Rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★
I am a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not letting them down requires honesty, fair play, or bravery.
Jalan Kendeth, Prince of the Red March, is not a hero. He is a coward and a liar. Unlike his grandmother, the feared Red Queen, he does not care for war or politics. His goal is to squeeze as much fun out of his life with as little work as possible.
But then he finds his fate entangled with that of Snorri ver Snagarson, a warrior from the North who is determined to go back to the Bitter Ice to safe his family from an army of the undead.
Bound by strange magic, they travel through half the Broken Kingdom, the Dead King’s agents on their tail.
I loved The Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence and I’m happy to say that Prince of Fools is even better.
I’m just a sucker for a well-written anti-hero. And Jalan’s awesome. He’s an egoist and a coward, but he has no delusions about himself. He knows what he is and that makes him likeable. That and his amazing sense of humour, of course.
“You’re a man of honour.” Louder this time, looking right at me. Where the hell he got that idea I had no notion.
“Yes,” I lied.
It’s not just Jalan, though. All the characters, down to the secondary ones, like the Quins or the circus people, were interesting and fun to read about. Everyone had their own little story that had me craving more. I’m particularly looking forward to learn more about the Red Queen. I really liked what I saw so far.
Grandmother once said she’d been tempted to set the cardinal’s hat on the nearest donkey but Father had been closer and promised to be more easily led.
And I absolutely loved Snorri. He’s delightfully mad. Sure, he’s noble and all that, but he loves battle a little bit too much to be totally sane.When he’s facing a bear in the fighting pits, armed with only a knife, he actually calls for a bigger bear.
He’s a badass. But he’s also a little bit crazy.
Snorri and Jalan are so unlike each other in almost all ways. They are stuck together and they complement each other perfectly. I loved their relationship and I loved how it evolved over the course of the book.
Snorri nodded. “Though to be fair you did have a screaming girl to help you.” He glanced back down the tunnel. “I wonder where she ran off to.”
“Eat dung, Norseman.”
I just really love the world of the Broken Empire. It’s clearer in this book that the empire is our world after a catastrophe. I loved the little jokes and references, like the Viking ship Ikea. And of course the references to the Prince of Thorns.
Dropping into a thorn bush can lead to no end of grief.
Awesome characters, exciting story and a fascinating world.