Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wheel of Osheim, by Mark Lawrence (2016). Book 3: The Red Queen Wars. 

Mark Lawrence has outdone himself with an amazing third novel to an already intriguing and imaginative series. The Red Queen Wars have completely captured my imagination and painted a picture of a both civilized yet hostile world, driven by greed and power. Throughout the series Jalan Kendeth and Snorri Ver Snagason have become true heros and I have loved watching Jalan become someone of worth and eventually growing in to a man of honour. 

This the the third and final installment, The wheel of Osheim, brings us straight into the thick of action, and sees Jalan being propelled from Hel, finding himself on top of a sand dune in the middle of a desert. He still holds the key. Snorri is no where to be seen.
After narrowly escaping from the desert after being somewhat rescued by a Sheik, Jalan makes his way back to the Red March and inevitably his Grandmother, The Red Queen. Much has changed for Jalan, and the effects of his travels show clearly to those who know him best. On his return the Red Queen declares her brother Garyus King while she goes off to fight the war with The Lady Blue. She also names Jalan the new Marshall of the Red March. 
Fortunately for Jalan, even though all Hell may breaking loose around him, he is able to “break loose” Snorri from Hel, and have him at his side on what looks to be an impossible quest. 
Mark Lawrence has created an extra ordinary character in Jalan and I have just fallen in love! His sense of humour, his honesty, his out look on life. A cowardly under-dog proving his worth, even if it has come a little late. The imagination and genius put into these characters is superb, and this is also seen in the world created for them. 
I have to reccomend this novel to anyone who enjoys fantasy. On par with my 2 most favorite authors, I give the wheel of Oshei in the rating of 8.5 out of 10 stars. Thank you Mark Lawrence you have given me an new author to dote on!
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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Liar’s Key, by Mark Lawrence (2015). The Red Queen Wars – Book 2.

The Liar’s key is the second novel in the Red Queen Wars written by Mark Lawrence, and is even better than the first. We start out once more with our favourite Prince and Viking, crossing treacherous terrain to open Hells door with Loki’s key. In addition to Tuttagu, the ever loyal Underoth, we gain two other companions. A young boy, orphaned before their very eyes, named Hennen, and volva by the name of Kara whose magical abilities seem strangely dark. 

Jalan intends to follow the party as far as his home, where he intends to return to his old life. Snorri however, intends to open Hells door and retrieve his family, or die trying. 

But as with all well made plans, neither of our heroes are able to follow them through as they had hoped. Instead they find themselves on totally different paths, destined to cross again in the nearest future. 

This installment of the Red Queen Wars is fast paced and and filled with action. The ups and downs which the characters go through gives each personality and depth, but none so much as Jalan. He really evolves in this book and grows into someone the reader can be proud of. 

I have to admit I am surprised by this novel, in that I really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have. My assumption that the storyline had peaked was completely wrong. There is so much more to this tale and it has me honestly looking forward to reading the next novel. 

Having really enjoyed The Liar’s Key, by Mark Lawrence, I have given it the rating of 7.5/10 stars. I recommend this novel to a more mature audience,mainly due to content and humor. Great work overall.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (2014). Red Queen Wars- Book 1.

I found this book whilst exploring recommendations on good reads. I wasn’t sure exactly what i was getting into with this novel but I found myself compelled to read it and at least give it a go. I am glad I gave it a try. In fact, I have spent several months reading this particular novel (due to life responsibilities, a new child in the house, and the finding of a new hobby!) I have to say it has intrigued me enough to keep coming back to it every time I hadthe chance to read. 

It all begins with the introduction of a spoiled young prince by the name of Jalan, the Grandson of the Queen of the Red March. Jalan, as it turns out, has an eye for the ladies both in and out of court, as well as a liking of number of gambling activities, including the fighting pits. The former being the precise place he comes into contact with a huge Viking by the name of Snorri. He had already known of his gigantuen size from previous engagements, and this offered him a variety of opportunities, all of which he wished to exploit for his own benefit. Unfortunately for Jalan, both Snorri and the silent sister had other plans for the duo’s future. A carefully planned and executed spell pronounced one “Light sworn” and the other “Dark sworn”,  with visiting beings of the same value at dawn and dusk of each day. 

