The Red Queen is dreaded by the kings of the Broken Empire as they dread no other.
Her grandson Jalan Kendeth – womaniser, gambler and all-out cad – is tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched pleasures.
Until, that is, he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axeman and dragged against his will to the icy north…
I’m a little bit slow to read anything by Mark Lawrence, and this was my first foray into his work. Of course, now I’m kicking myself for not having picked up anything earlier!
This was such an easy book to read – not because it was simple, but because it was so engrossing that I had a lot of difficulty stopping for essential needs. The plot was brilliant, with the worldbuilding and plot reveals drip fed at just the right pace. And the characters! You quickly and easily get a great sense of who Jalan and Snorri are, and I found myself quite invested in both their stories almost immediately.
I was particularly fond of Jalan, he’s a bit of a fool and a bit of a coward, but he also ultimately ends up doing the right thing. He is immensely quotable and relatable, and I often found myself chuckling at his observations.
“I would miss the horse. I’ve never liked walking. If God had meant man to walk he wouldn’t have given us horses. Wonderful animals. I think of them as the word escape, covered in hair and with a leg at each corner.”
Mark Lawrence has a brilliant way with words, he’s just exceptionally good at creating sentences. It is, as far as I’m concerned, a type of sorcery – one that should be shared with as many people as possible. I highly recommend anyone that likes endearing, morally-ambiguous characters dumped in a brilliant epic fantasy setting pick up this book immediately.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.