Prince of Fools byMark Lawrence is the first book of The Red Queen’s War trilogy set. If anything, this author knows how to go against the grain and write stories that doesn’t necessarily conform to what you’d normally expect from your every-other-book protagonist. If you’ve read his previous works, you’ll know that he tends to tread more towards the dark and gritty side when fleshing out his characters and honestly, I love it when authors do this. With Prince of Fools, I would say that it treads a bit away from the dark side but the story is nonetheless very enjoyable to read and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
Here we get to follow none other than Prince Jalen, a self-confessed coward. It is for this simple fact which makes this story so much fun to read! Let’s be real with ourselves. Many of us read fantasy books and stories about mighty heroes taking down the villains and whatnot because we look at it as a way to escape from our reality. Deep within ourselves however, we all know that we’re more cowards than anything else! Prince Jalan’s character is proud of this fact and you just can’t help but like the guy for it. When a character outlines the different ways on how to “expertly” escape a certain situation in the most cowardly way possible, you know you’re in for some fun times! Of course, reading the cowardly ways of a character can only go so far without being stale. To balance things out, we get a dose of masculinity in Snorri, the Viking. Pair these two unlikely characters together and you’ve got a classic recipe for some hilarious scenes and conversations. Pacing was great throughout. Both Snorri and Jalan keeps things moving by traveling to different locations frequently with battles sprinkled every now and again to entertain us.
If you’re wanting to read a fantasy that has a bit of everything, I highly recommend checking out this series. This is especially true if you’re looking for some comedy. You’ll definitely get that here. Despite loving Prince of Fools, I’m not sure when or even if I’ll continue with the next book. Such is the life of someone having to balance work time and having a large to-read list! The good news is that Prince of Fools in my opinion can be read as a standalone and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.