Top positive review
Another great read from Mark Lawrence
22 August 2017
Mark Lawrence does it again with an excellent sequel to the ‘Broken Empire’ trilogy. The Prince of the title is Jalan Kendreth, 10th in line to the throne and a dissolute wastrel whose life is spent wenching, drinking and gambling until fate (and the scheming of his grandmother, the fearsome Queen of Red March) sends him reluctantly travelling to the frozen north in the company of the Viking warrior Snorri ver Snagason.
The world of Fantasy is full of books containing the clever small guy and his large but slightly dim companion, but Mark Lawrence subverts the genre slightly in his usual style – Jalan soon finds himself rather out of his depth away from his comfort zone while Snorri speaks a number of languages and is far more widely-travelled. While not entirely comfortable together, they have little choice but to share the road thanks to a curse laid on them by the Red Queen.
The book is set more or less at the same time as ‘Prince of Thorns’, the first book of the Broken Empire trilogy, and a few of the characters from that book make a ‘guest appearance’ but the books can be read independently (although those who have already read the Broken Empire trilogy will probably enjoy it more) and Prince of Fools is a bit lighter in tone (at least most of the time) than the Broken Empire books. Having said that, this is not a YA kind of book – there is plenty of violence and some of the language will not please the prudish – but fans (like me) of Mark Lawrence would be disappointed if it was. And I agree with other reviewers about the “Didn’t see that coming”, especially the ending! I’m looking forward immensely to the next book