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The Liar's Key

(The Red Queen's War #2)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  17,307 ratings  ·  1,024 reviews
The Red Queen has set her players on the board...

Winter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the longed-for luxuries of his southern palace. And although the North may be home to his companion, the warrior Snorri ver Snagason, he is just as eager to leave. For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hell to bring his wife and children back into the living world. He has
Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Ace
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Amanda Because writing awesome books takes time
Mark Lawrence You can buy the book itself - if you live in America or Canada. Or in 13 days if you live in the UK, Australia, or New Zealand.

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Mark Lawrence
Aug 15, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
STOP PRESS: The Liar's Key has won the Gemmell Legend Award! And Jason Chan's UK art won the Gemmell Ravenheart Award for best cover art!

Very many thanks to everyone who voted! (also, in celebration the UK publishers have lowered the kindle price to £1.99)


I'm a big fan. That Lawrence guy writes just like I would if I could be bothered.

This is my longest book to date, just over twice the word-count of Prince of Thorns, and I had a lot of fun writing it
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5/5 Stars

It pained me to say this but The Liar’s Key is sadly, an unworthy sequel to 'Prince of Fools' for me.

I am clearly in the minority here with my rating and opinion. I gave Prince of Fools a 4.5 out of 5 stars, it’s in my opinion, Mark’s best work up to date. The Liar’s Key is almost the exact opposite of that situation.

The plot of the book started 6 months after the end of 'Prince of Fools' and it revolves around Loki’s Key or in other name, The Liar’s Key, a key that’s capable of openi
James Tivendale
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review contains minor spoilers.

The Liar's Key is the second book in Lawrence's The Red Queen's War trilogy. I adored Prince of Fools which followed Jalan's escapades across The Broken Empire and therefore picked up this book as soon as I could.

The survivors from the quest to the Black Fort are Jalan, Snorri and their fat honorable Viking friend, Tuttugu. They have within their possession a magical key, known as Loki's Key and this can open any door, yet there is a lot more to this artifa
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It’s official; The Liar’s Key is probably my favorite work by Mark Lawrence to date, surpassing even my love for the entire Broken Empire trilogy. It’s also stronger than its predecessor Prince of Fools, which I rated highly as well, but I was never able to shake the feeling that the first book of Prince Jalan’s adventures was still missing a little something – it didn’t read as fluidly as it could have, perhaps. However,
Petros Triantafyllou
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mark Lawrence never fails to surprise me. Five books in the same universe, at the same chronical period, and yet you never get bored of it. He keeps creating plot after plot, layer after layer of political machinations, all eventually combined or intertwined, and proceeds to blow your mind.

“Still, children hope in ways adults find hard to imagine. They carry their dreams before them, fragile, in both arms, waiting for the world to trip them.”

The general plot arc of The Liar's Key was exactly wh
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-on-shelf
This book was worth every second I spent on it.
It is an impressive continuation of Prince of Fools.

What I liked the most about it was the addition of the flashback. I could not wait to know more about the Red Queen and I was so thirsty for that knowledge.

The book really works on the balance between Jalal and Snorri with a couple of new additions (view spoiler).
Hennan is an amazing, clever, scarred and funny l
TS Chan
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read, audiobook
July 2016: Buddy (re)read with my fantasy-loving friends at BB&B!

Home-there's a magic word. I hadn't fully appreciated it on my first return but this time I would be going home the rich and conquering hero and I'd damn well enjoy it. After all, did I not say: 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.
Consistency! That's the finest virtue a man can possess. Somebody famous said that
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lawrence
This was an enjoyable read with great world-building, exciting adventures and intriguing stuff going on behind the scenes that was somewhat frustrated by my issues with the protagonist.

The world-building really took off in this one after some promising signs in the first book. I really liked how the current state of the world is set against the back-drop of the fallout from a nuclear war (the "day of a thousand suns") and how civilization is shown to have been slowly and painfully re-built. I a
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The one-word review: AMAZEBALLS!

The full-length review: SUPER AMAZEBALLS!

