Book Review: The Liars Key (The Red Queen’s War: Book Two)

Book Review: The Liars Key (The Red Queen’s War: Book Two), By: Mark Lawrence

I give this book five out of five stars for making me laugh from its beginning to end. Anyone who thinks grimdark fantasy has no room for humor will be proven wrong with this book. I never expected the second book in this series to be better than the first. I’m just blown away and astounded that it is, because Prince of Fools is one of my favorite reads from the past two years. I think die-hard fans of the Broken Empire series will appreciate the appearance and mention of some much loved characters.

What I loved about the book:
1) Mark Lawrence is a master at writing first person narratives. For me, reading his prose is like fine artists marveling over the brush strokes in a masterpiece painting. I’m in awe at the narratives construction, the distinct voice of each character, and the very visual action, all compiled into a perfectly synced tale. I’m so happy to know writing is now the author’s full time profession.

2) The plot kept me guessing, and it was fantastic. I assumed the story would follow a neater trail, and it was great to learn I was wrong. The magic played a different role than it has in previous books. It felt new by its very visual representation, layering current action to times and events opened by magic for Prince Jalan.

3) It has the epic fun I search for and crave when I pick up a fantasy novel. I want monsters, magic, interesting characters, battle scenes, friendship, conflict, learning something unexpected, and visiting a world that looks nothing like my backyard. I got all of that and more in this book including: robots, old gods, ghosts, angels, demons, and objects imbued with strange power. It reads odd to see all those things listed off and know some authors can’t handle more than three of these things in one manuscript. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

I also wanted to mention how brilliant I think the author’s note at the start of the book is. More fantasy authors need to replicate this tidy summary to avoid annoying chapters of characters parroting the plot of the first book in the series. It would be great to have notes like these added to future novel audio versions as well; they were not included in my audible copy of this book.

You can find out more about the author Mark Lawrence and his other works on his website HERE. Indie authors should check out the ongoing self-published fantasy blog-off he started.