Fighting the Good Fight: Red Queen’s War Trilogy Review

*Spoiler Free*

So some of you will know, I was in a MASSIVE book slump while I was away. With everything going on, I struggled to concentrate on reading… until I picked up Mark Lawrence’s Red Queen series. Because one thing I know for sure is that some authors are just perfect for pulling me out of a slump- and Lawrence just so happens to be one of those authors for me.

prince of fools

Prince of Fools– this was *exactly* the action packed, witty book I needed to get me reading again! I’d describe a lot of Mark Lawrence’s work as “read in one sitting” kind of books and this was no exception! As part of the Broken Empire universe, I felt the vivid descriptions built on the world beautifully and the crossover elements worked very well. In fact there were some parts of this book that made me almost prefer it to Prince of Thorns. As always, the sense of voice was incredible and I loved Jalan as a character- dare I say, even more than Jorg. I felt he was relatable, his motivation made sense, his flaws were well thought out and he’s probably Lawrence’s funniest character to date. It was thanks to his persona that I was laughing the whole way through this one. I also liked the way Jalan played off other people. However, I did find that this didn’t quite light the spark under me in the same way as Lawrence’s other books, which is why I gave it:

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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liar's key

Liar’s Key– I always feel transported by Lawrence’s work- and this book was a perfect example of why! Even though this is the 5th book set in this universe, what was remarkable about it was how fresh Lawrence managed to make it. By building on the previous work with deeper connections to the mythological elements, Lawrence created a richer tapestry and added so many layers to the storytelling. The hints of the previous destroyed world, especially the inaccuracies in their interpretations of Florence and Venice, created a sense of history. Subplots, like with the bankers, were really clever and totally worked for me. I also liked the way the dreams interwove with the rest of the tale and formed pieces of a puzzle. What I also liked was Jalan’s developing relationships and the real sense of the character’s progression, without losing a sense of his original identity. I particularly liked how he became a kind of roguish mentor to Hennan and how this showed he was softening (albeit still giving advice like “take the money”).

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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wheel of osheim

Wheel of Osheim– annoyingly, I didn’t take enough notes for this one… but that’s because I was too wrapped up in it. From the intriguing prologue to the epic conclusion, I was transfixed by this story. Again, I loved the mythological side to the story- and really loved the direction that took! I don’t want to spoil anything, so all I’ll say is the world building was intricately mindblowing and the origin of how Aslaug came to be was just perfect. Of course, as a fan of the original trilogy, I also appreciated the Jorg cameo and the repetition of one of my favourite quotes (death isn’t what it was). All in all, it made for another fantastic finale!

Rating: 4½ bananas

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So, yeah reading a whole series back to back definitely classifies as snapping me out of a slump! Have you read it? Did you like it? And what’s the last book or series that got you to start reading again? Let me know in the comments!