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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unraveling yet unrevealed.
This is the second volume in the Book of Words trilogy (following The Baker's Boy and followed by Master and Fool).
Melli and Jack, fleeing for the second time from Castle Harvell, take refuge in a chicken coop. While Jack is taking a morning stroll in the snow to stretch his legs and bury the corpse of the Halcus man he's just killed to defend Melli, a group of...
Published on 6 Sep 2001 by Stephanie Noverraz

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3.0 out of 5 stars Book of Words series - A Man Betrayed
From her early days - not as nuanced and detailed as later work, but a comfortable read for all that. The Sword of Shadows series shows her progress and maturity as a writer, and for me, it's always nice to follow that progression through, without being a vicious critic. We all have to start somewhere, and encouragement is a necessity if we are to enjoy our favourite...
Published 13 months ago by Cat Pavey


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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unraveling yet unrevealed., 6 Sep 2001
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This is the second volume in the Book of Words trilogy (following The Baker's Boy and followed by Master and Fool).
Melli and Jack, fleeing for the second time from Castle Harvell, take refuge in a chicken coop. While Jack is taking a morning stroll in the snow to stretch his legs and bury the corpse of the Halcus man he's just killed to defend Melli, a group of soldiers kidnap the girl to sell her to a flesh-trader. On his way back to the coop, Jack is captured by Rovas and taken to his house. There he meets the smuggler's makeshift family: Magra and her mysterious daughter Tarissa, two noblewomen, exiles like him from the Four Kingdoms. They'll make him believe that Melli has been raped and slaughtered and enroll him to kill the Halcus captain responsible for her death.
In the North, Lord Maybor and Baralis are both travelling to Bren, acting respectively as king and prince envoys to arrange the bethrotal between Prince Kylock and the Duke of Bren's daughter, the young and beautiful Catherine. But in the meantime, Kylock murders his father and therefore becomes king of the Four Kingdoms. He won't wait long before dismissing his mother and invading Halcus in order to put an end to the war.
In this middle volume, the protagonists are all steadily converging to the city of Bren for the third and final act. As J.V. tries not to reveal too much of the plot in itself, with this book she digs deeper into the various characters' personality, and as a result I was surprisingly starting to feel pity for a character I used to loathe, or be just as confused as the hero about another one. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Master and Fool!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 11 Dec 2000
I love this book. "A Man Betrayed" is the second book of the trillogy; I nearly went mad waiting for it to come out. The series has got really good strong characters, especially the female ones. There's also a dark, depressing mood throughout the books, whick renders you unable to put them down. But there are also instances of conic relief as you get advice on everything betewwn heaven and earth from two half-drunken guards named Grift and Bodger.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read!!!, 20 Sep 2009
This is the second book in "The Book of Words" trilogy,,, and i`ve not been disappointed,
the first one "Bakers boy" was a cracking read and i was a little worried that this one wouldn`t meet my expectations,,,, if you enjoyed the 1st then get this one,,,, its a marvellous read, it keeps you turning the pages til the end of the book,,,, number 3 is on order now!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Book of Words series - A Man Betrayed, 20 Nov 2013
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From her early days - not as nuanced and detailed as later work, but a comfortable read for all that. The Sword of Shadows series shows her progress and maturity as a writer, and for me, it's always nice to follow that progression through, without being a vicious critic. We all have to start somewhere, and encouragement is a necessity if we are to enjoy our favourite authors!
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4.0 out of 5 stars a very good read, 9 Oct 2013
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having read the first book it was easy to get str8 into this and loved the whole book. happy this is a trilogy and I have another whole book to look forward to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 6 July 2013
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Really enjoyed this book, took it to France with me and spent the time not reading wondering where the story was going to go. I would highly recommend the whole trilogy.

J V jones is an addictive author
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4.0 out of 5 stars A solid continuation of the trilogy, 10 Feb 2013
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A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Jack and Melliandra continue their flight through the lands of Halcus, seeking refuge in the distant city of Bren. Meanwhile, the mad Prince Kylock has seized his father's throne and embarked on a bloody invasion of Halcus, committing atrocity after atrocity. In Bren, Chancellor Baralis and Lord Maybor have arrived to arrange the marriage between Kylock and the Duke's daughter, to the Duke's disquiet, as well as continuing their own bitter feud. And in the fighting pits of the city, a disgraced knight struggles to find his redemption.

A Man Betrayed is the middle volume of the Book of Words trilogy and is a prime example of a novel that falls foul of 'middle book syndrome'. The book has no real opening and no real end (though there's a hell of a cliffhanger) and the plot is a mixture of dynamic forward movement in some storylines and some slightly tedious wheel-spinning in others.

In one of the more successful storylines, Melliandra is kidnapped (again), but this time around is able to turn her circumstances to her favour. She goes from victim to political player over the course of the novel in a transition that is convincingly-handled by the author. On the other hand, Jack's storyline becomes seriously bogged down. Jones clearly had to find something to do to prevent him from travelling straight to Bren and getting involved in events there, and somewhat unconvincingly lands him with a screwed-up family unit living in the backwoods and getting involved in a murder plot. There's some attempts to turn it into important character-building material for Jack but, aside from the titular betrayal at the subplot's climax, it fails to resonate.

More successful is Tawl's storyline, which is a more traditional arc of seeking redemption following the heinous crime he commits (though unwillingly) at the end of the first volume. Though there is little surprising in this storyline, it's handled well by the author, particularly in the use of the previously tedious 'lovable rogue' Nabber to help Tawl along his path. Elsewhere, Baralis is as fiendishly (if occasionally cartoonishly) evil and Machivellian as ever, Maybor becomes a more interesting character and Tavalisk's observations-from-afar of the main plot remain amusing. Bodger and Grift (the trilogy's answer to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) also get a bit more involved in the plot as well as providing the book's more comical moments.

Overall, A Man Betrayed (***½) is not without its shortcomings but is a stronger book than The Baker's Boy. Jones's writing has improved, and she juggles the multiple character arcs with confidence. Aside from Jack's repetitive storyline, this is an entertaining fantasy novel, though one that does not stray far from familiar ground.
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5.0 out of 5 stars To read or not to read., 31 Mar 2011
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I never thought that I would buy second hand books but was given two of the three, out of this series and Amazon had the third. Brilliant service, prices fair, and the series was a good read, I recommend this site and this series of books. Happy Reading.
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A Man Betrayed: Book 2 of the Book of Words
A Man Betrayed: Book 2 of the Book of Words by J. V. Jones (Hardcover - 7 Nov 1996)
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