Master And Fool: Book 3 of the Book of Words Paperback – 23 Oct 1997
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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)
J.V. Jones is about to become one of the great fantasy success stories of the 90s. (MYSTERIOUS GALAXY BOOKS)
Reissued with a stunning new cover, MASTER AND FOOL is the dramatic conclusion to the acclaimed Book of Words series.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In Bren, the duke has just been murdered on his wedding night. Thanks to Baralis, quickly the rumours spread, claiming that Tawl the duke's champion and former Knight of Valdis, is the assasin. He and Melli, now the duke's widow, have to flee and hide away, along with Maybor and a couple of guards.
About a month later, king Kylock, who is becoming more and more deranged by the day under the effects of Baralis's drugs, kills his bride on discovering she is not pure and will not be able to wash his sins away. What he and Baralis will soon find out is that the first marriage had been in fact consummated. Melli is pregnant and now, if the child turns out to be a boy, with Bren's only rightful heir.
Meanwhile, Jack is in Annis, learning to master his magical powers with the help of Stillfox. One day, on a sudden impulse he leaves the sorcerer's cottage, and on his way he meets with a guild of bakers who will fill him in on the event in Bren. Melli is in danger, he has to go and try to save her.
The Book of Words is a harrowing fantasy. In a land revaged by war, Marod's prophecy slowly unfolds with unexpected twists and turns, as Jack learns more and more about his past. With characters worth caring for, the detailed and sometimes colourful descriptions make it all believable. J.V. Jones is now swelling the ranks of my favourite authors.
I was getting twitchy and saying "oh get on with it" by about half way through the second book, but by that time I was invested in the story and wanted to know what would happen at the end so I struggled my way to the end.
As for what happens at the end ... well, the author seems to hope she can stretch it into yet another series so she leaves several blatant loose ends hanging. Sorry Ms Jones - the story wasn't meaty enough to warrant three books, let alone a fourth.
Even by the end I still didn't really know who the 'fool' was who was the only one who knew the truth in the prophecy. Was it supposed to have been Baralis or the Archbishop of Rorn? And if not the latter - what on earth was the point of the Archbishop of Rorn as a character?
Master and Fool is the final volume of J.V. Jones's Book of Words trilogy. As is traditional with these sort of things, epic climaxes are reached, daring deeds are undertaken and destinies are fulfilled. However, Jones undertakes these actions with unusual cynicism, showing there is a cost to victory and no triumph is unmarred by tragedy.
Jones's writing skills have improved from book to book in this series, with the somewhat jarring tonal shifts of the first volume (from tragedy to black comedy and back again) now smoothed other by more natural transitions. Unlike the second volume, which was prone to time-filling wheel-spinning, this third book is fairly jam-packed with plot development. In fact, it's rather too full and a long and epic journey that fills the middle part of the book whilst events are on hold back in Bren feels a bit implausible. It may have been better for Jones to have restructured this series and allowed this journey to begin in the second volume (sacrificing the more tedious and disposable Jack scenes at the farm if necessary). As it stands, whilst Jack and Tawl are off having an epic adventure we have to endure quite a few unpleasant scenes of Melliandra being tormented in prison, which get redundant quite quickly.
In fact, given Melliandra's character growth in the second volume, it's disappointing to see her relegated to the standard damsel in distress role here, whilst Jack and Tawl get to do the whole traditional hero's journey, male-bonding thing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am at a loss for the right words. I am feeling joy at reading such a masterpiece and loss that it is now over. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Linda Baldwin
Good book to read in conjunction with the bakers boy and a man betrayed. However I don't feel it could be a read alone so therefore only 4 stars. Read morePublished on 11 Mar. 2014 by Chelxx