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Prince of Fools

(The Red Queen's War #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  27,960 ratings  ·  2,202 reviews
First in a brand new series from the author of The Broken Empire Trilogy.

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken o
Kindle Edition, Reprint, 367 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Ace
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Vivian No romance. Jalan is a cad so there are plenty of mentions of sex and wenching.
Steven Zimmerman they do go together but you won't notice you're missing something if you havent read the others.…morethey do go together but you won't notice you're missing something if you havent read the others.(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Mark Lawrence
Oct 05, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

NOW SHIPPING! The signed & numbered limited edition omnibus from Grim Oak Press, all three books with 10 pieces of interior art from the cover artist, Jason Chan, and a 25,000 word "Coming to America" novella!

I've seen photos of the lettered edition arriving:

Here's one of 10 pieces of internal art from Jason Chan, the cover artist for The Red Queen's War & Broken Empire trilogies.

Jalan doing what Jalan doe
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Battles are all about strategy, and strategy pivots on priorities. Since my priorities were Prince Jalan, Prince Jalan, and Prince Jalan, with “looking good” a distant fourth, I took the opportunity to resume running away.
Replace "Prince Jalan" with "Khanh" in those sentences, and you got me down to a Tee. Which might go a long way towards explaining why I loved the main character so much.

The thing is, I don't like a knight in shining armor. I like them tarnished, covered in mud, or better y
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 Stars

This may be an unpopular opinion but for me, Prince of Fools is single handedly better than the entire 'Broken Empire' trilogy. Heck, it’s even better than ‘Red Sister’,
Mark’s newest book and what most of his fans are calling his best work up to date.

Prince of Fools, the first book in The Red Queen’s War trilogy took place within the same world and during the same period of time with Prince of Thorns (Mark Lawrence’s debut surrounding the infamous Jorg Ancrath). The plot followed the
Robin Hobb
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was very fortunate to receive this book as an ARC (Advance Reading Copy.) I've enjoyed Mark Lawrence's work before, and I knew that he had a wry twist of humor that he can inject into the darkest of scenes. I was not prepared for 'laugh out loud' moments, especially not when our heroes are in danger up to their brows!
There are special rewards in store here for readers of the The Broken Empire series.
Highly recommended.
James Tivendale
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review contains minor spoilers.

"I'm 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."

Prince of Fools, the first story in The Red Queen's War trilogy is set in The Broken Empire and introduces readers to Prince Jalan. He is the Red Queen's grandson, just out of his teenage years and his main interests are gambling, lying, drinking, whoring and running away from any form of confrontatio
4.5 stars

I really love the way Mark Lawrence writes.
And I'm not sure what I was expecting from Prince of Fools, but it definitely wasn't to absolutely love it the way I did. I've been super busy lately, and I've ended up DNFing quite a bit of reading material because of it.
This? This, I magically made time for.


And here's the thing, I only picked it up because my oldest son kept on and on and on and on about how funny and awesome Jalen was and how I had to read this book. And I felt like it would
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars

It's times like this I really wish Goodreads had half-star options because this one is a true 2.5 for me. I feel like this is a little bit of a "it's me, not you" situation, but not so much so that I can convince myself to round up my rating.

This is a quest story starring self-centered, uber-brat, Prince Jalan Kendeth & large, lovable father-figure Viking, Snorri. Now, one of my personal struggles with this set up was that it felt very similar to Disney's The Emperor's N
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

My rating is 3.5 stars.

The Broken Empire trilogy stands as a seminal work in the fantasy genre, a grimdark extravagance which turned many a head. Jorg Ancrath an unforgettable protagonist who changed the genre forever in my mind. Mark Lawrence’s brilliance as a storyteller a revelation. But like all stories, no matter how great, Jorg’s personal journey came to an end, and fans of the series cried out for more! This fascinating post-apocalyptic world too gloriou
Petros Triantafyllou
I bought this book one and a half years ago. All this time it was resting in my special bookcase (I have 2 bookcases, the big one, and the special one for my favorite authors). I was looking at it, and it was staring back. We fell in love, but I consider myself a gentleman, so I never lay a hand, not until the wedding at least (publication of the 3rd & final book).

Four days ago I decided it was time. I said to myself "Let's start it today Peter, and read it in 15-20 days, to extend the pleasure.
“Humanity can be divided into madmen and cowards.
My personal tragedy is being born into a world where sanity is held to be a character flaw.”

