What the Critics Say (so far)

The Baker's Boy is a great book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys being swept up in a fascinating fantasy world. It has just the right touch of humor to keep a smile on your face as you eagerly reach for the next page! -- Carlin T. Currier

Best fantasy novel I have read in years. I spend a lot of time rereading the few fantasy novels that I do enjoy because there is just not that many I consider to be good. I guess I'm kinda picky. I'm sure your Book of Words trilogy is one that I will reread many times in the coming years. -- Bobby Davenport

As an avid fan of the fantasy genre, I wanted you to know how much I've enjoyed both The Baker's Boy and A Man Betrayed, my only regret being that we have to wait until October to get Master And Fool. I sincerely hope you have a proper end planned for Tavalisk, preferably at the hands of the long-suffering Gamil. As for Baralis, well, one can almost feel a grudging sympathy for the old pervert, which it appears you had in mind as you wrote The Book Of Words. Anyway, you seem to be breaking some new ground. I mean, that opening scene with Baralis and the drugged queen? Brrr. -- Michael L. Poe

It's the characterizations that make Jones' novel work so well...The aniti-heroes stand out superbly, notably Chancellor Baralis, Archbishop Tavalisk and Maybor. And unlike the sharp black and whiteness of Tolkienesque's moral system these figures aren't truly evil, just corrupt human beings in the tradition of Richard III or Henry VII...The language is more bawdy than in classical fantasy novels too, which enhances the book's Medieval feel. Sex, indecent assault and flatulence are never far away. -- SFX Magazine

I had never read any of your books before, and am now almost finished with A Man Betrayed. I really don't want it to end...you have a wonderful humorous edge to your characters. -- Diane Billings

I just finished reading The Baker's Boy today and all I can say is outstanding! When will the next in the series come out? I for one am anxiously awaiting. --Jack Henderson

Just finished reading The Baker's Boy, and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I particularly like the interludes with Bodger and Grift. -- Ilana Rosenshein

In my opinion, your books are, by far, the best in their genre. They have such wonderfully detailed plots, and sub-plots. The characters are full and well-rounded. Also, your attention to detail, coupled with the ability to describe a scene beautifully, have made reading your works a great pleasure. -- Roger Gray

I just surfaced again after reading The Baker's Boy. I read it in one rather long session (starting at 10 pm and finishing at somewhere around 6 am), and I'd like to congratulate you. This was one of the most enjoyable books I ever got into my hands. I ordered the sequel right away, since German (I live in Germany) bookstores don't have a good selection of fantasy stock written in English. Please hurry up with part three of the Book of Words. I hardly can wait! Keep on writing. -- Felix Von Berg

I am almost finished reading A Man Betrayed. Great Stuff! Lots of words, good story. I must say, you certainly have peopled your books with an assortment of nasties of whom I think the bishop is my favorite. Keep it up! -- Mike Dotson

I would like to first thank you for Bodger and Grift, and all the wisdom that they are able to pass on. I have just finished The Baker's Boy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Fantasy is the genre that I read most and your book is among the finest I have ever read. This places you along side of Dave Duncan and Raymond E. Feist in my humble estimation. I am looking forward to Maybor and Baralis' feud, who will get the upper hand? I have my suspicions as to who Tawl seeks, and does romance blossom amongst the runaways? And finally when will Gamil have enough and give Tavalisk what the fat bastard deserves. Write swift and true. -- Morgan Hladik

I just wanted to let you know how refreshing it is to see a young author dedicated to bringing her own level of sophistication and character development to the fantasy genre. -- Michael Dean

I have been reading fantasy and some SF for most of my life (starting with the Hobbit). I just finished The Baker's Boy last night and I thought it was fantastic. I picked up the 2nd in the series and am looking forward to again spending time in the lands of the Four Kingdoms. -- Michael Quirk

Just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed your first two books and are looking forward to your next and any future works. By the way, ask Grift what do you do when your with a wench who doesn't appreciate a good skin of ale? -- J&C Wilcox

I just started your novel the Baker's Boy and I love it ! I usually read romance novels but I end up getting sick of them and that is when I turn to fantasy. Never has a fantasy book captivated me as yours has. The characters are vibrant and the storyline so far is excellent. Most fantasy books are long winded for me and I start to lose interest once all the fighting starts. If I wanted to read about epic wars I would read the newspaper. Signing off the internet to read some more of your book ! -- Nancy

