Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Book of Words by J. V. Jones (Series Summary)

Mulluane | 5:24 PM | 3 Comments so far

A Fantasy Series Review

The Book of Words by J. V. Jones
The Book of Words - Kindle Omnibus Edition
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

♦ 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 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.

Individual Book Reviews:  The Baker's Boy - A Man Betrayed - Master and Fool

(Additional Info)
Author: J. V. Jones

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Content: Wizards, Hero/Heroine, Adult

Series: The Book of Words

Publisher: Aspect

Source: Personal Copies
Read an Interview with J. V. Jones

Author's Web Presence (all inactive)
Website - Blog - Twitter - Facebook

Available in Kindle
See individual reviews for more information.

More Great Epic Fantasy 
Already read the series? Please add your own rating!

Epic Series Summary of The Book of Words by J. V. Jones - Reviewed by Mulluane - on August 21, 2008 - Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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  1. Great job on reviewing this entire series! I read this series twice and I really enjoyed it. I'm surprised that they are so hard to find, especially since the author just had the novel from her current series release last fall.

    Try The Deed of Paksenarrion for an upcoming series review. It is usually available as an omnibus edition. I wore out my first copy and was obliged to buy another. I loved it that much.

  2. I wonder about that myself. You look on Amazon or B&N and the paperback versions are close to $20 and the only book versions available.

    I'll put The Deed of Paksenarrion on my to do list but at the moment there is no money for books not already residing on my shelves, darn economy. For now I'm starting on the first trio of Elizabeth Hayden's The Symphony of Ages saga.

    Should keep me out of trouble for a few days....maybe.

  3. I've read that as well! But I only read the first three novels. I thought the story ended at book 3, and a few years later I discovered that the author had put two additional books out.

    I'll look forward to checking out your opinions.


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