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Master and Fool (Book of Words) Paperback – November 1, 1996

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The final volume in the trilogy concludes with a rousing tale of Jack, the baker's boy, trying to control his new-found magical powers so that he can defeat the evil King Kylock. The medieval fantasy belongs in all collections that own the earlier volumes.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

J. V. Jones is a striking writer ... wonderful Robert Jordan J. V. Jones is quite a find ... a deliciously intricate tale Katherine Kurtz A storyline featuring the kind of political scheming and intrigue that makes for gripping reading SFX J.V. Jones is about to become one of the great fantasy success stories of the 90s. MYSTERIOUS GALAXY BOOKS --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Book of Words (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Aspect; First Edition edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446670960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446670968
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis, editor of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist on January 11, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. on June 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The 3 stars are for the series as a whole. As a long-time reader of fantasy, I've read most of the top names in the indusry: Jordan, Goodkind, Brooks, Etc. I've also read some real bombs. And although J.V. Jones' "Book of Words" trilogy isn't the best fantasy I've ever read, it's not as bad as some people have made it out to be. It does have some intriguing characters (notably Maybor, Baralis, and Tavalisk) and a a fairly interesting plot. What I didn't really care for is how the main characters were constantly put on the defensive(especially Melli). The fact that they were constantly chased/captured/separated began to wear thin by the third book. Also, I would have liked to have seen the magic abilities Jack and Baralis used fleshed out a little more. Overall, not a bad effort for a first-time writer, but could have been better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Nicholson on July 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
A disappointing finish to this intriguing trilogy.

J.V.Jones had shown herself to be a skilled storyteller and a developing writer with the first two books. The basic story is great throughout...a classic fantasy tale based on the ongoing struggle between good and evil. This installment continues to follow the converging tales of our two main protagonists, Jack (the baker's boy) and Tawl (the Valdis knight).

The series started off well in the first installment and continued nicely into the second book, but somehow this book seems to have lost something...not so much with the basic story, but rather with some areas of its execution...let me explain.

1.)There are many flashbacks (in fact too many), referring to a previous time involving Tawl's disastrous relationship with this sisters.

2.)There were some conversation between characters seem somehow scripted and forced; conversation that didn't seem to go anywhere, leaving the reader with the feeling that the author was writing 'fill'.

3.)There are instances of people doing really questionable things, resulting in them unnecessarily, being put in harms way.

4.)And as I noted in my review of the second book, there were happenings and occurrences that just seemed unlikely, given the situation at hand.

5.)There were times of unrealistic cruelty in several areas, that again seemed a little overdone and thus making it somewhat unbelievable.

6.)And finally, the book became more laden with the above mentioned perceived shortcomings as the end approached; in truth it was all I could do to finish this work. It got to the point where I started skimming some areas because I was bored and just wanted to get finished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Book of Words (series) is on par with Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time Series. I only wish that Ms. Jones could have continued the series it was so good. Starting with the Baker's boy, Ms. Jones moves from character to character letting us into their thoughts. Unlike so many science ficiton/fantasy books, the heroes of her stories suffer real trials and do not magically make it past every crisis. Her writing is "simple" which makes for a good read. Whoever reads this book will enjoy the battle between good and evil and will understand where there is one, there will always be another. I highly recommend buying the complete series, you may read them all in one week.
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