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Prince of Fools Audiobook

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

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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

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  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-10-16
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-10-16 Member Since 2008
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    "A fantasy odd couple caught up in a bigger game"

    This book has many things to like about it and some not to like, which might very well be appropriate since the story revolves around the combination of opposites. There are two main characters in this one - Prince Jalan Kendeth, a womanizer and self proclaimed coward, and Snorri, a Viking warrior out for revenge against those who attacked his homeland. One strong and the other weak, they form an odd couple dynamic as fate thrusts them together and sends them out on a suicide mission.

    As in the Broken Empire series, Mark Lawrence starts by presenting us with an anti-hero in Jalan. Jalan is infinitely more likeable than Jorg but I still never found myself getting behind the "coward that gets lucky and is considered a hero" storyline. Snorri on the other hand was a likeable character and carried the day for me. I wound up liking the book and looking forward to the next one simply because of Snorri and his overall quest for revenge.

    Since this is the same world as Broken Empire there remains a bigger game being played here by powerful background figures and our two main characters are just pawns in that larger game. Jalan and Snorri are manipulated by a spell cast by the Silent Sister and find that in order to remove the spell they must carry out its purpose. The Silent Sister being one of those powerful beings manipulating the world from within the shadows with her true motivations unknown.

    Despite the Broken Empire tie-ins it is not necessary to have read that series first as this stands alone nicely. This is not as dark as Broken Empire and the lead character is a more likable anti-hero so this series will likely appeal to more listeners.

    Tim Gerard Reynolds is as good as they get when it comes to narrators and he is excellent as usual. This book is worth picking up simply for his performance.

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ashaway, RI USA 06-04-14
    Amazon Customer Ashaway, RI USA 06-04-14 Listener Since 2009
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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.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron 06-09-14
    Ron 06-09-14 Member Since 2016
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    "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.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kazren www.ohjohnny.net 01-25-15
    Kazren www.ohjohnny.net 01-25-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Incredibly entertaining"
    If you could sum up Prince of Fools in three words, what would they be?

    It caught me from the first with it's sense of humor, and kept me going with a delicious lead character and his un-looked-for side-kick. I wish there were more in this series.


    What other book might you compare Prince of Fools to and why?

    Flashman, very tongue-in-cheek, clever, witty, with a strong plot and interesting settings.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were too many to single one out.


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

    Yes, and I did listen very quickly, and wished there was a volume II.


    Any additional comments?

    Very unlike his Prince of Thorns.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Concord, MA, United States 08-18-14
    Howard Concord, MA, United States 08-18-14 Member Since 2011
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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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Chad Ohio 06-06-14
    Joe Chad Ohio 06-06-14 Member Since 2016
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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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 02-29-16
    John 02-29-16
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    "Ok Writing and wonderful Narrator, hate the story"

    I actually didn't like British voices as readers until I heard Tim Gerard Reynolds read the Riyria series. I picked this book because of Mr. Reynolds is that fantastic reader I love to hear.

    My problem with this book is Mark Lawrence's writing about this character. I think he is a decent writer, I just hate this character. I find him disgusting and loathsome. Maybe that is what Mr. Lawrence is going for. Maybe he has just done too good a job at making me hate this lead character? I dislike this prince so much, I don't want to hear anything more about him.

    In the Riyria series, which I feel is a worthy comparison, Michael J. Sullivan writes about characters I enjoy. They are "anti-heros" I feel I can get behind.

    I likely won't finish this book. If you are one of the ones who liked this book far better than I, I judge you not. This is just not a book for me.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audre 01-14-15
    Audre 01-14-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Seriously funny and entertaining!"
    Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I LOVED the Riyria Chronicles and Revelations and he did an amazing job on those as well as this book.


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

    I laughed out loud through the whole book. The writing is very clever and wonderfully written, full of wit.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is action packed and even though the main character is basically a D-bag (albeit a very funny one)... you end up rooting for him to pull through. And he usually does.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JPaladin 01-06-15
    JPaladin 01-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Lighthearted prince of thorns"

    Enjoyed this more upbeat version of POT. There are quiet a few similarities to the characters and storyline (beyond the obvious overlapping place & time), but it is fresh and distinct.

    As with POT the characters are richly developed, engaging, and interesting. The plot feels a bit weaker than the other series, but it is hard to compete.

    I recommend, especially if you are a fan of the thorn series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sailfish 01-28-15
    Sailfish 01-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A wonderful novel and a great narrator"

    One of the most entertaining novels I've experienced in a very long time. The protagonist, Prince Jalan, is everything a reader would hope for in a cad. He's a coward, liar, womanizer, drinker and seemingly a fool. Unbeknownst to him, he is about to be thrust into quest with a Viking that is his polar opposite and is unable to weasel his way out of it. While there are a number of dark moments, some of them sadly poignant, I couldn't help chuckling at Jalan's reaction to anything that would require him to take responsibility or, gods forbid, place himself in danger.

    Excellent writing by Mark Lawrence and superb narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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