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The Grand Design (Tyrants and Kings, #2)
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The Grand Design (Tyrants and Kings #2)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  756 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
From John Marco comes the epic sequel to his thrilling debut military fantasy, The Jackel of Nar. An infamous warrior is once again caught between two irrexixtible forces, and his choice may change the world...

Prince Richius Vantran, the Jackal of Nar, has fled into exile. Meanwhile, Nar has exploded in civil war. The conflict is being waged between the religious fanatics
Mass Market Paperback, 785 pages
Published January 2001 by Bantam Spectra (first published January 1st 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,197)
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Mar 17, 2014 N.D. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-favorites
This review is for the entire Tyrants and Kings series (The Jackal of Nar, The Grand Design and The Saints of the Sword). I stumbled upon these books when I was working at Borders about 15 years ago. Back then I wasn't as serious as I am now about the content of what I read, so I admit that I picked up the Jackal of Nar because it had a really cool cover. After reading it I was blown away by how good it was. At the time I was just getting into fantasy, but I had read enough to know that I wanted ...more
Stefan Yates
Dec 18, 2012 Stefan Yates rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Possible spoilers - You may not want to read if you haven't read The Jackal of Nar

This was a fantastic work by John Marco that only improves upon the solid foundation built in his first novel.

In The Grand Design, we pick up the story several months after the Jackal of Nar ended. Richius Vantran is settling into his life in Lucel-Lor...sort of. He still has a powerful thirst for revenge against Count Biaggio, who ordered the ruthless murder of Richius' first wife.

This installment in the Tyrants a
Benjamin Thomas
Nov 20, 2014 Benjamin Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-epic
This is the second and middle book of the ‘Tyrants and Kings’ epic fantasy trilogy by John Marco. It’s an awesome read, very absorbing, and it kept me fully engaged over the course of 785 paperback pages. That’s nearing doorstopper status and sometimes epic fantasy books that are that long will drag at several points along the way no matter how well the overall story is presented. But I never got that feeling with this one. Quite the opposite, in fact. I kept wishing for more free time to get ba ...more
Conan Tigard
Nov 16, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the first book, I really enjoyed The Grand Design. The Grand Design is a well-written military fantasy that will quench the thirst of both military and fantasy fans. The plots are intricate and well though out. The characters are better developed and the pace of the story is perfect.

The tension that Marco creates lasts throughout the story from beginning to end. I swear, I was always anxious to read more and find out what was going to happen. And I was never disappointed with the unfolding
Jan 20, 2011 Elvis rated it really liked it
Second time through this series.. Loved it as much the second time around. Very memorable series for me.
Stephen Glover
May 25, 2015 Stephen Glover rated it did not like it
This book is nearly 800 pages of dull storyline and flat characters who are instantly forgettable. Whoever quoted that this author has joined the ranks of Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Stephen Donaldson and J.R.R Tolkien is clearly quite mad. These books are so far removed from the style of some of those classics its unbelievable.

This may be classed as one of those 'Dark' fantasy sub genres of books which I have learned is an alternative term for boring and badly conceived. I will probably read t
Mar 21, 2008 Jade rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Just keeps getting better, the web gets tangles more and the characters truly come to life.
Dec 07, 2015 Nonnie rated it it was amazing
The first thing you must understand before you read this is that the sea comprises about 70% of the battleground. Therefore there will be a lot of technical vocabulary concerning ships and ship warfare. The first most helpful thing I did for myself was look up certain words such as dreadnought and schooner. The second most helpful thing I did was to look up starboard and port. Perhaps most people already know what they are, but I didn't, and when I looked it up, it helped immensely in understand ...more
May 13, 2013 Keith rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book was the typical second book in a trilogy that is pretty slow but sets up a great third book in every way but one, it doesn't do too much setting up of the third book. The action that was the focus of the majority of the first book was almost completely absent of this one. Also, the religion of Nar is a rip off of Catholicism that isn't even attempted to be hidden. As far as I know, the world is the creation of Marco, and not set in the far future of our world. So why does it make sense ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Cal rated it liked it
Our hapless hero again stumbles from one catastrophe to another. Every other character seems to have more surety of purpose that this bumbler. The effects of revenge on the morality of the principle characters is well presented. A decent story except for Richius, who is too befuddled and is left caroming from one event to the next like a pinball.
Brant Satala
Excellent sequel to The Jackal of Nar. The villain, Biagio is the best part of this book. He transforms from a character you despise and later you find yourself sympathizing with him, and even liking him. Yet, he's still the villain. Great read!
K. Axel
May 14, 2010 K. Axel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dark and gritty fantasy
This is what I wrote in the book after reading it the first time; "The first book, the Jackal of Nar, gave me great hopes and expectations for this one, but no one can live up to that. Perhaps I was in the wrong place when I read the book, but it lacked the soul of the first book. Still there are some wonderful unforgetable moments."

