The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. Read more...
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The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister unseen by most and unspoken of by all.
The Red Queen s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth drinker, gambler, seducer of women is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it s all a rumor nothing that will affect him but he is wrong.
After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war and the Red Queen controls the board.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-04-14
- Reviewer: Staff
A not-so-heroic prince is trapped in a deadly mission that could decide the fate of the kingdom in this trilogy opener set in Lawrence’s alt-European Broken Empire world. Prince Jalan Kendeth, 10th in line for the throne and a self-described coward, has few life ambitions beyond drinking, gambling, and wenching. But the Dead King is raising a vast army that threatens Jalan’s home of Red March. Jalan’s grandmother, the Red Queen, has a secret weapon: a mysterious sorceress called the Silent Sister. Jalan knows the Silent Sister is capable of horrors, but that knowledge doesn’t protect him when he and enslaved Norse warrior Snorri ver Snagson are caught in one of her spells. Bound by magic, the two men become unlikely traveling companions. Shrewd Jalan and honorable Snorri make a marvelous team, lightening a very dark story with wry humor. The brisk adventure and black magic will leave readers eager for the next chapter in the series. (June)