International bestselling author Mark Lawrence continues the bold new world of dark fantasy he created in the Broken Empire trilogy with the first book of the Red Queen's War...
For all her reign the Red Queen 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. Content with his role as a minor royal, Jal pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war with the undead is coming, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks that nothing that will affect him. He's 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 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—and the Red Queen controls the board.
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.