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Juliana

Juliana Spink Mills. "No capes!"
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Review of Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence
Interesting to see what you wrote about the quasi-European medieval setting; I read Prince of Fools after reading Mark's Thorns trilogy, set in the same world (some of the characters even cross paths in PoF), and that first trilogy makes it clear that we're in a post-apocalyptic Europe, around a thousand years after what appears to be a nuclear event.

I'm guessing he was building on his original trilogy, so it's interesting to see the reading of someone who hasn't read the Thorns books—clearly something got lost or left out along the way if the future/past setting isn't coming across... Or maybe in the first book its intentional? I remember the second in Jalan's trilogy does have mentions of shop mannequins and plastic, but I don't remember if there's anything that explicit in the first.
 

The Big Peat

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Apr 9, 2016
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Interesting to see what you wrote about the quasi-European medieval setting; I read Prince of Fools after reading Mark's Thorns trilogy, set in the same world (some of the characters even cross paths in PoF), and that first trilogy makes it clear that we're in a post-apocalyptic Europe, around a thousand years after what appears to be a nuclear event.

I'm guessing he was building on his original trilogy, so it's interesting to see the reading of someone who hasn't read the Thorns books—clearly something got lost or left out along the way if the future/past setting isn't coming across... Or maybe in the first book its intentional? I remember the second in Jalan's trilogy does have mentions of shop mannequins and plastic, but I don't remember if there's anything that explicit in the first.
I'd meant to address this better but forgot to do so -

Yeah, Prince of Fools is pretty obviously post-apocalyptic Europe. It mentions train tracks and a tunnel through rock; I think it mentions plastic at some point.

But the result of this apocalypse isn't some interesting new setting, its medieval Europe with the serial numbers filed off. France, Low Country, Normandy, Scandinavia etc.etc.

Which is a problem to me because

1) I've read plenty about medieval Europe and plenty of pseudo-European historical settings and trying to keep my interest with this is going to require a very good effort indeed

2) I feel a bit cheated by the idea that an apocalypse happened, but it didn't change any cultural or political lines in Europe at all, just regressed everyone back to the Medieval age and everyone forgot what today looked like. That just feels super unrealistic and a bit lazy. And normally that's not something I'd make a big deal out of, but since the book forced me to pay attention to it, it kinda is.
 

Juliana

Juliana Spink Mills. "No capes!"
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Yeah, Prince of Fools is pretty obviously post-apocalyptic Europe. It mentions train tracks and a tunnel through rock; I think it mentions plastic at some point.
Ah, got it. I was genuinely interested to see if it was something to do with starting at PoF, so I'm glad to see it isn't and that the post-apocalyptic world came across.

And re your other comments, fair enough! It didn't bother me, but I tend not to be particularly critical as long as I'm enjoying the story (which is why I don't write proper reviews on my blog...) :)

(Ps. Just about to start City of Brass and looking forward to discussing it with you!)
 

The Big Peat

Darth Buddha
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Apr 9, 2016
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Ah, got it. I was genuinely interested to see if it was something to do with starting at PoF, so I'm glad to see it isn't and that the post-apocalyptic world came across.

And re your other comments, fair enough! It didn't bother me, but I tend not to be particularly critical as long as I'm enjoying the story (which is why I don't write proper reviews on my blog...) :)

(Ps. Just about to start City of Brass and looking forward to discussing it with you!)
It helps to be really grumpy and capable of seeing fault in everything at this point - the real reason I spent four years in Yorkshire ;)

But really, I'm like you too... but I got jogged out of enjoying the story by it. And yay for City of Brass!
 

AlexH

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Jan 14, 2017
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Staffordshire, UK
Exactly two years since I registered on this forum, here's my first thing I've blogged about in this thread. The Isle of Skye, Scotland: Sgurr na Stri Circular Photo Hike from Camasunary (Skye)

It starts with an overturned vehicle and includes one of the most picturesque views I've ever seen, plus The Bad Step.

I average almost exactly one post a day here (I noticed I did this-ish time last year too).
 

night_wrtr

Non-human Protagonist
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Apr 18, 2017
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US
Interesting to see what you wrote about the quasi-European medieval setting; I read Prince of Fools after reading Mark's Thorns trilogy, set in the same world (some of the characters even cross paths in PoF), and that first trilogy makes it clear that we're in a post-apocalyptic Europe, around a thousand years after what appears to be a nuclear event.

I'm guessing he was building on his original trilogy, so it's interesting to see the reading of someone who hasn't read the Thorns books—clearly something got lost or left out along the way if the future/past setting isn't coming across... Or maybe in the first book its intentional? I remember the second in Jalan's trilogy does have mentions of shop mannequins and plastic, but I don't remember if there's anything that explicit in the first.
I'm glad I read The Broken Empire trilogy first, because he gradually works in small details to explain the setting over those books. The Red Queen's War is still good to be read on its own without knowledge of the others, but I definitely think some of the setting (or at least the what/why) gets lost.
 
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