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of THE LIAR’S KEY. (Oh, who am I kidding? I engaged in uncontrollable, trance-like begging, in the manner of a pathetic, grovelling type of berserker. I threatened Mark Lawrence that I would write Viking-inspired songs about him and sing them in the amalgamated style of Taylor Swift, Fifty Cent and Placido Domingo. That did it. Never underestimate the lengths a reader would go to for a belov
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm glad I re read this and The Prince of Fools again before starting The Wheel of Osheim. I remembered some of the story only dimly although my impressions of the main characters remained.

This isn't so much a review as a few rambling thoughts before I finish the trilogy.

It's interesting to compare Jorg of Ancrath with Prince Jalan. No doubt Jorg is the darkest of men, but he never pretended to be anything else. Prince Jalan is a vain fool. On this re read I found Jalan a lot more annoying. Lawr
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This did not quite match the first book in the Red Queen's War series in terms of quality or excitement, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

Snorri has Loki's Key and is determined to use it to go through Death's Door and find his family. Jalan decides to tag along for the journey since Snorri's quest will take him past Red March. Not that the pair have escaped the war between the Red Queen and the Lady Blue. Agents of both sides seek the key for their own purposes.

Like the first book this
Deborah Obida
Fear is a valuable commodity, it’s common sense compressed into its purest form. A lack of it is not a good thing.

To say that I am disappointed in this book is a gross understatement due to how I adore PoF, I rated the first book 5 stars and its one of my favourite books. When I started PoF I couldn't put it down till I finished it, sadly its wasn't the same with this book. I fell asleep more times than I could count while reading this, at first I thought it was tiredness before I realised t
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my. I love this book <3

The world is expanding, and new characters are introduced. I do love me some trolls :)

The blood magic and flash backs that Jalan is having are fascinating, and I love Karra, Cara? (Sorry I did the audiobook so I'm not sure on spelling), is a great character. I'm coming to love Snorri more and more, although that's not particularly surprising, he was my favorite in the first book as well.

I was telling myself I was going to wait a few weeks to finish this book because
Nov 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: grimdark, fantasy, library
Solid 3.5 stars from me.

I still love Jalan, but the wandering around was a bit tiresome to me. Great conclusion though.

Full review to come!
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If you read the first book the second is more of the same.

After the advertures of the first book, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in the possession of Loki's key. A magic key that will open any door, and I mean any door. Jalan just wants to go home and return to his old life. Snorri wants to open the door to Hel and go find his family.

Same as with the first book Jalan is not my favorite character. When the "hero's" first thought in a fight is to run I rea

Mayim de Vries
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Welcome to May-nority corner of unpopular opinion. I know that Red Queen's War is loved and rates highly, but I have issues with this book… No actually, I have issues with Jalan. Fool of a prince who in the first part of the series brought me as close to polyandry as I will ever get and in the present installment morphed into a sort of an ugly princeling of worst sorts.

Jalan was never meant to be Mr. Perfect, to the contrary all his charm depended on being a cowardly, selfish and opportunist sc
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Time still heals all wounds, for now. But the world grows thin around this tome as the letters light up on the pages, their magic burning bright, casting long shadows toward the black void of Osheim.

As the sun is setting on the Broken Empire, shading dreams into reality, there is still a little time left for laughs, there’s still a margin for a handful of clever tricks and foolish hopes, there’s still a crack to let the last rays of joy in before it slowly closes around each step leading down to
samantha  Bookworm-on-rainydays
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to have to go and say that I didn't enjoy this as much as the first. It's a long book and it felt that way right through. The journeying that was an experience I relished before now seemed unnecessarily repetitive. It took flashbacks into the past to add any genuinely new information about the characters. However, those were excellent as they focussed on Jalan, his mother, and the rise of his grandmother, the Red Queen. They were so good, in fact, that they actually overshadowed the mo ...more
The Review: http://thefictionalhangout.blogspot.c....

The Red Queen has set her players on the board...

Winter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the longed-for luxuries of his southern palace. And although the North may be home to his companion, the warrior Snorri ver Snagason, he is just as eager to leave. For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hell to bring his wife and children back into the living world. He has Loki’s key – now all he needs is to find the door.

As all wait for the i
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2015
Hello, my name is Nightflier and I'm an addict.

