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Prince of Fools

(The Red Queen's War #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  30,408 ratings  ·  2,380 reviews
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire fear her as they fear no other.

Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched pleasures. Until he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axe man, and dragged agains
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Harper Voyager (first published June 3rd 2014)
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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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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: https://twitter.com/dugthomson/status...


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  ·  review of another edition
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
John Mauro
Feb 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My complete review is published in Grimdark Magazine.

Every magnet has two poles, north and south, which can never be separated. The power of the magnet—indeed, the very concept of a magnet itself—necessitates a pairing of these two opposite but complementary poles.

In Prince of Fools, author Mark Lawrence has personified this concept of inseparable magnetic poles with Jalan Kendeth, the fun-loving playboy prince from the southern part of the Broken Empire, and Snorri ver Snagason, the serious and
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
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
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
Sean Barrs
Jun 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star-reads, fantasy
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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

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 characters...no 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
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
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
Feb 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
How has it taken me so long to get to this trilogy? So much fun with Mark Lawrence's characteristically smooth and poetic writing, and his wry sense of humour seeping throughout. Jalan and Snorri are going down as one of fantasy's best duos. ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

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
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
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Non fiction Book 1 4 Jul 20, 2021 07:19AM  
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 22 Jun 28, 2017 06:57AM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Prince of Fools 46 63 Jun 13, 2017 06:46PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: PoF: General Discussion (No Spoilers) 26 62 Sep 29, 2016 07:32PM  

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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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