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Mark Lawrence: Liars Key (Review)

Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.

Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.

The Prince of Thorns is his first published novel. It is the beginning of a projected trilogy following the fortunes of Honorous Jorg Ancrath.

Author Website

The Liar’s Key

(2015)
(The second book in the Red Queen’s War series)
A novel by Mark Lawrence

Liars key

 

From the critically-acclaimed author of PRINCE OF FOOLS comes the second volume of the brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN’S WAR. ‘If you like dark you will love Mark Lawrence. And when the light breaks through and it all makes sense, the contrast is gorgeous’ ROBIN HOBB 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 ice to unlock its jaws, the Dead King plots to claim what was so nearly his – the key into the world – so that the dead can rise and rule.

Review:

For those who have not read it, the Broken Empire series is an excellent fantasy series, one that take the reader right to the edge, page after page…. and yet i have found myself enjoying the Red Queens War much more, i cant quite pin down why, it may be the more general appeal of the series. I feel it spans a broader age spectrum? It may be the utter Britishness of the of the humour on the book? either way the characters rapidly win you over in this book, and then drag you along on a wild ride.

This is no fantasy that sets out to to give you a muscle bound hero or the slightly flawed hero, this series gives you an out and out unabashed coward, in the form of Prince Jalan, a character who while a coward has many redeeming characteristics. He is funny, heroic when there is absolutely no way out of it, and ultimately a friend to his direct opposite Snorri (well as long as the friendship doesn’t put him in danger), Snorri, a Viking, Huge muscle bound, deadly, and with courage enough for all, is the perfect foil for all that nervous cowardliness.

Liars Key isn’t as dark as Prince of Fools, we still face a race against the undead/ unborn. But we start to unravel and learn more about the past that has led our two protagonists to this point, which great wheels are in motion, how the great politics work, and we get to enjoy the growth of Jalan and his friendship with Snorri and the rest of their group. This time the group travel south, back to and through Vermillion. Jalan learns about the red Queen, the silent sister and more of his family, and more than anything he gets angry, he learns about his mothers death, and this ignites a desire for revenge, all this tempered with his individual style of self preservation.

The more books i read by Mark Lawrence the more hooked i become on his style. Another wonderful comparison has been the ability to read this series alongside Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea series. Both very different in style to their own other work, and from each other but both wonderfully compelling and absorbing. I cant decide who has the better series here…. but i think Mark is leading by pure dint of the dry humour of Jalan.

This is a series i very very highly recommend to readers of all books, don’t be tied by genre, this is exceptional writing, so pick up and oar and row the whale road with Snorri and Jalan, everything is set up for a fantastic book three.

(Parm)

Series

 

Broken Empire
1. Prince of Thorns (2011)
2. King of Thorns (2012)
3. Emperor of Thorns (2013)
Mark Lawrence 2-Book Bundle (omnibus) (2013)
Sleeping Beauty (2014)
The Complete Broken Empire Trilogy (omnibus) (2014)

 

Red Queen’s War
1. Prince of Fools (2014)
2. The Liar’s Key (2015)

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Filed under Fantasy, Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence: Emperor of Thorns (Review)

Author

lawrence

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled.His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments.

Product Description

emperor

Lawrence brings his highly acclaimed epic fantasy series – The Broken Empire – to its devastating conclusion.

The path to the throne is broken – only the broken can walk it

The world is cracked and time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne no matter who stands against me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending.

This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don’t look to me to save you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don’t follow me.

Follow me, and I will break your heart.

Review

“There are very few fantasy writers out there who can produce something this rounded, so complete, so powerful and action packed”

2013 is the year of fantastic books, i set myself the challenge of reading 100 books, thinking that i would have to cast around for some fillers titles to be able to read that many. How wrong i was, i think i have found over 250 books i want to read this year, which means i have had to be selective about who gets my time.

I have been a big fan of both Mark Lawrence the writer and Mark Lawrence the man, a person who gives so much in his writing and also as a charitable person. He has inspired me to do more and look for more ways to help others. (thank you Mark).

So this is the end: and that fact made me think of the Doors

This is the end 
Beautiful friend 
This is the end 
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end 
Of everything that stands, the end 
No safety or surprise, the end 
I’ll never look into your eyes…again

Can you picture what will be 
So limitless and free 
Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand 
In a…desperate land

Lost in a Roman…wilderness of pain 
And all the children are insane 
All the children are insane 
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There’s danger on the edge of town 
Ride the King’s highway, baby 
Weird scenes inside the gold mine 
Ride the highway west, baby

Ride the snake, ride the snake 
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby 
The snake is long, seven miles 
Ride the snake…he’s old, and his skin is cold

The west is the best 
The west is the best 
Get here, and we’ll do the rest

The blue bus is callin’ us 
The blue bus is callin’ us 
Driver, where you taken’ us

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on 
He took a face from the ancient gallery 
And he walked on down the hall 
He went into the room where his sister lived, and…then he 
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he 
He walked on down the hall, and 
And he came to a door…and he looked inside 
Father, yes son, I want to kill you 
Mother…I want to…fuck you

C’mon baby, take a chance with us 
C’mon baby, take a chance with us 
C’mon baby, take a chance with us 
And meet me at the back of the blue bus 
Doin’ a blue rock 
On a blue bus 
Doin’ a blue rock 
C’mon, yeah

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end 
Beautiful friend 
This is the end 
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free 
But you’ll never follow me 
The end of laughter and soft lies 
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

 In so many ways this made me think of Jorg and this final book. (and it was surreal that it kept coming on when I had the iPod on random song search)

The bitter-sweet conclusion that leads to no more.

And what and end, a series that has had a set path and an author brave enough to end a successful series and do it on a high. (Yes Mr Robert Jordan i am think of you as the total opposite). This series will take its place in amongst the all time greats of fantasy series.

Mark Lawrence has created a lead character that has had a meteoric growth across the series, but a series that was designed around that growth. A man who is … well a bloody nasty git, rather than a good guy or anti hero, just a total SOB. But he is not just that he is so much more on top, you need to read to see how inspired the writing is, how real it makes Jorg. When you mix it the breakneck speed of the story and the over all plot, all the side characters and a world so real you can see hear smell and touch it… well it makes for a true example of fantasy writing.

As should be expected each book has improved on the last, an author who doesn’t learn from the last book is stagnating (well i think so). The big boys of the genre need to watch their backs, because if Mark Lawrence has more ideas up his sleeve this good then he will not only become a man to be reckoned with, he will becomes the man to emulate. For any new writers in the genre you should be looking to emulate this guy, he is damn good. He writes the story without fear of audience, editor, market or competition, he just writes pure quality fantasy.

What ever comes next sign me up now as a reviewer, test reader, buyer, what ever. I just know i will be buying a signed hardback to go with every book in this series.

thank you Mark for a wonderful 3 years of Jorg.

Very Highly Recommended

(Parm)

Broken Empire

Prince of ThornsKing of ThornsEmperor of Thorns

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Filed under Fantasy