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

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  657 ratings  ·  20 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
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Mass Market Paperback, 785 pages
Published January 2001 by Bantam Spectra (first published January 1st 1999)
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The Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Wise Man's Fear by Patrick RothfussThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter Boxset by J.K. Rowling
my Favorite Fantasy books
147th out of 390 books — 332 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Final Empire by Brandon SandersonThe Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonA Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
Best Epic Fantasy
103rd out of 132 books — 84 voters


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Community Reviews

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Nick
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
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
...more
Benjamin Thomas
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
Caroline
A solid fantasy series, more in the gritty/realistic vein than the usual swords and sorcery. This isn't so uncommon now, but I remember back when this series was out it was pretty rare. I could be misremembering it a bit, but I do remember really enjoying all of these. Need to re-read them sometimes, as well as the slew of other books he's released since.
WaitingToFade
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
Elvis
Second time through this series.. Loved it as much the second time around. Very memorable series for me.
Stephen Glover
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
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Jade
Just keeps getting better, the web gets tangles more and the characters truly come to life.
Keith
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
Otis Campbell
A sylphlike view, an old mirage
A paragon of beauty
A land of leal under skies divine
A constant glare, given to the heir
The brightest grand design
K. Axel
May 14, 2010 K. Axel rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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Bertrand
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.
Jeffrey
Apr 13, 2015 Jeffrey added it
Shelves: 2004
Millerbug
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
Bas
Jul 03, 2009 Bas rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
Trey
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
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
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.
Meghan
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.
Alex
Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
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9266
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 (9 books)
  • The Jackal of Nar (Tyrants and Kings, #1)
  • The Saints of the Sword (Tyrants and Kings, #3)
  • Die Jäger des Tharn (Das Imperium von Nar, #1)
  • Die Paladine des Dunkels (Das Imperium von Nar, #2)
  • Die Armee der Raben (Das Imperium von Nar, #3)
  • Das Banner der Rache (Das Imperium von Nar, #4)
  • Die Heiligen des Schwertes (Das Imperium von Nar, #5)
  • Der Thron aus Stahl (Das Imperium von Nar, #6)
The Jackal of Nar (Tyrants and Kings, #1) The Eyes of God (The Bronze Knight, #1) The Devil's Armor (The Bronze Knight, #2) The Sword of Angels (The Bronze Knight, #3) The Saints of the Sword (Tyrants and Kings, #3)

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