The series as a whole are pretty good. The first book is without a doubt the best of them, but you definitely shouldn't stop there. What makes these books different
Daniel Berthiaume
Mar 01, 2016 Daniel Berthiaume rated it really liked it
Good second book in tis series. It kept me coming for more and got me to read the third and final book. Very enjoyable fantasy.
Nov 08, 2014 Bertrand rated it liked it
Un livre assez sympathique et qui se lit bien poursuivant le premier tome en renouvelant l'intrigue assez facilement. Mais, car il y a un gros MAIS, John Marco utilise des raccourcis vraiment trop grossiers par moment, qui font faire ou dire à ses personnages un peu n'importe quoi... Plus un 2.5/5 qu'un véritable 3/5 mais j'ai passé un bon moment.
Apr 13, 2015 Jeffrey added it
Shelves: 2004
Feb 17, 2009 Millerbug rated it liked it
This was a very good read. I really enjoyed Marco's world so far and his military fantasy. There is very little magic in this one, but plenty of action. The characters you think you will hate, you actually like and the characters you think you're going to like you end up disliking them. Very different fantasy. Loved the Ravens in this book, they were very creepy. Light romance story lines, and some tragic ones too. I am looking forward to the third book in this series. They just keep improving. ...more
Jul 03, 2009 Bas rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed this sequel overall. But there were too many problems that held it back. The middle-act of the novel is a big drag and there were more than a few instances in which characters did something which I considered very 'out-of-character' only because the plot required them to.

The novel still had plenty of great characters and the writing was as fluid as ever. I'm hoping the last installment of the trilogy will be more to my liking.
Jan 03, 2008 Trey rated it liked it
Not as good as the first, but if you liked Count Biagio in the first book this is worth reading. The main character is in this book again, but I found myself skipping past his complaining and idiotic choices to follow how the two evil powers duke it out over the empire. Biagio reminds me of Thrawn from Star Wars books in that he always has the next move planned way in advance and knows what others will do.
Travis Layman
Apr 19, 2015 Travis Layman rated it it was amazing
i liked the plotline and the characters. i like that everyone is not black and white. my favorite character was probably Lorla. she just seemed like a really interesting girl.
Jon McDonald
Nov 19, 2011 Jon McDonald rated it liked it
Good world building. Not happy about the grind to the finish with the cliff-hanger. Can never remember the guy's name when I am in the bookstore.
Sep 18, 2007 Meghan rated it really liked it
I like this author a lot. This is not my favorite book by him, but worth reading since it is #2 of a trilogy that overall is very good.
Apr 15, 2012 Alex rated it did not like it
Shelves: crappy-fantasy
Alexander Kern
Alexander Kern rated it it was ok
Sep 29, 2016
Calarin rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2016
Will rated it did not like it
Sep 14, 2016
Kurt rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2016
Tommy Verhaegen
Tommy Verhaegen marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2016
Mike rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2016
Charles Hargan
Charles Hargan rated it really liked it
Aug 29, 2016
Robert Dietze
Robert Dietze rated it really liked it
Aug 27, 2016
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Hello. Thanks for visiting my author page here on Goodreads. In case you don't know me, I'm John Marco and I'm a fantasy writer. I've written seven books so far, including the Tyrants and Kings trilogy and the books of the Bronze Knight Lukien. My next book, The Forever Knight, is due out in April 2013. I also write short stories from time to time, and these you can find at Amazon. Like a lot of f ...more
More about John Marco...

Other Books in the Series

Tyrants and Kings (3 books)
  • The Jackal of Nar (Tyrants and Kings, #1)
  • The Saints of the Sword (Tyrants and Kings, #3)

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