I have just had the absolute pleasure of reading the final work in Mark Lawrence’s The Red Queen’s War series, The Wheel Of Osheim.
All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world.
Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate, however, has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end, it’s win or die.
As the final book in the trilogy, The Wheel Of Osheim had a lot to live up to – it had plots to round off, characters that needed further development in order to round off the tale as well as possible, and it had to tie in with the Broken Empire trilogy to ensure the entire world made sense. I am delighted to say that The Wheel Of Osheim did all of that and more. Without spoiling the story, it is fair to say that all of the key plot points have been settled, and in a way that is befitting each character involved in them. The way Mark Lawrence managed to continue to develop each character, whilst still maintain their original motivations, strenghts and weaknesses, is truly stunning. Add in the fantastic ties to the Broken Empire series, including a delightful chance meeting in a drinking hole in Hamada, that are both entertaining and serve to further the plot of this story – and you’ve got an excellent book. The ending is glorious, and whilst it does serve as an end to the tale, I do believe (and hope) that there is always room for a little more, eventually.
I would recommend this book, the entire Red Queen’s War series, and indeed the entire Broken Empire series to any fan of fantasy novels, or indeed anyone who simply enjoys reading excellent books with fantastic stories. I have been reading Mark Lawrence’s work for 6 years now, and his books are always an absolute treat. I can’t wait for the new series, The Red Sister trilogy, in the future – but for now you should all go and enjoy the beautiful tale that is The Wheel Of Osheim.
Thanks for reading.