silent Sister.
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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as "epic fantasy on a George R. R. Martin scale, but on speed" (Fixed on Fantasy), the Broken Empire trilogy introduced a bold new world of dark fantasy with the story of Jorg Ancrath' s devastating rise to power. Now, Mark Lawrence returns to the Broken Empire with the tale of a less ambitious prince.

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister - unseen by most and unspoken of by all.

The Red Queen's grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth - drinker, gambler, seducer of women - is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it' s all a rumor - nothing that will affect him - but he is wrong. After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: He and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war - and the Red Queen controls the board.

©2014 Bobalinga, Ltd. (P)2014 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (157 )
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  •  
    Ron 06-09-14
    Ron 06-09-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
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    Story
    "M. Lawrence does it again, but differently."
    Any additional comments?

    In the Prince of Thorn's (POT) series, readers (whether you liked the book or not) were fascinated by a protagonist that most people did not really feel ok about liking. The character drove that book and the same happens in this book, but with an exception. The characteristics of this protagonist drives this book, but the writer did not try to make him another POT, but rather created a totally different personality that made me laugh many times throughout the book. I actually liked this book better than the POT.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ashaway, RI USA 06-04-14
    Amazon Customer Ashaway, RI USA 06-04-14 Member Since 2009

    Sneak past the dragon and slay the princess!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He Does it Again!"
    If you could sum up Prince of Fools in three words, what would they be?

    Refreshing. An understatement.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Prince Jalan and the viking Snorri, unlikely companions, become entangled through sorcery. In their quest to rid themselves of one another, a remarkable thing happens. A friendship blossoms. Oh, and there's also a great fantasy plot to boot.

    Not quite as "grim-dark" as "Prince of Thorns", "Prince of Fools" was still edgy and perhaps more humorous than its predecessor - at least that was my take. Both series are redirecting the genre into less explored regions. To say they are "refreshing" is an understatement.

    Buy these audiobooks! The narrations are superb and even if they aren't your cup of tea, they will leave a lasting impression.


    Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

    Jalan, of course. Though Snorri was quite fantastic as well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed a lot. Our anti-hero is not as dark as the Prince of Thorns, though he still has his edges.


    Any additional comments?

    Wow! Awesome! Well done Mark Lawrence! You did it again!

    Jalan. Jorg. Both stand firm in their own characters. One a coward the other callous. Both heroes? Or something else.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Chad Ohio 06-06-14
    Joe Chad Ohio 06-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Very good book but,"
    Any additional comments?

    Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence is a very interesting and exciting read. Unfortunately, I read the Broken Empire trilogy before i read this book. The problem is that The broken Empire trilogy is in my opinion one of the best fantasy series I have ever read. This book is very good and is by all means worth reading. It contains Lawrence's usual deep and well thought out characters and his magnificent story telling abilities. The simple problem is it is very difficult to make another character as good as Jorg from the previous trilogy. I really like the new main character Jalin, but he just doesn't fascinate and horrify you at the same time like Jorg did. Despite this problem the overall story was interesting and enjoyable to read. The narrator in my opinion did a fairly good job with the story, although all the vikings seemed to sound the same to me. As a whole, i liked the story very much and fully intend to buy the next book, but don't be too disappointed if it isn't as good as Prince of Thorns. i give it 4 of 5 stars.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Kelso, WA, United States 08-12-14
    Chad Kelso, WA, United States 08-12-14 Member Since 2009

    This mountain of books isn't going to listen to itself.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jalan, you have permission to be my wingman."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Prince of Fools?

    I would have to say when the Prince Jalan came to the realization that Snory was his friend. It was nice moment in a action packed book.


    What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater lol. It takes a chapter or two or three to get used to his voice as a new character if you have heard Tim before. The Narrator is most excellent. "dude"I read normal books but its never as much fun. Reading takes all my attention. And granted some audible books do require almost all my attention most do not.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I choose to treat my self to a book when doing mundane tasks. But I could see someone listing to the book in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Nice solid book. It was missing some figurative magic somewhere. I cant really place it. So I don't feel right giving it a 5 star. I almost want to say parts of the book felt slow and others felt to fast. The other thing is, I really liked the Prince and Snory, but I wanted to love them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles woythal 09-09-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome Book!"

    I thought this book was amazing. Tim Gerard Reynolds did an awesome job narrating it. He really brought the characters to life. I loved the broken empire series, but I would have to say that I loved this book even more. The story follows the unlikely pairing of Prince Jalan (a gambler, coward, and womanizer) and Snorri ver Snagason (a big brute of a viking) who are bonded by a spell from the silent sister, the red queen's (unseen by most) "adviser." They (well, at least Snorri) are headed north on a mission to save Snorri's wife and son. Of course Jalan would love nothing more than to stay home gambling and seducing the whores with his witty banter, but due to the spell that binds him, he can't stray too far from Snorri. In the end, we finsh with a fantastic story of light, dark, friendship, a fight to save the world, and an incredibly well-written book! BUY IT NOW!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Concord, MA, United States 08-18-14
    Howard Concord, MA, United States 08-18-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Warning! Warning! There is only ONE Jorg Ancraft."

    So now that we have established that Jorg Ancraft is gone for good... except for a very funny scene where we glimpse him and his BROTHERS briefly (Red Kent appearance is especially funny).

    Prince of Fools is as far removed (excepting for the World) from Thorns as day is from night. And that is a good thing. Trying to redo Jorg in a new character (one of my all time favorites) would be like Tolkien trying to redo Frodo.

    Jalan is everything Jorg is not. Jalan is a coward, and a self aware coward. He is a play boy and admittedly loves it. He is maneuvered (I assume it was on purpose but who knows the ways of the Blind Sister) into a quest with his counterpart Snorri- a giant of a Viking who is everything Jalon is not. The book is riveting but in differing ways than the Thorns Series was. The real question is "how in the hell will a wimp like Jalon survive the quest" and a related "How can a coward like Jalon not be offed by a man like Snori?"

    Everything else, in my view, serves these two questions. And the answers That Lawrence gives are funny, interesting and wild. When I say funny, the author has accomplished something that no one else has done. Making me LAUGH ALOUD whilst listening. Imagine being on an elliptical workout machine next to guy working out and sweating, listening to his iPhone (thanks audible!) and then having that guy burst out into laughter. That would be me laughing at Jalon saying to the dwarf in the circus who says to Jalon (referring to Snori) "No need to apply we already have a strong man. And Jalon quips "There you go hurting Sally's feelings- she is a bearded man- got one of those/"

    THis happened at least three times whilst listening- about the same number of laughs per book in the Thorns series.

    Bravo Mark. Well done.

    Narration is especially good. Plotting outstanding- alas it has to stand in contrast to Thorns (poor Mark for having his first series do DAMNED GOOD) so it suffers only in comparison to Thorns. Which is like saying Lincoln suffers in comparison to Washington to my Yank friends!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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