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The Baker's Boy: Book 1 of the Book of Words Paperback – 4 Apr 1996


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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: £32.97

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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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 395,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
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 sweating peasant girls. The parallels with The Belgariad, Assassin's Apprentice, The Dragonbone Chair, etc. are obvious, but unimportant.

What this book does have is plot, pace and humour. It's never boring and often amusing. The humour is genuine, and integrated into the narrative; not a bolt-on extra like the sardonic interchanges between characters slipped into the interstices of the plot as favoured by Eddings.

This, Ms. Jones achieves by some nice writing. Firstly, she hasn't gone for the "show, never tell" business -- when "tell" works better, she's happy to tell. Then there's the clever use of the castle guards, Bodger and Grift -- their ribald conversations are amusing, and necessary-but-boring parts of the story are quickly covered by an after-the-fact discussion between these two characters.

Tricks like introducing any section involving Tavalisk with a description of the meal he's just finished eating, and filling in Tawl's back-story bit-by-bit as the book progresses also add humour, tie the novel together, and add depth without becoming dull.

Although I'm no expert on the technicalities of writing, this book manages to feel extremely competently constructed, giving confidence that it's not going to disappoint later on. All the way through, I felt like Ms Jones knew where she was going. This is something that Robert Jordan, for example, never managed to achieve.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By gwillewyn@yahoo.co.uk on 11 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Oct. 1997
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Noverraz on 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 By Amazon Customer on 27 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
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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