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The Liar's Key

Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Red Queen's War, Book 2
Length: 19 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,325 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Prince of Fools, The Red Queen's War: Book One had all "the hallmarks of [Mark Lawrence's] storytelling and writing style which made The Broken Empire trilogy such an incredibly addictive read" (Bibliosanctum.com). Now The Liar's Key continues the story of the unusual fellowship between a rogue prince and a weary warrior....

After harrowing adventure and near-death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki's Key, an artefact capable of opening any door and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire - including The Dead King. Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living. And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death's door, Jal's grandmother, the Red Queen, continues to manipulate kings and pawns toward an endgame of her own design....

©2015 Bobalinga Ltd. (P)2015 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow

I really enjoyed the first book and looked forward to the second. I had to force myself to keep listening. It just seemed to drag on and on and on. Finally picked up towards the end and became a good listen. Not as good as the first nor the last.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Never disappoints

Very enjoyable, always kept me guessing, as to what sort of disaster he will get Into next and what sort of ridiculous predicament he will have to deal with.
All in all fantastic stuff

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Best day ever!

This book cracks me up while maintaining a reasonable plot. Worth the credit and time.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Different Novel Then we are Use to

Mark Lawrence does it again. He writes an antihero that teeters on the brink of us as readers hating and loving him at the same time. Jal is very different from Jorgg from the thorns trilogy, but he is still not the typical hero we are use to in a fantasy novel. His antics continue in this second novel of The Red Queen's War trilogy, and if anything they are more outrageous and hilarious then before. However, this novel does not have the pace of the story in the first novel, there is more setup time and a little less action. However, the plot is intricate as always with many different forces playing for position on the game board. One must pay close attention to keep up with what is happening, and the small hints that are dropped for events to come. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, but I do believe that parts of the ending were kind of predictable and it does suffer from middle novel slowness in a trilogy. Despite these problems it does end with a bang and leaves me anxiously waiting for the final book. Also, the narrator does a spectacular job with the novel, and captures the character of Jal perfectly, making him more hilarious and reddiculous. I would definitely recommend reading this novel and I hate the fact that I have to wait another year for the next installment.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Even better than the first

I laughed through the whole first book and this one is the same. Weirdly, I almost think the lead character is more anti-hero than I did on the last book. Whenever he pulls through and does something he ought to, it's by accident or some selfish reason but I still root for him every time.

There's a part in the middle without Snori that got a little boring, but it picked back up shortly and I was on the edge of my seat through the entire last third.

Very good series. It's going to be agony waiting for the next book!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

5 star listen

Easily this authors best book by far. The ending was perfect. The third book will have a lot to live up to. But I'm not too worried.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The continuing adventures of a loveable coward.

Like all of Lawrence's novels, The Liar's Key maintains constant humor and wit without sacrificing the darkness, gravitas and stakes of the world. The main characters play off each other wonderfully just like last time, but in this installment we get a much welcome increase in depth and plot complexity.

This one is extremely unpredictable and really fleshed out the "Red Queen's War" that the first barely touched upon. This is also the first Lawrence novel to not be centered around a road trip, but to instead have a more inventive and interesting structure. Prince Jalan goes on an ethical journey more than a literal one, and you're never quite sure which side he'll end up on. He's a man pretending to have honor and integrity so often that he sometimes even fools the reader.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book...For a First Person

I'm not fond of first-person narration in general (which is why the story is 4 stars instead of 5).

The overall story is interesting. The 'hero' is a funny, rapscallion rich boy rake. The magic system is interesting.

You don't see many fantasy stories that dive so far into Norse lore. It's a nice change of pace.

The story structure is fitting. It starts in the future and then delves into flash backs, stories told by others, etc. that definitely evokes a feeling of slowly peeling back the illusions and lies to get to the truth.

The series is definitely worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Suffer Through It... Book Three Redeems It All!

Book 2 in the series is a "Filler", as is stated in many reviews... I came VERY VERY close to NOT buying book three, because I was SICK of the "Coward" NEVER "Finally growing up and BEING something OTHER THAN a Drunken Cowardly Fool" (I "mentioned" this IN DETAIL in my review of Books 1 and 2 while reviewing Book One)...

But Book 3... Book Three is like an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF BOOK! Maybe it was the "Year Wait" between Books Two and Three that the Author Mentions (and apologizes for), that allowed him to refine his skills, soak in the feedback from followers who were also (Politely) saying "ENOUGH WITH THE CONSTANT COWARD Routine!", etc, that makes suffering through THIS book, worth the credit to purchase Book Three, which ABSOLUTELY Redeems all of the teeth gritting "ENOUGH COWARDICE!" you feel 10 minutes into Book Two!

... You'd THINK in book Two, you'd at least SEE SOME SLIGHT inkling that the drunken selfish useless Coward Fool was transforming into something THE SLIGHTEST BIT worth caring about... but if anything, he just gets WORSE!

The "Coward bluffing his way through, and somehow ending up being mistaken for 'Heroic'" routine, is HILARIOUS and VERY WELL DONE by "George MacDonald Fraser" in "The Flashman Papers", BOOK, after BOOK, AFTER BOOK, AFTER BOOK!... But it was just getting VERY OLD, VERY FAST, in THESE books, by the middle of Book One.

But, For Some reason, Book Three makes it ALL worthwhile! No "Slow Transformation into something you can kinda respect"... The "Hero" just suddenly BECOMES a Hero, on his OWN merit, digging himself out of his own troubles, BY HIMSELF, and he's NOT A BIT troubled about cutting a throat, or 10, instead of constantly Running Away...

Of course, having traveled all over the World that this book is set in (OUR world, about a thousand years after a nuclear war that takes place about 50 years from *now*, according to the author at the start of Book Three) and coming Freshly "Out Of HELL" (Literally), DOES tend to change what a coward sees "As Scary" when he gets back to the real world, and back home!!! I mean, Suffering through all of the Horrors encountered while traveling with demons on your tail, AND THEN having to go into Hell and fight your way back out again, DOES make "Everyday bullies and Debt-Troubles" seem a bit... "minor".. by comparison.

So, again... Suffer through Book Two, AND BUY "The Pay-Off Book" (Three) that makes the previous suffering worthwhile! He IS his Grandmother's Grandson, and MORE (FINALLY!)!!! I STRONGLY dislike spending money on MULTIPLE books, just to get to THE ONE Book that makes it all worthwhile, but I'll make an exception in this case ;)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

No matter the promise, its painful

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I don't think I can recommend this book. If you take the storyline from the first and second book, and combine them....then shorten both books into a 1/4....it would be a truly unique and excellent tale. Even with the main character weaknesses, the storyline would hold. However, because this story is drawn out....over-complicated with events and trivialities that matter little to the overall tale....you just start wanting to skip chapters. When I started listening to this book, I had hopes that the first would be "cleansed" of the issues....and with Mr. Reynolds performance, even this book was entertaining to an extent....but it started to slack off again. There are key events, that make you wake up and go "holy crap, really, maybe I was wrong"....and then a few hours later, you just end up bored/frustrated. The main characters just repeat themselves, their motivations, their intentions...they don't move, progress, grow. Now, if you were to make this into something for an Anime series, targeted at 10year-olds, it would probably work. I would guess this could be a 52 episode series, and quite popular with all the sex. Its just sad. I am glad to see Mr. Reynolds is not doing the final book, because I will not be tempted to waste another credit.

5 people found this helpful