The sad truth is that I don't feel happy if I do not read. I am not productive, I can barely work and my hands start to shake. Fortunately or not, my job is to read - and after that to translate what I read. The trouble is that even when I become lost in translation for hours at a time, I still must greet the next day by reading a book. Over the past decade or so I've read thousands of novels, so I've become jaded and rare is the book that can tickl
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dark comedic fantasy fans
4-stars for this one.

Despite it not being quite as amusing as Prince of Fools, I still really liked this book.

I know that one or two of my friends on GR felt let down by this book but I disagree. I hear what they're saying, and I agree that there were parts that maybe could have been cut down a bit but I liked the direction of the story just fine.

The section where Jalan is basically just gambling in Florence was a little unnecessary but it was all part of the big-picture so I don't mind that. A
Wow, talk about a lot of pressure going into a book. Due to delays with Canada Customs and Canada Post, I was late (really late) getting my copy of The Liar's Key. By the time I cracked the spine I was already aware of a slew of 5-star reviews, and even if I tried to avoid reading them beforehand, I still knew many readers who were calling this Mark Lawrence's best work to date.

Yeah, as if my own expectations weren't already high enough!

The thing is, early on, I will admit to a few shadows of do
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
You know when you spend a silly amount of time setting the mood for someone that is special to you. You experiment with the lighting to make sure it is just perfect, maybe light a candle so the room fills with the luscious scents of vanilla and coconut and then you put some music on and pour a drink and settle into your favourite chair. Sound familiar?

I did all that before sitting down to read The Liar’s Key. I know it’s a bit bonkers but that’s what you do when you’ve been anticipating somethin
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Funny as hell one-liners, a creepy key, lots of walking, a little tougher prince but still chicken = good shit!! On to The Wheel of Osheim ...more
Lawrence did it again! I love this book.

This whole nightmare had started with Astrid pounding on my door, dragging me from a good dream. Every part of my return had been about the opening of one door or another. It had been a mistake to open that first door too. I should have stayed in bed.
And yet . . . "

In book two we find Jal where we left him with Snorri and Tuttugu; at the Three Axes in Trond ... trying to make the best of the situation at hand ... with Astrid, Edda, He
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars. Another amazing book by Mark Lawrence.
I loved Jalan as a character in this book, he is truly fun to read and his development was a joy to see. Jalan is a liar, a cheat, a gambler, a womanizer and a self proclaimed professional coward. As a result the man has boundless talents for running away from danger, he'll do anything to stay alive, sacrifice anyone as long as he escapes harm. The fact that he is not restricted by 'rules' such as loyalty, heroism or morality makes his job even
Twerking To Beethoven
It's kind of late, alright. What was I to say? Oh yes, the ending is one bastard of a cliffhanger, nevertheless "The Liar's Key" is a five-shining-star book. Aye, five stars indeed. Not only is the story amazing as usual... also, let's be honest, Mark Lawrence gets the job done and hasn't yet pulled a Rothfuss/Martin schtick on us.

So, anyway, I might be back in the next days in order to write a proper review. In case I don't (which is very likely), know I enjoyed this novel heaps. Otherwise I wo
Jalan is one of my favorite POVs ever.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently became aware that I use awesome excessively. So.... This book is wondrous; delightfully written, deliously dark, epically heroic....

Jalan starts the adventure in bed, asleep, while Snorry is loading his ship ready to embark on his new quest. Needless to say, they adventure together, make friends, enemies, discover more about the undead and Jalan's royal relatives.

Lawrence didn't plan to be an author and we can only be grateful that he changed his mind, serendipitous for us as this is
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Liar's Key [Sept 15, 2019] 63 34 Oct 30, 2019 10:02AM  
Fantasy Book Club: To whom is Jalan telling his story? 5 67 Apr 29, 2018 05:32AM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Liar's Key [Mar 1, 2018] 67 42 Apr 10, 2018 12:23AM  
Is Mick Jagger a Viking?? 1 11 Nov 28, 2016 10:49AM  
Reading to fast, running out of authors 6 35 Dec 27, 2015 06:35AM  

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Other books in the series

The Red Queen's War (3 books)
  • Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War, #1)
  • The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen's War, #3)

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