Hell bent on finding his family, kidnapped by a mad man, Jalan finds himself a part of a possible suicide mission, with Snorri at the helm. Traveling in the opposite direction proved too uncomfortable, assumed effects of the spell cast by the Silent Sisters, Jalan had little choice but to go along. With this only the beginning of a much deeper and more elaborate plot, we follow these two unlikely hero’s through Jalan’s eyes, and delve into an era of Vikings, in a world covered with snow. It was this wasteland and Jal’s personal descriptions of it, that had me constantly returning.

Overall, I have to say that this novel authored by Mark Lawrence has captured both my attention and imagination. Jal has a way of progressing through the story line with terrific humour, so even when things get a little slow there is always amusement to observe. With all the obstacles they face during their mission it’s a surprise that Jal has a sense of humour left! Thus far I am enjoying the” Red Queen War” series, and this the first novel – Prince of fools has been a great opening for many future adventures. I give the book a rating of 8/10 stars. Well done Mark Lawrence.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Emperor of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence (2013).

Mark Lawrence has given us an amazing final novel to the Broken Empire series. It has been an incredible journey with Honerous Jorg Ancrath brimming with outrageous adventures which never turn out how you first expect, no matter how good the reader is at predicting plots!

In this novel we follow Jorg and his company to Vyenne, accompanied by the Guilden Guard who protect the royalty of the Hundred. Jorg’s intention is to be voted as Emperor, and has been throughout the series, but in this novel the opportunity finally becomes available. With his entourage of a variety of nobility, including his wife and newly born son, he marches right up to the gates and take what he believes is his. But all along Jorg has an anterior motive. One that will ensure human kinds existence and not eventually burned by the Builders suns.

In his own unique way, Jorg Ancrath has wormed his way into readers hearts, even though he performed some incredibly hideous acts. The feelings he finds for his son and the eventual loyalty he finds for those he chooses to see as family all give Jorg Ancrath enough heart and soul to become somewhat of a hero. Which brings us to the end of the series which in our eyes he remains a hero as the author intends and not wasted and drawn out in further novels. A brief spark, but one that produced such light it has scorched readers so they will never forget the fire that was Jorg Ancrath. Nor the fires alight in many of the other characters, too many to name here but most notably Kathrine, Makin, Father Gomst of course!

I have immensely enjoyed the Broken Empire series and I have to admit I am saddened to say goodbye. There have been some unforgettable characters and amazing plots, twists and turns. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the game of thrones genre and to anyone who enjoy blood and gore laced with humour and unique personality. I give Emperor of Thorns 10/10 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Reviews

Book Review: King of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence (2012). 


The second novel of the Broken Empire Series has been an amazing journey with Honerous Jorg Ancrath, as he grows older still through to manhood. Mark Lawrence has written an amazing story that constantly surprises the reader giving an epitome of emotional reactions. I found myself laughing hysterically at many comical scenes, stunned and Jorg’s nerve and courage, shocked by his decisions and plans and amazed at the whole book in general. Jorg Ancrath sure has one harrowing tale to tell.

The novel itself flashes back to 4 years earlier and then back again just as it did with the previous novel, but this time instead of filling in the gaps of Jorg’s childhood, it fills in the gaps from the first book during his teenage years. Much of which has been kept hidden, from himself included. Locked away in a small box he keeps hidden at his hip. In this way he is able to keep his plans hidden from the dream sorcerers.  

With strange powers at play behind the scenes which Jorg finds himself slowly unraveling, we learn from Katherine’s Journal about other evils which the “hidden hands” playing the game of thrones has done. She tells of how she herself an those surrounding her have been used as pawns in this invisible game, and she begins to learn how to achieve a sort of dream sorcery herself. 

My favourite parts of the book have to be the battle and fight scenes. Mark Lawrence has done a superb job with describing the fights and war and gore of it all. Jorg can almost be compared to a cat in that he seems to survive the most unbelievable circumstances and come out on top. There really is a magic in the words! 

Overall I have most definitely enjoyed reading King of Thorns and following Jorg Ancrath. I would recommend this novel to young adults and up and I recommend it as a must read for anyone who enjoyed the Game of Thrones series. However I believe Mark Lawrence has taken it even further and is in a league of his own. I give this book a rating of 9.5/10 stars. 

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence (2011).


Prince of Thorns has been an amazing whirlwind adventure, games of chance, and total madness! It’s been a thrilling opening novel to a series that is set to bring further mayhem and destruction to an already war ridden land where 100 kings and their bloodlines fought to become emperor. Jorge, honourable Prince of Ancrath, is set to be the first man to succeed.

This thrilling tale follows Jorge through his adventures from his torturous youth, to the present mayhem of teenage hood. As an adult King Jorge is set to become formidable. With his band of “brothers” Jorge sets off after the death of his mother and brother, at the ripe old age of 9, causing havoc amongst the lands with his main target the murderer lord Renar his overall game end. However, Jorge doesn’t accomplish his tasks single handed, there are many memorable characters, such as Sir Makin, and some of whom are felled along the way such as the Nuban.

Jorge manages the impossible along his journey, defeating his foes in ways that are surprising and unique, and I found myself glued to each page. There is a surprising likeness to Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, with the obvious “game of thrones” being played as an underlying storyline to the main plot. But no matter the similarities, Prince of Thorns remains unique in plot and framework, and the story itself feels much more “raw”, for lack of a better term!

Overall I have to admit to loving this novel and first of The Broken Empire series. I would recommend this novel to adults who enjoy the secrecy, plotting and battle that royal families play to remain or gain the throne. I have given this book a rating of 9/10 stars and I can’t wait to read the following title.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb (2008).

The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb is the second book in the exceptional fantasy series The Liveship Traders, in which readers are transported into a magical and sometimes cruel world where Dragon’s are ore than just a possibility. This novel takes up where the last ends with Althea returning home aboard the Liveship Ophelia, Brashen is sailing as first mate aboard the Springeve, and Wintrow remains with the Vivacia seeing to Captain Kennit’s leg.

As always, robin Hob gives readers an amazing tale of heartache and adventure. Althea returns home to find her family not doing at all as well as she had hoped. Brashen realises the Vivacia has gotten into trouble and is concerned for Althea. Paragon realises he is to have a new life, and a good life, whilst it looks like the sea serpents are way more than they first appear to be. Wintrow finds his own destiny aligning with that of his captors and begins to make more of the life he thought had been ruined completely. Readers are also graced with further knowledge of Dragons, Trehaug and the existence of the long lost Elderlings.

This well written novel continues on with this completely breathtaking story at a fast pace that keeps readers turning pages far longer than intended. With Bingtown’s existence threatened as War with the Chalcedon , readers are left with many questions answered but with many more answers yet to come. A complete page turner, I found myself exited to find out what happens next. This always being the first sign of a good fantasy series.

Overall, I feel this is a fantastic addition in the Liveship Traders series, and I enjoyed it immensely. My most favourite storyline, surprisingly being that of Malta and her evolution from spoiled child to intelligent young woman. I would recommend this novel to young adults upward. I doubt that there are many fantasy genre fans that could resist this book. I give this book a rating of 10/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb (1999).

Liveships! This novel brings the reader into a luxurious fantasy world to a place known as Bingtown. Where families of ancient lineage have fought and worked o survive in an extremely difficult time. Deals have been wrought amongst Rain Wild Traders, who have come from the Rain Wilds, and those who have made the port of Bingtown, their home. These deals and agreements must still be honoured by today’s descendants and debts must be paid, by gold or by blood. After all, a ship carved of Wizard Wood was never going to come cheaply.

Robin Hobb has indeed out done herself once again with the creation of so many wonderful characters that its difficult to decide on a favourite. Or even one that I look more than the others! Although Althea has admittedly stolen my heart. She has courage and determination and I think that is what I found most appealing about her. That and her strength living in what is predominantly a patriarchal business. Wintrow, on the other hand holds a different kind of strength, and his character is also very appealing. He has strong convictions and tries his hardest to remain true them even though he is put through so much turmoil vey young. It hard not to look at this character without a little bit of awe. Who else could withstand losing a digit without a sound?