What a fun read this was! This reminded me when i first started reading for fun. No judgement, no criticism, just enjoyed the ride. Prince Jalan is indeed a prince of fools *says in the most affectionate tone*
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
BR with my MacHalo Freaks starting Oct. 1, 2015.

DNF at 35%. And it took me two whole months to get there.

I'm sorry. I can't do this. Even though I'm in love with Jal. Sigh. It was a beautiful thing, what Jal and I had. It was love at first page. He said:
I’m 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 [...] I’ve always found hitting a man from behind to be the best way to go about thi
Lady Luna. ✨

“Bravery is just a different kind of broken.”

I'm really confused and feeling pretty conflicted with this novel. Some things I loved most things I hated. There's something about Marks prose that irks me and I'm gonna put it down to him trying too hard to write beautiful and eloquent sentences. Yes you get less of it in this novel then you do with his 'Broken Empire trilogy' however for me his writing feels extremely forced, beautiful prose should be effortless. But this is just my
Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”I’m 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.”

Prince Jalan Kendeth is tenth in line for the throne. His grandmother, the spry 70 year old Red Queen, may have prudently dropped him down the list due to a whole host of his self inflicted bouts of poor conduct. He doesn’t exactly stipulate his disgruntlement, but we get the idea that he believes he might be more deserving of, say, eight
Sean Barrs
Jun 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 1-star-reads
The Broken Empire Trilogy had such a terrible ending that it should have kept me away from this author for good. But, alas, I was taken in by the write up of this and thought I’d give the author another shot. I most ardently regret it. I should have been wise enough to avoid this book because I found Mark Lawrence’s other novels rather confused and a little jumbled. This is no less true with this one. Indeed, this was a complete disappointment.

I know the ending

The main problem with this book
Myke Cole
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When there are no choices, all men are equally brave.

This quote captures the spirit of Lawrence's latest book, which marks an unbroken and steady ascent to the top of my favorite-fantasy pile. Like Abercrombie, Rothfuss, Brett and Polansky, Lawrence gets better with each book he writes, the experience he provides the reader more nuanced and diverse, while keeping to the mainstays that made his Broken Empire trilogy so amazing.

In Jal and Snorri, we see the familiar pairing of dark-humored prince
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert 9/30/17: on Amazon for $2.99

This is a tale of two heroes
”Two heroes, one led willy-nilly by his cock, the other northward by his heart. Neither bringing their brain into any decision of import.

Prince Jal has been pretty useless his entire life. He is really a prince of no importance and mainly uses his status as a prince to get laid. However, he is one of the most likable horrible cads I’ve ever read. I loved his entire narrative and every messed up musing that he had throughout
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really had a love/hate relationship with this one!

First, the hate: The main character, Prince Jalan Kendeth, was the type of character I really hated. The entire novel he spent trying to get “away” from what was happening. He was more likely to run away from conflict than anything else. If his new friends needed help he was probably the last one they could depend on. His main focus of the entire book? Find a way to get back home to his gambling, drinking, and women. Find a solution to the con

Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

Three times.

That's how many times I attempted this book before it stuck. Three. (Could I be more annoying?)

Each time I picked up the book, I couldn't stand the main character, Prince Jalan. Hated him in fact. Yes, it was written superbly, it's Mark Lawrence for crying out loud. Yes, he was witty and hilarious and I already wanted to write down 10 quotes in just as many pages.

Such as this brilliant social commentary:
“We all practice self-deception to a degree; no man can handle complete hon
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-the-book
This book started so much lighter than the previous trilogy. It was an entertaining journey, first learning to know Jalan. Who was this womanizing brat that did what he wanted because what else should a good looking prince do?! While the start of the book has this carefree plot with Jalan getting into trouble, Jalan only thinking of himself, Jalan not listening when the Red Queen tells something important and ominous. So shit escalates, and there is this evil witch, crone ( awesome word.....), n ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a fast paced and highly entertaining story. Mark Lawrence has a strange writing style, but lucky for me I find it very engaging. The story had a great blend of action, humour, and an interesting plot.

