Thursday, August 14, 2008

Master and Fool (The Book of Words, Book 3)

By J.V. Jones

The Known Lands are teetering on the brink of war. Desperate to avert worldwide catastrophe, Jack, the baker's boy, must learn to harness the full strength of his magic to face his ultimate destiny--a final confrontation with the murderously evil Kylock. *Blurb source Publisher
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Master and Fool (The Book of Words, Book 3) by J.V. Jones

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Wizards, Adult
| ISBN-10: 0446670960
| ISBN-13: 9780446670968
| Publisher: Aspect (November 1, 1996)
| Cover: Darrell K Sweet
| Paperback: 532 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Read Chapter One
| Rating: 4 Stars
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Master and Fool (Book of Words, #3) by J.V. Jones

♥ Mini Review ♥
Melliandra, widowed in her marriage chamber, on the run for her life, deemed complacent in her bridegroom's murder, has a secret of her own: a surprise for them all. The marriage was consummated, not only that but she is pregnant and now Tawl has a new purpose in life. He must honor his oath and protect both the Duke's former wife, and his future heir. To do this he needs Jack, the baker's boy fated to destroy the two biggest threats to Melliandra's future. Larn, the sadistic temple of priests with their captive seers and Kylock, the murderer and sadist bent on conquering the world, must be destroyed or all is lost.

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane

♦ My Thoughts. This book starts off with a bang and just keeps going. The character development that I so admired in the first two books continues here. Melliandra discovers that she can endure anything to protect herself and her child. For a strong willed woman such as she is, the types of restraint she must now learn are a true test of her character. Jack will discover strengths of his own as he faces love and betrayal, self doubt and hidden reserves of resolve. And in the end, all the answers he has craved for. Tawl remains one of the most haunted and driven characters in this series but he too will discover hidden truths and the means to deal with his past.

Most of the burning questions get answered, sometimes in surprising ways. All the loose ends that really matter get tied up, but a few things are hinted at and left to your imagination. Not surprising really. There are so many interesting characters that it would be nearly impossible to completely finish off each subplot. I'm not really disappointed by this. I felt she left enough clues that I can easily figure out how things will turn out without being beat over the head with the details. Actually it's kind of fun that way, I get to write part of the ending myself so there is no way I can be disappointed, I have some interesting ideas on the fate of Archbishop Tavalisk for example....

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the characters so I forgave the plot flaws. Nobody was perfect, each character made mistakes and paid the consequences. They had self doubts, indulged in self examination that was sometimes brutal in its honesty, yet at other times totally ignored their own faults, problems, questions or angst and just forged ahead with single minded intensity. In other words, real people. The drama was intense, the pace consistent and sadly the humor in the previous books somewhat lacking in this one. I also enjoyed the prose. One of my favorite lines in the book goes:
No one spoke after that. Tawl, Grift, Nabber and Jack downed the last of their ale in silence. Words seemed far too slender to span all the tragedies of life.
I found myself moved by the imagery of that scene which to my mind is a sign of true talent in an author. All in all another page turner and in my opinion, a very satisfying read.

♦ Conclusion. Classic prophecy driven fantasy in a typical medieval type setting with all the inherent violence and political intrigue that comes with it. This is not a book for the faint of heart. Rape, torture, genocide, infidelity, sex, prostitution, maiming, war and mayhem all in good measure fill these pages. Not saying this is a bad thing, everything that goes on here is true to what went on in the middle ages, well except the magic of course. If you want to hearken back to the days of old when this type of fantasy was popular, you won't find a better example. Good old fashioned high fantasy at its best!

Note: These books are hard to find and for those of you who are cost conscious, can be a bit pricey. I suggest shopping around, third party sellers, the library or buying it used.

♥ Additional Reviews ♥

Series Summary ~ Book One ~ Book Two

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything Rating 3.58/5

Amazon Rating 3.9 out of 5 Stars
(36 customer reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Master and Fool (Book of Words)

Audible: No

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Epic Fantasy Book Review of Master and Fool (The Book of Words, Book 3) by J.V. Jones - Reviewed by Mulluane - on August 14, 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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