Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War)

By Mark Lawrence

First in a new sequence from the writer of The damaged Empire Trilogy.

The purple Queen is previous however the kings of the damaged Empire dread her like no different. For all her reign she has fought the lengthy warfare, contested in mystery, opposed to the powers that stand in the back of international locations, for larger stakes than land or gold. Her maximum weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by way of so much and unstated of via all.

The pink Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is person who can see The Silent Sister. 10th in line for the throne and content material together with his function as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone isn't there. yet struggle is coming. Witnesses declare an undead military is at the march, and the pink Queen has referred to as on her relatives to shield the area. Jal thinks it’s all a rumor—nothing that would have an effect on him.

But he's mistaken…

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Do you've got a very good awl? A war-axe, no longer whatever for slicing wooden. ” As the smith headed in to delve via his inventory, Snorri pulled a pouch on a string from approximately his neck. I crowded over to determine what he had. Silvers! at the least 5 of them. “Who’d you homicide for these? ” I frowned, extra on the considered Snorri being richer than me than on the considered theft with violence. “I’m now not a thief. ” Snorri reduced his brows. “All correct, we’ll name it pillage,” I stated. Snorri shrugged. “Viking lands are terrible, the soil sparse, winters merciless. So a few do succeed in out and take from the vulnerable. It’s precise. We Undoreth, in spite of the fact that, wish to take from the strong—they have higher stuff. for every longboat introduced opposed to far away seashores there are ten and extra introduced to raid shut neighbours. The Viking countries waste their major power on one another and feature regularly performed so. ” “You nonetheless haven’t responded the query. ” “I took from the powerful! ” Snorri grinned and reached out to take the awl the smith introduced him. “That great guy with Taproot after we left? the fantastic Ronaldo! Circus strongman. ” No Norse awl this, yet a serviceable footman’s awl, a unmarried triangular blade, the ash haft iron-banded and darkish with age. The awl used to be ever a peasant’s weapon, yet this one at the very least were made for a peasant signed to a few lord’s levy. Snorri twirled it, coming alarmingly as regards to the inventory tables, me, and the smith. “The remarkable Ronaldo made a guess with me relating to a feat of power. He didn’t win. That dwarf stated they’ll name him the surprised Ronaldo now! ” Snorri hefted the awl and held the blade just about his ear as though hearing it. “I’ll take it. ” “Three. ” The smith held up the proper variety of palms as though Snorri hadn’t been conversing the Empire Tongue. “He’s robbing you! 3 silvers for what’s essentially a farm enforce? ” But Snorri paid over the cash. “Never haggle over a weapon’s expense. purchase or don’t purchase. retailer the arguments for if you happen to personal it! ” “We’ll need to get you a sword,” I acknowledged. “When cash permit. ” Snorri shook his head. “An awl for me. Swords trick you into considering you could guard. With an awl all you are able to do is assault. That’s what my father named me. Snorri. It potential ‘attack. ’” He lifted the awl above his head. “Men imagine they could protect opposed to me—but while I knock, they open. ” • • • “What the hell are unborn? ” It took 3 days for me to invite the query. We’d come using into town of Pentacost, overlaying a few hundred miles from the border. Snorri nonetheless rode like a log, yet thankfully he additionally persisted like a log and hadn’t murmured a notice of criticism. Rain discovered us at the street and poured on our heads for the final ten miles, so we got here dripping from the stables and now sat on the centre of our personal little lakes, steaming lightly earlier than an empty fire within the King of Rhone tavern. “You don’t understand? ” Snorri raised rainy eyebrows at that and plastered his hair farther up his brow, shaking the surplus water from his palms. “No. ” I’m frequently like that. i've got a foul behavior of blanking unpleasantness from my mind—something I’ve performed given that i used to be a toddler.

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