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The Baker's Boy: Book 1 of the Book of Words [Paperback]

J. V. Jones
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

4 April 1996 Book of Words

At Castle Harvell, two fates collide. Melliandra refuses to marry the sinister Prince Kylock while an apprentice named Jack is terrified by his sudden ability to work miracles. Together they flee the castle, pursued by the sorcerer Baralis, while elsewhere a knight embarks on a perilous voyage of his own. Soon destiny will draw the travellers together, and that meeting will shatter the world ...

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Frequently Bought Together

The Baker's Boy: Book 1 of the Book of Words + A Man Betrayed: Book 2 of the Book of Words + Master And Fool: Book 3 of the Book of Words
Price For All Three: £24.13

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Reprint edition (4 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857233751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857233759
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.5 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 425,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


J. V. Jones is a striking writer... wonderful (Robert Jordan)

J. V. Jones is quite a find...a deliciously intricate tale (Katherine Kurtz)

A storyline featuring the kind of political scheming and intrigue that makes for gripping reading (SFX)

a lot of fun. (VECTOR)

Book Description

The first book of the acclaimed Book Of Words fantasy trilogy, reissued with a stunning new cover.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A exellent book-One of my favotites 29 Oct 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Julie Jones is a wonderful author. In the Baker's Boy, she has woven a web of great mystery and intrigue. She focuses not just on the plot lines themselves, but on character content and on making the characters "grow" emotionally. Jack, for instance, is widly afraid of his powers at the beginning of the novel. By the end, however, he seems to have at least come to terms with them and has accepted them. This book is one of my favorites, and the Book of Words is my favorite series. This is a wonderful book that no fantasy lover should miss!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating fantasy 11 Dec 2000
After having stumbled across "The Barbed Coil" the library I was hooked on J.V. Jones and ran off to get every book I could find by her. "The Baker's Boy" is the first book in a trillogy, and it just gets you going from the very first page. The characters are so real you feel like you know them. The bad guys are really bad and they've always got some obstacle for the good guys. 552 pages, and not one of them boring.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great version of the kitchen boy plot. 19 Aug 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first volume in The Book of Words trilogy (followed by A Man Betrayed, and Master and Fool).
At Castle Harvell, Jack, a thirteen-year-old orphan, is the baker's boy. Since he doesn't know how to read, the mischevious king's chancellor and sorcerer Baralis employs him as a blind scribe to copy the precious books of Tavalisk the Archbishop of Rorn's library. After five years of hard work and little sleep, Jack has secretly learnt how to decipher the signs and dreams of adventures where he'll find out the truth about his origins.
In the meantime, Bevlin the wiseman enrolls Tawl, one of the famous Knights of Valdis, to go on a quest to find the young boy whom the Prophecy in Marod's Book of Words speaks of. Four years later, he'll find himself locked, bound and starved in a dark and damp cell, prisoner of the repugnant Tavalisk.
Simultaneously, Lord Maybor, the richest but also most ambitious lord of the Four Kingdoms, and Baralis have made arrangements to have the king wounded in a hunting party. As a result, a soon stalemated war with the neighbouring lands will assuredly keep the queen's mind occupied and let them scheme quietly to steady their positions. And as one of his moves, Lord Maybor wants his daughter Melliandra to be bethroted to the queen's son and heir, Prince Kylock. Finding out about what has been arranged without her consent, Melliandra runs away.
At the same time one afternoon, after oversleeping and letting some precious loaves of bread burn, out of sheer panic and still unaware of his powers, Jack performs a miracle and goes back in time. When he hears that Baralis, who can feel when sorcery has been performed, is coming to get him, he has to flee from the castle.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite up to expectations. 27 Oct 2002
I must say, that although this book was not quite meeting my expectations which I had before I read it, this was still quite an excellent book. Just simply put, I've read better. There was nothing wrong with this book, other than that the writing quality was not the greatest I've ever seen.
When I bought this book, I was expecting it to be much like J.V. Jones' Sword of Shadows series. I was hooked into those in the first chapter. The writing was amazing in A Cavern of Black Ice and A Fortress of Grey Ice, and they are some of my favorite books now. Well, those were written several years after The Baker's Boy, so I could guess that the writing wouldn't be as good.
Other than the quality of the writing, this is one excellent book. The characters are, like in other J.V. Jones books, very intricate and well created; they mature well throughout the book at appropriate times and places. There aren't any unreal changes to characters, and all changes only occur after some sort of key event.
The setting wasn't quite what I had expected. It's not quite as powerful an element as in Sword of Shadows, where the freezing northern wastelands play a constant part, which I had certainly hoped to see. To me, the setting is one of the most important parts of a story. I love to have a clear image of what all of the surroundings look like, how it feels, smells, and also how different weather effects the setting. One extreme example of this is the forest in which much of the book takes place; J.V. Jones didn't even describe what types of trees there were, leaving much of the setting to the imagination. In The Baker's Boy, I didn't get that clear image which I love to see, which certainly took away from the overall quality of the book.
The plot, however, was excellent and well planned out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This was one book I never became bored with. The characters were fascinating and the story line was so smoothly written. Plot after plot between Maybor and Baralis was contained with anticipation to see who would kill whom first. I can't wait to read the rest of Jones' books. I love the style of her writing from page one of this book and I'm pleased that I have finally found another author who writes in a way that sends you into your own world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The emotions of the heros' and the plotting of the villans makes this book one of the most spell-binding book since "The Lord of the Rings".
Full of action, regret, love, and hate,
J.V.Jones is soon to be (if not already) one of the best writers of fantasy today.
If you haven't read it yet, pick it up today and
do so!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Baker's boy
This was an okay read, a medieval fantasy which took trades such as bakers and their enemies the millers into account. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Clare O'Beara
3.0 out of 5 stars book of Words series - The Baker's Boy
From her early days - not as nuanced and detailed as later work, but a comfortable read for all that. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Cat Pavey
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start to the story
I would suggest that you do not start this unless you have time to finish it and then read the other two. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Su perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars a captivating story
I'm a big fan of j.v.jones, she always has great multi-faceted characters and a quick tempo to her writing that keeps you hooked. Read more
Published 16 months ago by S-jay
3.0 out of 5 stars A serviceable debut novel, but only a taster for the author's more...
Conspiracies and treachery run deep at Castle Harvell. King Lesketh is dying of an illness, the Four Kingdoms are at war with the neighbouring land of Halcus and Chancellor Baralis... Read more
Published 20 months ago by A. Whitehead
4.0 out of 5 stars Different to Sword of Shadows, still better than most fantasy!
I read this book for the first time when I was 12, recently having finished Lord of the Rings and looking for another style of fantasy to immerse myself in. Read more
Published on 20 Jan 2012 by ZhuaZi
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic start to a series
This is a great book for anyone with a liking for fantasy fiction. The novel has an almost medieval feel to it, with old castles, dark forests, knights and magic. Read more
Published on 28 April 2011 by Fiona
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment
The Baker's Boy will never win any awards for originality, but neither will any other fantasy novel -- they're basically all Tess of the D'Urbervilles with more magic, and fewer... Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2010 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars A very disappointing and boring read
My introduction to J. V. Jones was The Barbed Coil, which I enjoyed. Then came The Baker's Boy which was overlong and definitely not as good - but good enough to make me want to... Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2010 by Bahoonies
1.0 out of 5 stars Comically bad book.
I have been a keen fantasy reader for many years but this is the first time I've been prompted to write a review because of how bad a book was. Read more
Published on 5 July 2005 by Amazon Customer
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