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The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister - unseen by most and unspoken of by all.
The Red Queen's grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth - drinker, gambler, seducer of women - is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it' s all a rumor - nothing that will affect him - but he is wrong. After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: He and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war - and the Red Queen controls the board.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Lore on 04-10-16
A fantasy odd couple caught up in a bigger game
This book has many things to like about it and some not to like, which might very well be appropriate since the story revolves around the combination of opposites. There are two main characters in this one - Prince Jalan Kendeth, a womanizer and self proclaimed coward, and Snorri, a Viking warrior out for revenge against those who attacked his homeland. One strong and the other weak, they form an odd couple dynamic as fate thrusts them together and sends them out on a suicide mission.
As in the Broken Empire series, Mark Lawrence starts by presenting us with an anti-hero in Jalan. Jalan is infinitely more likeable than Jorg but I still never found myself getting behind the "coward that gets lucky and is considered a hero" storyline. Snorri on the other hand was a likeable character and carried the day for me. I wound up liking the book and looking forward to the next one simply because of Snorri and his overall quest for revenge.
Since this is the same world as Broken Empire there remains a bigger game being played here by powerful background figures and our two main characters are just pawns in that larger game. Jalan and Snorri are manipulated by a spell cast by the Silent Sister and find that in order to remove the spell they must carry out its purpose. The Silent Sister being one of those powerful beings manipulating the world from within the shadows with her true motivations unknown.
Despite the Broken Empire tie-ins it is not necessary to have read that series first as this stands alone nicely. This is not as dark as Broken Empire and the lead character is a more likable anti-hero so this series will likely appeal to more listeners.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is as good as they get when it comes to narrators and he is excellent as usual. This book is worth picking up simply for his performance.
27 of 30 people found this review helpful
By Kazren on 01-25-15
If you could sum up Prince of Fools in three words, what would they be?
It caught me from the first with it's sense of humor, and kept me going with a delicious lead character and his un-looked-for side-kick. I wish there were more in this series.
What other book might you compare Prince of Fools to and why?
Flashman, very tongue-in-cheek, clever, witty, with a strong plot and interesting settings.
Which scene was your favorite?
There were too many to single one out.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, and I did listen very quickly, and wished there was a volume II.
Any additional comments?
Very unlike his Prince of Thorns.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful