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The Red ueen has set her players on the boardWinter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the longed for luxuries of his southern palace And although the North may be home to his companion the warrior Snorri ver Snagason he is just as eager to leave For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hell to bring his wife and children back into the living world He has Loki’s key – now all he needs is to find the doorAs all wait for the ice to unlock its jaws the Dead King plots to claim what was so nearly his – the key to the underworld so that his dead subjects can rise and rule


10 thoughts on “The Liar's Key

  1. says:

    STOP PRESS The Liar's Key has won the Gemmell Legend Award And Jason Chan's UK art won the Gemmell Ravenheart Award for best cover artVery many thanks to everyone who voted also in celebration the UK publishers have lowered the kindle price to £199I'm a big fan That Lawrence guy writes just like I would if I could be botheredThis is my longest book to date just over twice the word count of Prince of Thorns and I had a lot of fun writing it I've continued to aim at a dark fantasy tale with heart to it leavened by the humour our point of view character introducesA tiny snippet While the others prepared themselves I watched the sea with my usual silent loathing The moon broke from behind a cloudbank lighting the ocean swell with glimmers and making white bands of the breaking waves Tuttugu appeared to share some of my reservations but at least like a walrus he had his bulk to keep him warm and to add buoyancy My swimming might accurately be described as drowning sideways “I’m not good in the water” “You’re not good on land” Snorri retortedOther Jalan uotesIf there’s one thing I like less than boats it’s being brutally murdered by an outraged father Always kick a man when he's down I say It's the best chance you'll getThey say the truth will set you free but I find it normally hems me into a corner I've always thought I'd make a great uncle Terrible But great The third and final book The Wheel of Osheim is out


  2. says:

    255 StarsIt pained me to say this but The Liar’s Key is sadly an unworthy seuel to 'Prince of Fools' for meI am clearly in the minority here with my rating and opinion I gave Prince of Fools a 45 out of 5 stars it’s in my opinion Mark’s best work up to date The Liar’s Key is almost the exact opposite of that situationThe plot of the book started 6 months after the end of 'Prince of Fools' and it revolves around Loki’s Key or in other name The Liar’s Key a key that’s capable of opening any doors and sought by only the most powerful people in the Broken Empire such as the Dead King and the Red ueen Picture Liar’s Key French cover editionThere is one thing specifically that didn’t work out for me in the book the direction of the plot To say the least it’s extremely boring and repetitiveHere’s how it goes most of the time The first half consists of Jalan and the gang seafaring and travelling again arrive at shore Jalan get captured break free repeat until the end of first half When the characters finally finished their travel the plot actually didn’t get better but surprisingly it became even boringThe main strength of Prince of Fools for me lies within Jalan and Snorri’s interaction and friendship I love how contrast their friendship are and how Snorri’s ‘good’ behavior affected Jalan’s ‘bad’ attitudes basically this duo is the number 1 factor on why I love Prince of Fools Now my ualm with the 2nd half of the book is Jalan and Snorri weren’t together from the halfway mark until the last part of the book The time Jalan spent alone without Snorri may be one of the most boring sections I ever read in any fantasy book especially his time in FlorenceVague world building and the fact that the Broken Empire took place on Earth aside the entire section in Florence surrounding Jalan’s talk about gambling Poker and banking made me feel like I was reading a contemporary novel it’s not even a fantasy book any during this part for me The pacing was also so dragging that I need to put the book down after each chapter almost every time I actually had to push myself to finish this book because I kept on hoping to love this book after what I get in the first bookIt’s not all bad of course there are some great parts in The Liar’s Key which made my feeling about this book even conflictedThe best part of this book is definitely Jalan’s and Alica Kendeth’s The Red ueen past Although I don’t like the fact that they were again being told in almost the same direction with Broken Empire through dreams both of their background revelations this time were written greatly All the sections revolving around these two character background gave so much depth to their characters and compelling to read It’s a marvelous addition to finally see how Jalan and the Red ueen behave as a kid before both of them became the way they are now “Still children hope in ways adults find hard to imagine They carry their dreams before them fragile in both arms waiting for the world to trip them” The new side characters that appeared here Kara and Hennant turns out to be interesting than I thought they would be Finally the last 10% of the book were fantastic Not only it ended on a cliffhanger the cliffhanger somehow ended up being both funny and compelling as well there’s no way I can stop reading this series after thatMy experience reading this book can be said as eually divided The amount of parts I love and dislike is almost the same However I can definitely say that it’s not a worthy seuel to the fantastic Prince of Fools I’m starting to think that Mark Lawrence’s books just don’t work for me despite how much I wanted them too Up until now I’ve read 6 books written by him only 2 of them managed to reach a 4 stars rating the rest is sadly around 2 35 stars I do however will read Wheel of Osheim the last book in the trilogy first before I confirm my theory on the matter You can find this and the rest of my Adult EpicHigh Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at BookNest


  3. says:

    This review contains minor spoilers The Liar's Key is the second book in Lawrence's The Red ueen's War trilogy I adored Prince of Fools which followed Jalan's escapades across The Broken Empire and therefore picked up this book as soon as I could The survivors from the uest to the Black Fort are Jalan Snorri and their fat honorable Viking friend Tuttugu They have within their possession a magical key known as Loki's Key and this can open any door yet there is a lot to this artifact than just that point Snorri the honourable Norse warrior is a man on a mission and will do anything to find information about where Death's Door can be found His only aim is to rescue his dead family from beyond the grave and if he follows through with that ambition he is setting himself up for a war against the armies of the deceased to achieve this The Dead King and his minions are already tracking the group and the key Jalan however; wants to get himself back to the comforts whores drink and debauchery of Red MarchAt the time of publication this was the longest book that Lawrence had written Unfortunately because of this slow traveling across the land segments drag on sometimes These parts made this story not as unputdownable as the first However when a high octane action seuence comes into play it often has been built up well and then the events blow the metaphorical doors of the hinges story wise So in hindsight the pacing issues lead to the last fifteen percent being breathtakingly well executed and a pleasure to read The narrative is set up perfectly for the next book and it ends with a cliffhanger of sorts While the characters traverse the thousand or so miles of the world again some new cool additions are introduced who play crucial parts Examples being a young intelligent beyond his years orphan called Hennan who the cast meet whilst flirting dangerously close to the Wheel of Osheim and Kara an attractive young witch who they cross paths with when they are trying to find details about their destinies Ah yes Jalan fancies her A diverse fantasy fellowship of sorts is createdWe still follow Prince Jalan of Red March's monologue and it is a pleasure to be in his mind In times of pressure or struggle his enthusiastic initiatives are great to follow It is comically written to perfection as he is still the same wealthy coward liar and a scumbag To heighten the depth of the history and the politics of the world we are presented magically influenced flashback sections in which Jalan is able to open his locked and hidden away memories of his youth A number of these scenes are tragic but highly insightful Yet some of the current day scenes also contain a fair amount of violence including descriptions of torture which I know is a faux pas in some readers eyes but necessary to the narrative Further following these dreamlike visions he is slowly changing as a person with perhaps slightly different priorities now These visions lead to him realising who his ultimate arch enemy is Do people still have arch enemies these days? In this already information brimming book we also find out about the early days of the Red ueen Silent Sister and Blue Lady which relates to the start of The Red ueen's War and gives insight to who is on which side of this Chess Game of potential destruction what each master of the pieces hopes to obtain and also where the players currently find themselves I thought this story was great the ending the character building and the set up for The Wheel of Osheim are expertly composed I do rank this slightly lower than the first because Prince of Fools was full of nonstop often comical action and it was a new approach for writing fantasy and how to present a hero This seems deeper and I think the final tale will benefit from the direction Mark is taking Highly recommended Check out wwwyouandibookswordpresscom


  4. says:

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum ’s official; The Liar’s Key is probably my favorite work by Mark Lawrence to date surpassing even my love for the entire Broken Empire trilogy It’s also stronger than its predecessor Prince of Fools which I rated highly as well but I was never able to shake the feeling that the first book of Prince Jalan’s adventures was still missing a little something – it didn’t read as fluidly as it could have perhaps However The Liar’s Key charges out the gate at full speed and never once does it falter Chalk it up to the story finding its stride in the second book but I found this one went a lot smoothlyThe story picks up again in the port town of Trond where Jalan and the two Vikings Snorri and Tuttugu have spent the winter after their harrowing journey to the Black Fort But as the ice retreats Snorri grows restless to be on the move again driven by his personal mission to bring his slain wife and children back to the world of the living He holds Loki’s Key a magical key said to have the power to open any lock – even the one on death’s doorBut such a powerful item attracts its fair share of attention Others seek Loki’s Key including the Dead King agent of the Lady Blue who has sent her assassins necromancers and armies of undead to dog Jalan and his companions every step of the way in her war against the Red ueen Jalan’s indomitable grandmother In this field full of power players Jalan and Snorri suspect that the two of them are merely lowly pawns on a game board yet they do what they must even if it means heading knowingly into dangerConseuently I watched as the story barreled forth with both the inevitability and heart stopping rush of a runaway tank I could not peel my eyes away As our adventurers travel south towards their goal they pick up two companions – a witch named Kara and an orphan boy named Hennan – to complete their party and join the uest Their motivations range from ambition to loyalty with the exception of Jalan who was unwillingly bound to Snorri’s fate since the very beginning even as he keeps telling himself he’s only along for the ride to escape massive gambling debts and the legions of angry brothers fathers and husbands of the women he’s bedded back homeMany reviewers have contrasted Jalan to Jorg Ancrath the protagonist of Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy stating that the two of them are completely different That’s because they really are but in this book I began to see some similarities not least of all is that fact they are actually both uite disgusting and despicable human beings just in different ways That didn’t stop me from enjoying Jalan’s character though embracing him in a way that I never managed with Jorg Prince of Fools was an aptly named first novel because Jal is a fool indeed albeit a very charming lovable one He’s the best kind of protagonist; for all his unsportsmanlike behaviors Jalan’s internal dialogue provides an endless amount of entertainment This series maintains its much lighter humorous tone because of itAt first I was convinced that Jal wasn’t going to change that he would remain the kind of rakish dandy self serving cad who would throw a woman into the path of an angry horde or use a child as a human shield both of which he considered doing in the course of this story Seriously I never want to find myself in a position where I’d have to depend on someone like him to have my back But Lawrence is a master of characterization We do get to see growth in Jalan a gradual and thoughtful journey that sees him maturing and growing courageous well to a point of course – this is Jal we’re talking about We witness a change in Snorri at the same time as well though he’s lost a bit of his fire in his case burdened by what happened to his family and the knowledge of what he must do I found a great irony in this since the Viking is the light sworn one where Jalan is the dark and yet we see the prince become enlightened while the Viking retreats into his gloom Regardless of how I took to these changes I was amazed to see how incredibly well these two characters evolved and yet they still continue to play off each other very well Bringing Tuttugu Kara and Hennan into the fold did nothing to throw off the momentum and instead added a boatload of new and exciting dynamicsThe Liar’s Key is the kind of seuel every reader dreams about The story is riveting and superbly well constructed just one reason why Mark Lawrence’s writing is such a force to be reckoned with A pure blend of dark magic and adventure this book launches Jalan’s saga to a whole new level It unlocks a whole slew of secrets from his past raising the stakes for everyone involved Perhaps my only uibble is the ending and how fast we blew through it but that’s not even really a true uibble because even now I suspect I only felt this way because I was enjoying myself so much I didn’t want it to be over I have to say I felt that cruel cliffhanger like a punch in the gut but now I simply cannot wait until the third book comes out


  5. says:

    Mark Lawrence never fails to surprise me Five books in the same universe at the same chronical period and yet you never get bored of it He keeps creating plot after plot layer after layer of political machinations all eventually combined or intertwined and proceeds to blow your mind “Still children hope in ways adults find hard to imagine They carry their dreams before them fragile in both arms waiting for the world to trip them” The general plot arc of The Liar's Key was exactly what i was expecting A path followed by the protagonists giving both to them to the readers a solid foundation to carry on into their ultimate goal Throughout the book there is a feeling of impending disaster while there're enough new elements to keep your interest but not so many that you get overwhelmed or confused This together with the propulsive narrative and imagery that is constantly turning stark morbid nostalgic subtly threatening comes together to create an epos Less than 15 days till the release of The Wheel of Osheim If you haven't picked up this trilogy already now is the timeYou can find of my reviews over at


  6. says:

    This book was worth every second I spent on it It is an impressive continuation of Prince of FoolsWhat I liked the most about it was the addition of the flashback I could not wait to know about the Red ueen and I was so thirsty for that knowledge The book really works on the balance between Jalal and Snorri with a couple of new additions view spoiler and Tuttugu until his death a very difficult moment for me really hide spoiler


  7. says:

    July 2016 Buddy reread with my fantasy loving friends at BBB Home there's a magic word I hadn't fully appreciated it on my first return but this time I would be going home the rich and conuering hero and I'd damn well enjoy it After all did I not say I'm a liar and a cheat and a coward but I will never ever let a friend down Unless of course not letting them down reuires honesty fair play or braveryConsistency That's the finest virtue a man can possess Somebody famous said that Famous and wise And if they didn't then they damned well should have Jalan Kendeth is definitely one of my favourite first person POVs Sept 2015An audiobook reviewThat was probably the first ever cliffhanger ending that had me laughing out loud in part of course due to Tim Gerard Reynold's on point narrative delivery The Liar's Key is pretty much all about Prince Jalan way much than in the Prince of Fools where Snorri's back story and character development also formed a decent part of the book Just as we had a glimmer of Jalan's hidden complexities in the first book this instalment took our loveable scoundrel's character development even further Brave Cowardly Generous Selfish It's almost as if he were two peopleMark Lawrence did not turn the cowardly yet serendipitously 'almost heroic' sometimes Prince Jalan into an honourable warrior all of sudden And thank goodness for that for that will be uite a turn off and boring Jal continues to delight with his hilarious self deprecating honest to goodness internal monologue Very often times in fact trying to justify his nobler actions by highlighting the beneficial effects of such an action The lilting prose in which Mark Lawrence delivers such a monologue coupled with Tim Gerard Reynold's superb voice acting resulted in many many hours of pure entertainment There're just too many uotable gems to share in my status updates or here in my review Throw away too much of your past and you abandon the person who walked those days When you pare away at yourself you can reinvent that's true enough but such whittling always seems to reveal a lesser man and promises to leave you with nothing at the endA pretty significant part of Jalan's past and that of the Red ueen's was fleshed out in this seuel; including the event that probably precipitated his tendencies for blanking out unpleasantness These 'flashbacks' provided context to the extent of the Red ueen's War Jalan's true lineage and also finally introducing us to the enigmatic Lady Blue The two new prominent characters travelling with Jalan and Snorri ie Kara and Hennan were also memorable in their own right Although at times I felt that they seemed to serve as fodder to Jalan's character development than anything else within the plot particularly Hennan In spite of the humour however this is by no means light hearted fantasy There were a few truly heart wrenching scenes disturbing displays of necromancy and a pervasive sense of darkness surrounding the Broken Empire And of course plenty of references to Jorg Ancrath here too The Liar's Key is a much longer book than Prince of Fools and the pacing was still uneven with a lot of travelling involved even though it has a good dose of action throughout We do finally get to witness the strange power of Loki's Key in various situations However the worldbuilding started to feel weird especially when Jalan ventured into Florence and the whole financial system really jars with the medieval like setting It is still a worthy seuel in my opinion and regrettably now I have to wait till June next year for the finale Lies smell sweet the truth often stinks


  8. says:

    This was an enjoyable read with great world building exciting adventures and intriguing stuff going on behind the scenes that was somewhat frustrated by my issues with the protagonist The world building really took off in this one after some promising signs in the first book I really liked how the current state of the world is set against the back drop of the fallout from a nuclear war the day of a thousand suns and how civilization is shown to have been slowly and painfully re built I also liked how the central conflict between the Lady Blue and the Red ueen was further developed and we got information about the 2 sides and what they want It was also cool that some of the mysteries from the previous books were answered such as Jalan's mother's death which was shown as part of a really cool flashback seuence while some were left to be answered in the next book who the hell is Taproot the mysterious circus owner I kind of wish that the central conflict and dynastic struggles had received screen time in favour of all of the journeying and adventures While the adventures were mostly entertaining they were nowhere near as compelling as the plotting and scheming that is supposed to determine the fate of the world My main problem with this book and my only major complaints was with the protagonist Jalan At first I thought it was really cool that the main character was such a knobhead as I'm a big fan of anti heroes and I was looking forward to seeing what kind of interesting dynamics such an unusual main character would open up But after 2 books I've gradually gotten sick of the sole POV character being a 2 D caricature of selfishness cowardice and general dickishness without any meaningful character development He's gone from having great potential as a uniue character to interesting to amusing to tolerable to advance the story to making continuing the book a struggle I normally love reading about anti heroes and probably sympathize with them than I should but Jal always annoyed me It reminds me of a debate I saw one time about whether you'd rather have prime Randy Moss or Terrell Owens on your team I went with TO instinctively because I never liked Moss's taking plays off attitude but one of the lads in the debate pointed out that while Moss might sometimes be lazy and that could effect morale to some extent he was never the huge disruptive force in a locker room TO was not uite sure how to tie this analogy in right now but I get the feeling it's important somehow A lot of anti heroes might be objectively worse than Jal but I'll always instinctively prefer a guy who does terrible things for at least somewhat good reasons revenge as the only way to stop worse people to Jal who has just been a petty dickwad for 2 books now For example in The Searchers which I just watched over the Chistmas John Wayne's character is a bitter abrasive racist who seems concerned with killing Indians than rescuing his niecebut he's also brave capable and determined and he's motivated by a genuine if twisted love for his family and sense of honour so despite all of his failings I still felt sympathy and admiration for him In comparison Jal is a painfully shallow character and the only emotions I've felt towards him after about 800 pages are annoyance and distaste Back on the bright side the cast of secondary characters was much stronger than in the previous book Tuttugu the cowardly but loyal Viking was a really entertaining and sympathetic character view spoiler and his death was both shocking and horrific hide spoiler


  9. says:

    The one word review AMAZEBALLSThe full length review SUPER AMAZEBALLSI was lucky enough to win an ARC of THE LIAR’S KEY Oh who am I kidding? I engaged in uncontrollable trance like begging in the manner of a pathetic grovelling type of berserker I threatened Mark Lawrence that I would write Viking inspired songs about him and sing them in the amalgamated style of Taylor Swift Fifty Cent and Placido Domingo That did it Never underestimate the lengths a reader would go to for a beloved seriesThis is the second book in the Red ueen trilogy This review may contain unintentional spoilers for the first book By happenstance or perhaps someone's complex machinations Jal and Snorri now possess Loki's key one said to open any and all doors Many desire this key and would stop at nothing to get it Some want it to rule the world some to destroy it others for some yet unknown purpose Snorri intends to use the key to open Death's door and get his family back Jal wants nothing to do with the key and its inherent dangers wanting nothing but the resumption to his largely hedonistic lifestyle This is problematic insofar as Jal and Snorri are still supernaturally linked and Snorri's resolve is strong as iron The uest for Death's door leads our heroes to witches and trolls caves and other hidden places into doors that magically appear and disappear even prison But though Jal and Snorri embark on this uest of their own accord albeit Jal less enthusiastically it is entirely possible that they are actually being manipulated by unseen forces Even dangerous is the likelihood that the door they will find opens the way to other than what they seek but rather leads to even greater peril and even destruction or at the very least unintended conseuences It also bears noting that the key was fashioned by Loki trickster extraordinaire who might be misleading everyone about its function for no reason other than his own amusementJal and Snorri continue to have excellent rapport they complement and challenge one another continue to be the other's foil Their new companions Tuttugu and Kara especially complement the pair even further They bring out the best –and worst—in each other All of the characters become self aware because of their interaction particularly their disagreements and differences More importantly THE LIAR'S KEY reveals many events in Jal's past he has no recollection of had forgotten or deliberately obfuscated Jal gains new understanding of old events or knowledge where he previously had none They will provide Jal with his own motivations to pursue the uest though he remains largely hesitant Circumstances may yet make a hero of the lovable rascal Or not if leopards indeed can't change their spots Only time will tell You cannot possibly ask of a middle book in a series In fact I believe THE LIAR'S KEY is a tremendous book in and of itself and better in many respects than its already laudable predecessor The humor is sharper than Snorri's axe beguiling than Jal's syrupy charms subtle and finessed than the Silent Sister's schemes The bit of tongue in cheek with the names of people places and things also continues to amuse The story proceeds swiftly yet still remains largely veiled and mysterious and the same air of mystery surrounds many characters—you can never be certain about their true intent Finally of course we continue to be regaled by Mark Lawrence's lyrical prose and touching insightsOn the prevalence of lies “What if at the core if you dug deep enough uncovered every truthwhat if at the heart of it all there was a lie like a worm at the centre of the apple coiled like Oroborus just as the secret of men hides coiled at the centre of each piece of you no matter how fine you slice? Wouldn't that be a fine joke now?”“A lie can run deeper than strength or wisdom”On the nature of man “The world is shaped by mankind's desires and fears A war of hope against dread waged upon a substrate that man himself made malleable though he has long forgotten how All men and all men's works stand on feet of clay waiting to be formed and reformed forged by fear into monsters from the dark core of each soul waiting to rend the world asunder”“A man casts a million shadows and yet you trap him within such a singular opinion xxx The wise come into their majority out in the world amid the muck and pain of living”“Throw away too much of your past and you abandon the person who walked those days When you pare away at yourself you can reinvent that's true enough but such whittling always seems to reveal a lesser man and promises to leave you nothing at the end”On the passage of time “Time still heals all wounds for now And the scars left behind are our legacy of remembrance But pick at it and it will fester and consume you”“The breaking of day changes all things Snorri Nothing endures beyond the game of the sun Pile a sufficient weight of mornings upon a thing and it will change Even the rocks themselves will not outlast the morning”On the pain of loss “Sixty beats of a heart would be enough If I could hold them Let them know I came for them no matter what stood in my way It would be enough Sixty beats of a heart past that door would outweigh sixty years in this world without them”“Anything I had to say seemed shallow beside the depth of his grief Words are awkward tools at best too blunt for delicate tasks”I was two thirds of the way into the book on a Sunday evening I was bug eyed and tired yet I pressed on beyond a reasonable hour I finished reading THE LIAR'S KEY past two o'clock in the morning I might have mourned the lack of sleep but I would have regretted putting the book down even Indeed I might have lost sleep anyway surmising its conclusion had I stopped This book calls out to you in those moments you are constrained to put it down Its lines haunt you long after you have noted them It strains your patience when you reach the final page and become only too aware that a year must pass before the last book It is THAT good And that is no lie


  10. says:

    I'm glad I re read this and The Prince of Fools again before starting The Wheel of Osheim I remembered some of the story only dimly although my impressions of the main characters remainedThis isn't so much a review as a few rambling thoughts before I finish the trilogyIt's interesting to compare Jorg of Ancrath with Prince Jalan No doubt Jorg is the darkest of men but he never pretended to be anything else Prince Jalan is a vain fool On this re read I found Jalan a lot annoying Lawrence teases us the reader glimpses of this Jalan leopard changing his spots; there is no doubt that Snorri's integrity has had an effect on Jalan but how much? The story shows that as much as Jalan is swayed from his selfish existence by his friendship with Snorri his path towards Improvement also seems to come by chance But IS it chance? Or the machinations of the Red ueen and the Lady Blue?I do feel sympathy for Jalan as is revealed about his family history the story of his blood and we learn about his mother's death I am interested to see how the rest of the story pans out in terms of the shaping of his character through the adventure to comeOn first impressions it seems that Jorg is the complex character but as the story progresses I realise Jalan is just as complex Thus far in his life he has chosen to and been forced to hide his potential and depth How much potential does he in fact have to do the right thing to be the right person to be the better person? Lawrence handles all this with a light touch and it is a very humorous read