Prince of Fools is the story of the young prince Jalan, 10th in line for the Red Queen’s throne. Jalan is just what you would expect from a young man with money and little responsibility. He’s a coward, a drunk, a gambler, and a womanizer.
When Jalan’s fate becomes magically intertwined with Snorri, a battle hardened north man, Jalan is forced to journey north to confront the north man’s enemies. Both want free of whatever magic binds them. Snorri wants to find his family, and Jalan wants to find a comfy place to lay down so he can avoid adventure. They make an odd pair.
The book is worth reading for the odd friendship that is forged between Jalan and Snorri. The cowardly and whiny prince teams up with the stereotypical battle born north man. It was hard for me to get used to following a character that was not very good in a fight and a coward. Jalan wants little to do with the tale he’s in. But Mark Lawrence excels at writing a character that repeatedly gives you reasons not to like them and still makes them lovable. Once the tale got flowing, it was a fun read and it turns many of fantasy’s tropes on their heads.
Recommended for Mark Lawrence fans, viking fantasy, and fans of non-traditional/grimdark fantasy.