I read the darned thing in 2 days!!! It's not often anymore that a novel will keep my interest in that way. Too many authors are putting out the "patent" fantasy novel and they all read the same way. TBB, however, was original from the very beginning. -- Marlene Harkcom

I've enjoyed reading "The Baker's Boy" and have passed it on to my wife, as I begin "A Man Betrayed." I especially enjoy your development of Tawl. It will be interesting to see if my guesses as to how you develop him further will turn out to be true. -- Joel P. Bion

I finally finished "A Man Betrayed"...sigh...took me 3 days...just didn't have much time to put into reading it or I would have had it done sooner. In any case it was AWESOME. What is the title of book 3, and more importantly, when is it coming out!! -- Michael L. Fleishman

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading "The Baker's Boy". I think this book belongs into the same league as some of the best recent fantasy. -- Marc Burggraff

I just loved "The Baker's Boy." I am really glad that you know how to write an excellent fantasy book where the characters are real but you don't make them seem silly. I find your work captivating, and very refreshing compared to a lot of the other new "greats" out there. --Thom Setters

I like the way you deal with characters such as Maybor and Tavalisk. They are relatively minor, but still have cool personalities. Maybor especially -- he's almost a villian in some ways. -- Jeff Daley

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your books. I just got "A Man Betrayed". It only took me a day to finish. That would be the only bad thing about your books...They are too good. --Chris Langpap

Baker's Boy had me hooked from the very page, and I'm very picky about books. I can't wait to read A Man Betrayed. I have no doubt it'll be just as good or better then The Baker's Boy! Keep up the great work! -- Urmimala Shome

I really enjoyed reading "The Baker's Boy"!! I loved the way the plots were laid out. I can't wait to read the next. -- Paul Labrador

I truly enjoyed the new novel and wish you the best in your career. I actually liked "A Man Betrayed" better than "The Baker's Boy". Keep up the quality work. -- Steve

I recently finished your book, "The Bakers Boy", and was suitably impressed with your work. The book eloquently balances a strong, relatively fast-paced story with excellent character development. There is abject cruelty and kindness, gross hedonism and austerity, and a well-grounded sense of harsh reality threaded throughout. Each character seems to represent somewhat of a balance of drives and emotions, such as is the case with "real" people. I seemed to find at least a little I liked about the worst characters and a little I despised in the best. -- Jim Crapia

I read The Baker's Boy this weekend and I LOVED it. The characters were so well done and there wasn't a slow part in the whole story. Wow! I can't wait to read A Man Betrayed. -- Angie Titus

I really enjoyed your last book "The Baker's Boy" and am looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. -- David Dean Farnham

I don't read women authors often, not because I am sexist, but because they write differently than men, and I prefer male writers...I am on page 243 of The Baker's Boy and it is really good. It has some very interesting ideas and topics that you don't see in sci fi or fantasy. The best compliment I can pay you is that you don't write like a woman and you are very, very good. -- Jack Stalcup

Okay, I've finished volumes 1 and 2, now where is volume 3? By the way, what was so important about the rat oil? -- Spencer Brody

Am almost through with The Baker's Boy. Wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. -- John Mangels

My family and I have read both books and we really love both of them. We have read numerous epic tales and your's is right up there with the best of them. -- Pong Cavan.

I have really enjoyed your publications and am grateful that the fantasy community has such a talented new writer. -- Robert Pride

I'm a third-year medical student, and I started reading "The Baker's Boy" at the same time I started my OB/GYN rotation. If anyone gave me grief about reading a pleasure book when I should have been studying, I just mentioned the early chapter in which Baralis planned to impregnate the queen by having intercourse 14 days after her menses. Although this should work fine, Baralis may have been cutting it close, seeing that a woman with a 28 day cycle is considered to be fertile from day 8 to day 16 (although this differs somewhat depending on which book you read). Of course, for all I know, the queen's cycle may have been longer than 28 days, which makes things more complex...Anyway, thanks for writing a great book! Hopefully, "A Man Betrayed" will help sustain me through my Radiology rotation! -- Joe Galdun

I really liked the website and The Baker's Boy. I hope the next one comes out soon, I'm really looking forward to reading it. -- Kathryn Roberton

