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The Wheel of Osheim: 3 Hardcover – 23 May 2016
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|Hardcover, 23 May 2016||
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- Publisher : Voyager - GB (23 May 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 656 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0007531613
- ISBN-13 : 978-0007531615
- Dimensions : 14.1 x 5.4 x 20.9 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 631,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
‘There are special rewards in store here for readers of the Broken Empire series. Highly recommended’ ROBIN HOBB
‘Mark Lawrence is the best thing to happen to fantasy in recent years’ PETER V. BRETT
‘Marks an unbroken and steady ascent to the top of my favourite-fantasy pile. Lawrence gets better with each book he writes’ MYKE COLE
‘Reminds me of when I first discovered Gemmell and Hobb and I can't wait for the next instalment’ DAVID CHADWICK
‘The brisk adventure and black magic will leave readers eager for the next chapter in the series’ Publisher’s Weekly
‘Lawrence improves with every book he writes and if he keeps on like this, we may have to turn the ratings system up to eleven. Magnificent, and highly recommended’ Starburst Magazine
‘Mark Lawrence should be commended on another excellent book of The Red Queen’s War trilogy that gives enough information to make the reader want more’ Impulse Gamer
‘The dialogue is a humorous, frightening lullaby that flawlessly depicts this dark, disturbing universe and its meticulously constructed characters, both friends and fiends’ RT Book Reviews
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The conclusion of the Red Queen's War trilogy is a significant improvement over the previous book, The Liar's Key. Though again this is a book of two halves: the first half following Jalan as he travels home from the Afriquan desert and is tasked with defending his home city from invasion; the second half sees him meet up with old friends and travel back to the eponymous Wheel to try and halt mankind's destruction and stop "the wheel" from turning.
I loved the first half of this book - Jalan is a much easier character to like/put up with on his own, and the city defence against siege was some of the most enjoyable of Lawrence's work, for me.
The second half was a definite nose-dive. Jalan goes back to being an insufferable coward (and given his companions say and do very little this makes these scenes quite a trudge). And it seems as if this was the chance to suddenly explain the point of the earlier "companion" Broken Empire trilogy and cram in loads of science and philosophy. Suddenly we went from knowing next to nothing but occasional hints to being repeatedly told what had happened 1100 years ago and what is still happening. And then in the last few pages, all back to normal, having no idea what was real or not.
At the end of The Liar's Key, I had such anticipation for this book: Jalan and Snorri entering Hell to try and bring back Snorri's family. This became such a massive anti-climax - the whole journey through Hell was covered in about 20 pages total and nothing of any import happened at all. It was a complete let-down.
One of the standout aspects of The Broken Empire trilogy was how two different timelines were maintained and meshed together beautifully at the perfect pace. Here we have an element of that, but Lawrence seems to feel the need to have a reason for Jalan to be experiencing the other timeline (in Liar's Key is was due to a magic spell which had unexpected recurring side-effects, here it is either through having flashbacks at inappropriate times or being told a story by Snorri) - it just totally jars when this suddenly has to happen.
The conclusion of the book I found very unsatisfying - too many key events/characters/plot points were suddenly thrown into one room fighting for attention and resolution - and what were meant to be epic foes to be bested were defeated fairly easily. And then the actual climax - a complete load of philosophical nonsense completely unravelling everything (not in a "woah, that blew my mind" way, more of a "well, what was the point then and what about ... ").
Overall a mostly great book but with some downright annoying aspects and a deeply unsatisfactory ending.
I was suprised by how The Wheel Of Osheim threw us into the action and the way it started. I expected to find our companions traipsing through the netherworlds. Instead, we are reintroduced back into the mind of Jalan in his world as he falls out of a desert's sky being pursued viciously by a succubus. His self-centered self-interest, his immense luck, and his personally misunderstood bravery lead him through this dilemma and he finds himself trekking across these heated wastelands with an entourage of important occupiers of the local city. This left me slightly confused. What happened in Hell? Where is Snorri?
This leads to the narrative being split into two distinct proportions. The modern day Jalan adventures and also after about ten percent into the book we begin to taste the precisely placed flashback sections that carry on throughout the majority of the tale, into the adventures that took place in Hel/Hell. The pacing and placements between the two sections are exquisite and although I was surprised by the way the story commenced, it works wonders in fitting the puzzle together as both of the storylines progress. The flashbacks themselves are told in two different ways. The scenes in Hell are despondent and thrilling. These segments had an Epic feel to them as the characters traversed through unspeakable horrors in the barren inexistence as Aeneas and Odysseus had walked through similarly composed chaos in their times. The history researched by Mark in creating this world including religions, mythology, military factions etc... needs to be acknowledged and appreciated.
The current day happenings see Jalan sharing drinks with some dude named Jorg, Jalan acting as a Marshall for the Red Queen during an intense siege scene and in addition, highlights certain confrontations that are computer game boss battle-esque. The highly intricate action sequences made me feel like I was playing The Legend of Zelda because I could picture the action, environment, and the involved characters pending difficulties so clearly. Some of the composed battles are huge and certain revelations/ plot progression made it so I couldn't take my eyes from the pages. At the start, with how #3 began, for some reason, I thought this tale would be quite linear but I couldn't have been more wrong. A huge amount of the World's map is covered again and such a great amount of action takes place that I could probably write a 5000-word review yet, this would include spoilers, notes about emotions and characters destinies/outcomes. I could have extended what I have written here, however; because I don't want to reveal the direction the story takes, which of the players are involved, which enemies cross paths, what the results of characters ultimate goals are or what happens to this world that is, unfortunately; speeding out of control due to the magic being used. There is a larger science fiction influence in this segment of the trilogy, with the destruction of the world looming due to the mechanics of the empire. Although I would love to talk about what characters turn up here, I will not, because that is where a lot of my enjoyment came from so I don't want to take that experience away from others. I thought that all the threads tied themselves up nicely. I loved reading this trilogy and believe a TV series combining the actions of The Red Queen's War and The Broken Empire which could run concurrently would be exceptional. The mind in these books is perhaps the most powerful, but also, the most dangerous weapon. Mark's work is excellent. The Game of Thrones comparisons are there due to both being complex, character-driven narratives within a Medieval-like fantasy world but I prefer this trilogy to A Song of Ice and Fire, and it is concluded! Absolutely stunning book and series.
A character so unlikeable that you love a around him to offset his weakness.
A book so full of timeless truths that you pause as another drops echoing into the mind you are expanding by reading this.
It's long, it's complex, it's mesmerising and its full of life and death.
I am awed by the talent behind the keyboard that's birthed this monster that ate every moment of my days and nights since I started reading it
Above all know, you will reread it over and over.