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Prince of Fools (Red Queen's War, Book 1) (Red Queen's War) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Lawrence
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the critically acclaimed author of THE BROKEN EMPIRE series comes a brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN’S WAR.

I’m a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not letting them down requires honesty, fair play or bravery.

The Red Queen is dreaded by the kings of the Broken Empire as they dread no other.

Her grandson Jalan Kendeth – womaniser, gambler and all-out cad – is tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched pleasures.

Until, that is, he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axeman and dragged against his will to the icy north…

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Product Description


‘A savage voice which is telling you a good jest while trying to drown you in story’
ROBERT LOW (Author of the Kingdom Series and the Oathsworn Series)

‘Really excellent, gritty fantasy – I'm trying to avoid comparison with GAME OF THRONES, but I'm afraid it’s right there. But funnier. Very funny indeed’
YA and Carnegie-shortlisted author ANTHONY MCGOWAN

Praise for The Broken Empire:

‘Dark and relentless, Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two-in-the-morning page turner. Absolutely stunning… jaw-dropping’ ROBIN HOBB

‘Excellent – on a par with George R.R. Martin’ CONN IGGULDEN

‘Lawrence’s poetic prose is amazing, far and away the best of the modern fantasy authors’ PETER V. BRETT

‘A hard-edged tale of survival and conquest in a brutal medieval world, well told and very compelling’ TERRY BROOKS

About the Author

Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbanan, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1995 KB
  • Print Length: 513 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say 'this isn't rocket science ... oh wait, it actually is'.
Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly entertaining, thrilling journey 5 Jun. 2014

I consider myself to be a fortunate individual, I’m often sent books to read and review. I always hope to repay that trust of a review copy with something to say about the book. I’m not a critic however and will not review a book I didn’t like, which means not everything I’m sent gets added to the blog (just because I don’t like a book doesn’t mean it will not be amazing to someone else, eg, many love Harry Potter, me…cant stand them). So when I actually ask (well beg) for a book I really hope it’s a book I’m going to love, because otherwise it feels like a total let down to those lovely PR ladies.

All that preamble though is just background and flannel to wrong foot you, having read the Broken Empire series I was 99.9999% sure that this book was going to be excellent and that I would love it. Well having just finished it today I’m now 100%. I described it on twitter with its limited characters as “Prince of Fools is excellent: humour, Vikings, fighting, magic, Vikings, fighting, more humour, lots more fighting. Love it” .

That small description is it in a nutshell, The book centers on Jalan Kendeth a Prince of the realm, and a total utter coward, the author has done a wonderful job of transporting Harry Flashman from Victorian England to his own fantasy world, having read many attempted and failed copies of the humorous flashy it was wonderful to see someone finally pull off a witty, sniveling coward, but one with hidden depths…..when he has to save his own skin.

Enter his enforced partner and total opposite, the Northman Snorri, a big blonde viking, as brave as Jal is cowardly, a man haunted by loss. The pair are forced on a journey, one for the survival of his family and the other for the saving of his own skin.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written, crisp and sharp 5 Jun. 2014
By TOMunro
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In his afterthought at the end of Emperor of Thorns Mark Lawrence reflected on the risk he took in deciding that the Thorns works (unlike the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy) would indeed finish emphatically and conclusively as the trilogy that the story demanded. In considering whether he should have surrendered to commercial opportunism and dragged more books out of our favourite anti-hero he wrote "in years to come when I'm eating cat food cold from a tin I may wish that I had." Well, Jorg's story may have been brilliantly told, but Jalan's is just beginning and I have to say there is no risk whatsoever of Mr Lawrence eeking out his years on unheated petfood.

For a book that has parenthood as one of its many themes, it is perhaps invidious to start by comparing Jalan to Jorg. No child likes to be compared to their siblings, preferring any judgement to be based on the absolutes of their own merits, rather than the relative ones of their relatives. But for those of us who came to Lawrence's writing through the intoxicating wickedness of Jorg Ancrath, it is important to see if that magic could be sustained in a different vessel.

What is there that people will recognise?

Well there is the elegant simplicity of the writing. Mr Lawrence does not batter the reader around the head with the size of his vocabulary, he simply arranges words and sentences in ways that entrance and surprise. This is a book which is impossible either to skimread or to put down, and readers would be well advised to start this at the beginning of a weekend where they have plenty of free-time (and an understanding family). Jorg gave us more quotable quotes per chapter than any of the contemporary works of fantasy fiction.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Jalan Kendeth follows that finest of literary traditions, that of the scoundrel. You know the type, those platinum rogues who you should despise due to their looser than loose morals, but who manage to raise a smile every time they appear. I can’t help but cheer whenever I find a new name to add to that list. What of Prince Jalan then? Why does he deserve inclusion in this most select of clubs? Much like my personal favourite rogue, Sir Harry Paget Flashman, Jalan is a hedonistic cad who will actively avoid anything remotely resembling hard work, effort and more often than not, thought. Also in common with dear old Flashy, Jalan is a stone cold coward. He lives by the axiom that it is far better to run away so he can live to fight another day (as long as it is implicitly understood that the other day in question is somewhere off in the far, far future).

Helping others? Being a productive member of society? Making a difference in the world? Hell’s teeth, that sort of nonsense is for other people. The good prince would much rather spend his time indulging in his latest, in a long line of, debauched activities. He would happily wallow in sleaze all day every day if he got the opportunity. It’s ironic that your literary scoundrel often expends far more effort and energy avoiding a task than they ever would if they had just done a job in the first place.

In order for our fictitious rascal to suitably flourish, they require a ying to their ever-disreputable yang. The Viking warrior Snorri ver Snagason is everything that Prince Jalan is not - honourable, heroic and a stable family man to boot. Circumstance throws these two opposites together and the resulting relationship between them is one of the novel’s many highlights.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and well told
Great fun. Jal looks the part of the dashing hero but is a coward and lazy and wants to just live off the benefits of his station in life. Read more
Published 7 days ago by disrep
4.0 out of 5 stars The story unfolds beautifully. Haven't quite finished it
Interweaved with elements of the first series. The story unfolds beautifully. Haven't quite finished it yet
Published 16 days ago by Sunna Vincent
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same
If you liked the first trilogy then this is more of the same exchanging the scampish Jalan for the brooding Jorg, the book seems to be running parallel with Jorg's story with a few... Read more
Published 26 days ago by stuart Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure!
Excellent! Set in the same world as his other work. Whilst in places its equally dark there's not as many of those places as in the Thornes trilogy so it isn't as hard going.
Published 28 days ago by Greentrident
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is the wittiest novel I've read in my entire life. Simply hilarious, vividly crafted, and fascinating a tale.
Published 1 month ago by FactsMan
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks the punch of the Thorn trilogy
Mark Lawrence surely likes his antiheroes, and the psychopathic Prince of Thorns provided a real challenge to the reader (shades of Brighton Rock, but over a couple of thousand... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul R. Farrington-Douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite brilliant
I love Mark Lawrence. He is up there with Abercrombie and Brett for me. Having read the thorns saga, I couldn't wait to read this. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet again Lawrence takes a character that everyone should hate,...
Yet again Lawrence takes a character that everyone should hate, exposes them to be an utter bastard, and yet somehow makes us love them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matthew J. Sylvester
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim and amusing
Another great character piece by Mark Lawrence. I love the world that he has created. Smart dialogue and just the right level of cynicism.
Published 1 month ago by M T Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars You'd be a fool to miss it
Lawrence is a national treasure. His first trilogy, Prince/King/Emperor of Thorns, was a dark, brooding, neo-feudal post-apocalyptic celebration of the ruthless application of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by mplevey
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