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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent, Spectacular, and Wonderful!!
J.V. Jones is a brilliant writer!! Her marvelous contrivance of both character and plot make her triology an irresistible read indeed. I was lured into her saga by the endearing Jack, loyal Tawl, and headstrong Melliandra. Readers come to know and love them, almost as if they were real. Jones' potency of plot is equally unforgettable; from the truly sinister Baralis and...
Published on May 8 2003 by vivian

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3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't live up to the hype...
Okay, so if you were snooping around in the fantasy circles circa 1995, you are indubitably aware that this trilogy generated an enormous buzz. That in itself was surprising, since The Baker's Boy was Mrs. Jones' very first novel. In addition, it was published by Aspect (Warner Books), an imprint not particularly renowned for publishing bestsellers.
In any event, to...
Published on Jan. 11 2005 by Patrick St-Denis


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent, Spectacular, and Wonderful!!, May 8 2003
By 
vivian (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
J.V. Jones is a brilliant writer!! Her marvelous contrivance of both character and plot make her triology an irresistible read indeed. I was lured into her saga by the endearing Jack, loyal Tawl, and headstrong Melliandra. Readers come to know and love them, almost as if they were real. Jones' potency of plot is equally unforgettable; from the truly sinister Baralis and his incessant scheming, to the inward torments of the more benign characters, never is there a dull moment. Her Master and Fool ended the trilology with stark power, and readers are left to impatiently await the arrival of a new, equally abosorbing series. All I can say is BRAVO, Miss Jones, BRAVO!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Trilogy,, March 25 2006
Is it one of the best ever? Hardly but you will enjoy reading it. It's quick and engaging if a bit unsurprising at times. The trilogy as a whole is worthwhile
If you like books like this one, might I suggest another I've recently come across. The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian S. Pratt. It's another fantasy adventure sure to please. I highly recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't live up to the hype..., Jan. 11 2005
By 
Patrick St-Denis "editor of Pat's Fantasy Hot... (Laval, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Okay, so if you were snooping around in the fantasy circles circa 1995, you are indubitably aware that this trilogy generated an enormous buzz. That in itself was surprising, since The Baker's Boy was Mrs. Jones' very first novel. In addition, it was published by Aspect (Warner Books), an imprint not particularly renowned for publishing bestsellers.
In any event, to a certain extent taking the market by storm, the series was an instant success. The three volumes were all national bestsellers, which is quite unusual. They all topped the Locus Bestseller List. Okay, so it's not the New York Times, but it is still quite an accomplishment for a new author.
Like a lot of people, I bought the books when they came out. Unlike many, I didn't read them yet. The hype was too strong, and I didn't want it to influence me when I read the series. Of course, I didn't really expect to wait nearly 9 years before reading them, either! For some reason, even though Mrs. Jones wrote 3 more novels since the publication of Master and Fool, she never did create waves the way The Book of Words trilogy initially did. Now was the time for me to see what the buzz had been about. . .
As is usually the case, the series did not live up to the expectations the buzz had created within me. Hence, I'm happy to have waited before reading the novels. Otherwise, I would probably have been VERY disappointed by this series. With the enormous number of books I've read over the years, I'm afraid that I have become definitely hard to please. . .
But although the trilogy suffers from several shortcomings, in all objectivity I must admit that it is still a relatively good read.
My main problem with the series is the fact that it appears to be aimed at a younger crowd. In my mind, it seems to be aimed at readers who are under 18. Being 30 (yes, I AM getting old!), I couldn't quite get into it. But I am persuaded that if I had read the series when I was 16 years of age, I would probably have loved it. There is a certain innocence inherent to the characters and their views of love, honor, obligation, etc, that makes the whole thing not ring true to my "adult" perspective.
The biggest shortcoming of the series, however, is the fact that the characters are far from being three-dimensional. As a matter of fact, they are not "real." The author fell into a popular trap, namely creating "cliché" characters: the innocent boy with immense potential, the beautiful and spoiled young woman who turns out to be stronger and more courageous than she believed herself to be, the evil mage, the power-hungry prince, etc. And some characters are just caricatures, case in point being the Archbishop Tavalisk. And yet, having said that about the characters, they are still a likeable bunch. Which, in the end, helps you enjoy the books.
Several plotlines had a lot of potential (the knights of Valdis, the Seers of Larn, Jake's parentage, etc), but they were not exploited to their fullest. Had they been, this series would have been much better. Mrs. Jones took the easy road instead. . .
In light of all this, I have to admit that I nevertheless like J. V. Jones' writing style. She has a witty way to write, which I truly enjoyed. I think that she must challenge herself a little more with her storylines, and explore a bit more those concepts that she creates. It would certainly give ner novels more depth, which in turn would make them more enjoyable.
