A Fantasy Series Review
♦ The Story. A prophecy is set in motion; two boys are born. One is conceived of the rape of a queen, controlled by drugs, raised almost from birth to be demented and sadistic. The other is termed bastard, his mother named a foreign whore, his father unknown, he spends his days in the castle's kitchen as a baker's boy. Neither is aware of the ties that bind them, and that the fate of the world rests on the outcome of their eventual meeting.
♦ My Thoughts. This series is full of characters and subplots. It is set in a pretty typical medieval type world peopled by pretty typical characters. In addition to Jack the baker's boy and Prince Kylock, you have the disgraced knight, the young pickpocket, the evil wizard, the corrupt archbishop, the greedy lord and his strong willed daughter, just to name a few. Also typical is the violence, greed, political intrigue, loose morals, struggle for power between religions and governments, war, sex and rock and roll...no wait, wrong era....
Best overall description I can make on this series is entertaining. This was J.V. Jones' debut series and not her best effort but I still think it was a good start. Obviously at the time others did too as all three books made the bestsellers lists. I loved her use of humor sprinkled throughout, both by the conversations of Grift and Bodger on men, women, sex and gossip and the torment Archbishop Tavalisk inflicts on both his pets and his poor assistant. The snippets of humor help to balance the angst of Jack, Melliandra and Tawl, the cruelty of Baralis and Prince Kylock and Lord Maybor's blind ambition.
As an excellent example of classic good against evil fantasy, I thoroughly enjoyed this series. The magic wasn't well defined but still believable, the characters were strangely appealing and the world brutally true to a Middle Ages setting. If you don't go into this series expecting more then pure entertainment you will find yourself turning pages and looking forward to watching the story unfold. A great first effort and one I still reread ever so often even though her later works exhibit much more depth and skill.
♦ Conclusion. This series contains mature themes including rape, torture and murder, but in my opinion the comic relief lessens the intensity. Also be aware that these books can be hard to find and some of the ones in book stores are a bit pricey. If this is a problem the Kindle's omnibus edition is a less expensive option, and cheaper versions can be found if you shop around abit. Plus there are always secondhand or library options.
If you would like more detail on these books, please check out the individual reviews.
|Author: J. V. Jones
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Content: Wizards, Hero/Heroine, Adult
Series: The Book of Words
Source: Personal Copies
|Read an Interview with J. V. Jones|
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Available in Kindle
See individual reviews for more information.
More Great Epic Fantasy
Epic Series Summary of The Book of Words by J. V. Jones - Reviewed by Mulluane - on August 21, 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars