For all her reign the Red Queen 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 of by all.
The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Content with his role as a minor royal, Jal pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war with the undead is coming, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks that nothing that will affect him. He’s wrong…
After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game—and the Red Queen controls the board.
I’ve heard many good things about the author prior to reading, and that sometimes worries me. But, in this instance, it was well-founded.
At first, I had a hard time getting into Prince of Fools, but that is because I’m not a big fan of 1st person novels. Additionally, the author jumps around with the thoughts of the main character Jalan, but that is to be expected, once you get to know him. It fits his character.
All in all, the quality of the writing, and the development of the characters within this novel kept me going. I can look past personal preference if the writing is good. And this is. I really liked Jalan throughout the book, but I feel his companion, Snorri the Viking, steals the proverbial stage.
This is classic Fantasy, not in the Tolkien sense, but in that there is magic, swordplay, heroes and villains…oh yeah, and a quest. Classic. I enjoyed it a lot and will look for the next book in the series.
3.75 of 5 Stars (rounds to 4)