The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

Wheel of Osheim Mark Lawrence

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

In the deepness of the desert, amid dunes taller than any prayer tower, men are made tiny, less than ants.


All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri Ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting back out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world.

Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate however has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end it’s win or die.


In Prince of Fools, Jalan followed Snorri to the utter North (although not voluntarily but bound by magic) and there found a key that could open any door. In The Liar’s Key, he followed Snorri and the key back south and used it to open the door into Hell.

So, as you see, The Liar’s Key ended on a terrible cliffhanger and I was anxious to find out what would happen next. At the same time, I was anxious whether the book would live up to the other two. I’m really happy to say that it definitely did.

“You’ll ‘take it’?” Snorri raised a brow. I’ve spent several hours trying to learn the knack of elevating a single eyebrow, but the talent eludes me. It’s probably some inbred northern thing.

The book is split into two narratives: one starts with Jalan thrown into the middle of the desert – alone and half-naked. The other tells the story of what happened to him and Snorri in hell. The Dead King definitely ups his presence in this book and Jalan is followed by the dead everywhere. And, to make matters even worse – the end of the world looms very near.

Jalan’s as awesome as ever. I love his style, the way he tells his story, the way he’s true to his character and manages to be an utterly egoistic coward as well as an involuntary hero at the same time.

Also, we get to know the Red Queen a bit better and I have to say, the more I know of her, the more I like her. She is one badass grandma.

Yes, I want to save my city, my country, my people, and yes it’s worth my life and yours to give them another year, or month, or day. But truly? In my secret heart, Jalan? What drives me is that I will not let that bitch win. She has raised her hand against me and mine. She will die by my own hands. There’s no life everlasting for that one. No new world. This is a war, boy. My war. I am the Red Queen – and I do not lose.

I particularly loved the part where the Red City’s under siege and Jalan has to act as Marshall and defend it. Those parts were some of the best, most tension and action-packed I have ever read.

The only drawback was that what followed didn’t quite match that level of tension, which was a shame, because it was interesting otherwise.


A great finale to a wonderful trilogy.


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