|I am so, so glad I tried again with Lawrences books, if you’ve read Prince of Thorns and didn’t like Jorg – at least try this first before moving on. Jalan is a self professed coward, he’s self centered, but I liked him right off the bat because his mannerisms and inner thoughts sound a lot like deadpool. Book 1 starts with Prince of Fools – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18693743-prince-of-fools
The world is a very cool mix of Norse mythology and Christian religion with novel elements as well. It was a nice take on zombies – there’s all sorts of zombies; drowned men, ice zombies, unborn etc. The world building was just great.
I liked Jalan more and more as I got through the books, I was really sold on him when he prayed for his horse. I’m an animal nut so an easy way to soften me to a character is sympathy for animals. I really loved Snorri though and I think I can safely say he was my favorite, he’s made it into my top 10 favorite characters. I love an odd couple pairing like Royce and Hadrian from Riyria, or Locke and Jean, Granny and Nanny, I’m just a sucker for two opposite people paired together. It’s a trope I won’t get tired of, I don’t think.
Over the course of the books Jalan grows a lot, and he goes from a self professed coward to someone known as The Red Prince, after he exacts some BADASS revenge on an old enemy.
There are angels in this world that can be bound to human beings and visit them at sunrise and sunset. People who are bound to a sunrise angel are named Light Sworn, and similarly those who are bound to an angel who visits at sunset are named Dark Sworn. Both Snorri and Jalan are bound to one of these angels and it’s a fascinating take on angels. What these angels turn out to be at the end is awesome.
A big part of this book is a quest that Snorri is going on – and it requires him to find the Key (The Liars Key – name of Book 2) so he can open the gates of hell. WE DO SEE HELL EVENTUALLY!!!!
A character is introduced in book two named Kara, she’s a blood witch and can do some pretty interesting magic, I also like having a female character enter the story, book one is just two dudes – it’s nice to have a woman along, and one that can handle herself. Her blood magic can make Jalan see things from the past, and not just his past but the Red Queens past, he gets glimpses into her childhood and that was one of my favorite parts of the series.
Book 3 starts off hilariously – I feel I can’t talk too much about book 3 without giving things away, but I remember laughing out loud at the beginning of book 3. The Wheel of Osheim had a lot of great moments, including the growth and development of Jalan. I hear people who have only read book 1 and 2 that they don’t like Jalan because he’s sort of static, and although he makes small steps in those books I get that – but rest assured in book 3 that changes. He goes through A LOT of loss in that book, and it pokes his conscience and provokes him to become pretty awesome.
I really enjoyed all three of these books, the pacing was great – I wasn’t bored at any point in the book. There’s a good amount of action throughout, and some nice twists and turns to keep it interesting.