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. There were plenty of shocking plot twists caused by constantly planning lords who are all attempting to gain power in the abscence of a king, who had been poisoned by an arrow in a hunting "accident." Two extremely powerful lords, Baralis (King's Chancelor), and Maybor (an extremely wealthy lord), both have plans to gain power, and both center around who Prince Kylock (the poisoned king's son) is to marry. These plans are all nearly destroyed as the baker's boy Jack realises a great power which he holds, and runs from the castle with the daughter of Lord Maybor, persued constantly by Baralis' men. The plot was intricate and extremely well planned out, so it's certainly one of the strongest points of the book. This is certainly a good book. The writing is just about made up for by the characters and plot. I would recommend this to anyone who would like to read a good book, and the occasional plot twist, of course. *Pleeeaaassse give me feedback!!!! Helpful or not?*
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