As always, this is a well written novel with intelligent prose and amazing storyline’s. The idea that a ship can potentially have a life of its own in a way so unusual keeps readers engaged throughout. Not to mention the curiously tantalising snipits of information focused on the serpents who appear to be trailing behind most Slaving Vessels. Do they follow merely for the predictable food source or is there truly something much more?

I have to admit I have truly enjoyed this first book in the Liveship Traders Series, authored by the fabulous Robin Hobb. I would recommend it to young adult readers and older, who enjoy adventure and intrigue within their fantasy. I give this book a 10/10 star rating.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb (1997). The Farseer Trilogy Book 3.

Amazing! Utterly amazing! Yet again I have felt myself fall deeply under the spell that is FitzChivalry and Nighteyes, as they save the world from destruction. Fitz, not fully recovered from his “near-death” experience, finds himself alone but for Nighteyes, and must decide what he should now do with his life. Running with the wolf a time allows him to ponder and decide that he would rather be man than something in between , and that Regal must die at his hands. But nothing comes to Fitz as easy as he first plans it, and his attempts are thwarted by Regal and his own mistakes at underestimating his opponents. Fitz finds himself in danger yet again and it is during that this time Verity intervenes and ensures that Fitz puts his self set task aside, and bids him to “come to him”, where he is, far beyond the mountains. Unrelenting Regal makes sure that this task is most difficult for Fitz also, and is the cause of grievous injuries.

By the time Fitz begins his quest beyond the mountains he is joined by a unlikely company, consisting of Queen Kettricken, the minstrel Starling, the Fool, of course Nighteyes and a strange old woman by the name of Kettle. Together they face the Skill road and attempt to reunite with the estranged King Verity who continues his search for Elderlings to help him win the war against the Outislanders and their Red Ships and Raiders.

I fell in love with this tale during the first book. The story is written so well that as I read I feel what the characters feel, the emotions rent are so strongly infused that it’s impossible to keep a dry eye in some places. The writers style is such that everything is easy to visualise in ones minds eye. The relationship between Nighteyes and Fitz is a wonder to read, the way they communicate and the feeling engrained in the way the author writes. The series is one that remains with the reader long after the last page is turned. I recommend this book for young adults and older and give it a rating of 10/10. 

As a series, I feel that I have still yet to find better. I give it a rating of 10/10.

Thank you Robin Hobb. The Six Duchies will live forever in your readers.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb (1996). The Farseer Trilogy ~ Book 2.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, is the second novel of the Farseer Trilogy and an amazing addition. FitzChivalry Farseer, the Kings Man, and an assassin and finds himself in a whole world of trouble. King-in-waiting Verity is exhausted using the Skill to protect the Six Duchies from the r d ship raiders, and has sorely neglected his wife and Queen-in-waiting Kettricken. King Shrewd is slowly dieing of a debilitating illness which causes him horrendous pain, numbed only by potent herbs which leave his mind addled and unable to think clearly. However, when Verity and Kettricken approach the King about a mission to find Elderlings to assist in the war against such a formidable enemy, he was able to find reason not to allow it. But, Prince Regal has managed to have his hand in everything he shouldn’t, encourages the King to allow his brother attempt this quest and so he relents.

Left behind on this journey is of course Fitz who then must deal with the repercussions of such a quest. With Verity gone, he must give care for an elderly King, a compromised Queen-in-waiting, a grieving Fool, and Molly. His dearest Molly. Fitz is left to protect them all, and all the while a spoiled and vindictive Prince Regal plots to destroy him and take the crown for himself. In danger from every direction, Fitz is alone in his ventures, except for one, who never leaves his side no matter what. Nighteyes.
I have loved following FitzChivalry through the intrigue of this second series. It’s hard not to become emotionally attached to the characters as the author writes them in such a way that I am right there in the book. A fantastic book that I recommend to anyone interested in fantasy or have enjoyed books such as the Game of Thrones series. Fantastic work as always Robin Hobb. I give Royal Assassin a rating of 10/10 stars.

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