Prince Jalan of Red March is the wastrel grandson, and not even an important one, of the mighty Red Queen. The Red Queen, and her mage the Silent Sister, are in the midst of a war of intrigue. She seeks to counter the other members of The Hundred, the Dead King, and even the ghosts of the
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, one of my friends has already expressed how...underwhelmed he is with this book. I suppose we can't all agree. I mean I'll give you that this is no great work of fiction. I'll also say up front that you've seen some of these actually you may have seen all these characters depending on how much fantasy and epic fantasy you've read.

But they're handled so well.

We meet our...hero(?) Jalan who is the quintessential rogue. As a matter of fact I think if you look up "rogue" in a
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jalan is my favourite. I loved this character right from the start, his internal monologue of honest cowardice allows the the kind of smirking cheer that neither Jorg nor Nona inspire. This prince is all possibility, his professions of self interest are what he believes of himself, yet hiding underneath is potential. We see it sneaking into his actions, these unexplained moments of skill and threat, all bundled up into blank memory and denial. I cannot wait to see what happens when that side of ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I am glad we’ve not heard the last of Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire, even if Jorg’s chapter of the saga has concluded. As far as endings go, that was a necessary and felicitous curtain call, even though I couldn’t be happier with the way things played out. But of course, that doesn’t mean I’ve had enough of this brilliant dark world.

Regarding his latest novel, Mark Lawrence has stated that what did not want to do was gi
Milda Page Runner
Wow! That ending!
Well, this was awesome. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard whilst reading a book, and so many times. Whilst there is also a share of horror and bloody action, some philosophy and darkness – this book never ventures too far into the dark zone and I can wholeheartedly recommend to all fantasy lovers.
A must read for Norse gods (especially Loki) and Viking’s fans.

I’m a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not lettin
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable read - Mark Lawrence is quickly becoming my favourite modern writer! The writing is tight and reads at an excellent pace. Lawrence manages some great descriptive writing without being overly wordy. His dialogue flows incredibly well, and the wise-cracking Prince Jalan (who serves as our main perspective) never veers into the annoying side of the 'smart-ass' persona he embodies. There were a number of laugh-out-loud moments, but at the same time the darkness that exists in ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so, so glad I tried again with Lawrences books, if you've read Prince of Thorns and didn't like Jorg - at least try this first before moving on. Jalan is a self professed coward, he's self centered, but I liked him right off the bat because his mannerisms and inner thoughts sound a lot like deadpool.

The world is a very cool mix of Norse mythology and Christian religion with novel elements as well. It was a nice take on zombies - there's all sorts of zombies drowned men, ice zombies, unborn
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dark comedic fantasy fans
This was what I'd been waiting for for a long time. A fantasy book that could make me laugh despite the fact it deals with some dark themes.

Prince Jalan is the main character and he is a coward. He isn't my favourite character but he does have the best comedic lines. There really isn't anything to like about him. He lies and cheats and gambles and runs away to wine women and song another day.

Snorri was the character that I felt more invested in here. The big axe-wielding Viking who is out to a
TS Chan
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All our lives are tales. Some spread, and grow in the telling. Others are just told between us and the gods, muttered back and forth behind our days, but those tales grow too and shake us just as fierce.

This is a tale of how a cowardly caddish Prince and a noble Viking warrior were joined together by fate to serve a greater and dangerous purpose. A pure narrative enjoyment deserving 5-stars!

June 2016: Buddy Read with BB&B - a reread before finishing the trilogy with the release of The Wheel of O
samantha  Bookworm-on-rainydays
If you like fantasy you are going to like this book.

How can you go wrong when you pair a cowardly prince with a large Viking? Thoroughly enjoyed the book. It is filled with equal parts humor and action.
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Play Book Tag: [Poll Ballot] Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence- 4 stars 3 12 Aug 21, 2020 01:02PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Prince of Fools [Feb 1, 2018] 93 62 Feb 15, 2018 06:26AM  
Lawrence vs Weeks 2 20 Jun 28, 2017 06:57AM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Prince of Fools 46 62 Jun 13, 2017 06:46PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: PoF: General Discussion (No Spoilers) 26 61 Sep 29, 2016 07:32PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: PoF: Part 5 — Chapters 19–23 4 36 Aug 12, 2016 03:58PM  

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Other books in the series

The Red Queen's War (3 books)
  • The Liar's Key (The Red Queen's War, #2)
  • The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen's War, #3)

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