I believe that J. V. Jones shows great promise and could be a bright voice in the fantasy genre. Hopefully her other novels will show just how much potential she truly possesses. . .:-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tighly woven fantasy at its best!, Sept. 4 2002
By 
MadHatter's Rare and Used Books (Sutherlin, OR United States) - See all my reviews
For those of you true fantasy lovers, this is high fantasy at its best. I rarely give 5 stars to anyone, so 4 stars is not a knock in any way. Many modern fantasy authors believe more is better, but many times more is simply rambling on about how many buttons grace the dress a character has or or the exact type of candle sticks in a room. J. V. Jones introduces us to a group of characters we grow to love and care about, without all the rambling of many. She also know sthe correct amount of danger and violence to add without over doing the action. A fine writer and may she go on to finish many more series.Three books was a perfect amount for this series. Always leave your audience waiting for more, not burnt out with what you have to offer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Master and Fool, Jan. 15 2002
By A Customer
I love this book, some people may say it is bad but I love it!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The wonderful conclusion to a stunning trilogy., Sept. 27 2001
By 
This is the third and final volume of The Book of Words (after The Baker's Boy and A Man Betrayed).
In Bren, the duke has just been murdered on his wedding night. Thanks to Baralis, quickly the rumours spread, claiming that Tawl the duke's champion and former Knight of Valdis, is the assasin. He and Melli, now the duke's widow, have to flee and hide away, along with Maybor and a couple of guards.
About a month later, king Kylock, who is becoming more and more deranged by the day under the effects of Baralis's drugs, kills his bride on discovering she is not pure and will not be able to wash his sins away. What he and Baralis will soon find out is that the first marriage had been in fact consummated. Melli is pregnant and now, if the child turns out to be a boy, with Bren's only rightful heir.
Meanwhile, Jack is in Annis, learning to master his magical powers with the help of Stillfox. One day, on a sudden impulse he leaves the sorcerer's cottage, and on his way he meets with a guild of bakers who will fill him in on the event in Bren. Melli is in danger, he has to go and try to save her.
The Book of Words is a harrowing fantasy. In a land revaged by war, Marod's prophecy slowly unfolds with unexpected twists and turns, as Jack learns more and more about his past. With characters worth caring for, the detailed and sometimes colourful descriptions make it all believable. J.V. Jones is now swelling the ranks of my favourite authors.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not brilliant, Sept. 20 2001
Following the other two books in the series, this was a bit of a disapointment. As a whole, the book of words trilogy is a good read but in the final book, Jones falls down; the ending is brief and the build up is too much. However, eventhough this book may not be up to the standard of the others, it does have good points and it is still a good read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars on the whole series..., Feb. 16 2001
I liked how the stories moved... if you like a book that will keep you up until odd hours reading, then I recommend the series. However, if you are capable of picking out plot inconsistancies (of which there are a lot), or get frustrated by poor editing (there are horrible grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, and sad excuses for sentences all through ALL of her books), or take offense to how a woman writer portrays her female characters as hormone-overdriven tramps who want to sleep with almost anything (Melli, Catherine, etc.), then this is not the series for you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Book Of Words falls down on plot, Oct. 3 2000
By A Customer
All I can say is it's a disappointment. For those of you who have read the other two and come to appreciate Ms Jones' strength of character-development, and not so strong plot linkage, this book clinches it. Nabber, Tawl, Jack, Melli, Baralis and Kylock - we get to know them all in sizzling detail and J.V does a great job of it too, giving her characters a real persona, but the plot is jagged and meandering. There are a few too many breathtakingly lucky situations also. On the whole J.V. Jones stands out for her strength in developing characters and making you relate well to them. She writes from both a male's and a female's perspective well and the tear-jerking moments in this book are very well done. The plot lets it down though. 3 stars for this book, and the series as a whole.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Book Of Words falls down on plot, Oct. 3 2000
All I can say is it's a disappointment. For those of you who have read the other two and come to appreciate Ms Jones' strength of character-development, and not so strong plot linkage, this book clinches it. Nabber, Tawl, Jack, Melli, Baralis and Kylock - we get to know them all in sizzling detail and J.V does a great job of it too, giving her characters a real persona, but the plot is jagged and meandering. There are a few too many breathtakingly lucky situations also. On the whole J.V. Jones stands out for her strength in developing characters and making you relate well to them. She writes from both a male's and a female's perspective well and the tear-jerking moments in this book are very well done. The plot lets it down though. 3 stars for this book, and the series as a whole.
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Master and Fool
Master and Fool by J. V. Jones (Paperback - Nov. 1 1996)
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