Just wanted to drop a line to tell you how much I enjoyed your book between my myriad of days debugging Fortran code at work. It's not often one can find a good book to get immersed in only to find their deadline for a project has just dangerously moved up to the 3 hour mark. -- Josh Calderonello

I just read The Baker's Boy by J.V. Jones--1st in The Book of Words trilogy. Very good--no elves. It has 3, count them, 3 great villains all intriguing against each other. -- Ken Thomas

Well, I'd just like to say that I'm in love with your book, The Baker's Boy. The plots, the intrigues, and the characters.... IT'S ALL GOOD!!! I especially love with what you've done with the characters Bodger and Grift...ironic to know that they know all the comings and goings in court while the nobles are blind to what the other side is doing. Thanks for such starting a great series! -- Chris Chung

The last 200 pages were the best. I couldn't but it down. I really laughed when Grift told Bodger that soaking your privates in boiling water is a cure for the ghones. Is this an old English cure? What are the ghones? (important question that needs an answer). -- Darius Bochenek

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your last two novels. I read A Man Betrayed in about 2 days. I barely put it down. I am eagerly anticipating your next novel. -- Jorge DelaParra

The book is a splendid work. -- Steven D. Gillis

I truly enjoyed The Bakers Boy. I read a lot and sometimes it's hard to find a new twist. -- Grant

As of this morning I am a mere eighty pages away from completing The Baker's Boy. There are no doubts in my mind that I will finish the remaining pages when I arrive home. You're book captured my imagination from the first line and has held me enthralled. I find that I long to turn the next page and see what Baralis will do next to bring the pompous Lord Maybor closer to his down fall. -- Brad L. Dickson

I just finished The Baker's Boy. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to your next book.-- Brian Kantsiper

Just got done with Baker's Boy. It was great. I'm going to start A Man Betrayed tonight. Thanks for being such a great author! -- Justin Benson

I was a little unsure of your writing in the beginning. However, I am now quite firmly hooked as they say. I am impressed. So far, your books are of the type that cannot be put down until there is no longer any more to be read. -- Michael L. Fleishman

I am an aspiring fantasy writer and I am always amazed at how difficult it can be to develop an idea into a well crafted story. You have done it marvelously. I am looking forward to your next book! -- David DeWhitt

Though I am only half way through The Bakers Bay I wanted to say I am really enjoying it, and that it's nice to see a book of this type with a touch of risqueness. I can't wait for the next in the series! Also your web page is a lot of fun! -- Jonathan Geissel

I read The Baker's Boy and enjoyed it...your book was a novel fantasy experience. -- Lee Modesitt

I loved both The Baker's Boy and A Man Betrayed. Can't wait for more! -- Nancy

I picked up a copy of The Baker's Boy about 4 weeks ago. I finished it about two weeks ago and went out and got a copy of A Man Betrayed. Both were great! Unfortunately, I really want to know how things are going to turn out. The Baker's Boy said in the front cover that the conclusion, Master and Fool, will be out by Oct 96. Please tell me it will be available before then! -- Alan Pennington

I just finished The Baker's Boy. I wanted to write and let you know I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the use of Shakespearean comedic interludes. I look forward to the next installment. -- Dave Scarpitti

I really enjoyed your first book. -- Troy Kraus

I loved your book. It was a relaxing break from the applied financial regression models and segmentation analyses I am studying at the U of Oregon...I look forward to the next book. -- Billy Nerenberg

I have just finished Bakers Boy and A Man Betrayed, am waiting impatiently for the next. I thoroughly enjoyed both. It's nice to see that there are new worlds in fantasy that appeal as much as some of the olders ones. -- Dennis C. O'Neil

I found your first publication truly extraordinary! An epic tale of the grandest scope and imagination. -- Colin G

I've just finished The Baker's Boy and enjoyed it very much. After this email, I will rush on down to my local Crown Books and purchase the sequel. -- Joe Underwood.

Wow...what a great set of books...read The Baker's Boy in two days and just bought the second book, A Man Betrayed and have already read over 400 pages in one day...keep up the good work and get the third book out ASAP!!! -- Mark Wagner

I just finished reading The Baker's Boy last night and I have to say that I enjoyed it very much. I work part time at a bookstore (when I am not studying for school), and will recommend your book to other sf readers. I can't wait to read the next one, especially since I could resist reading the advance chapters on your web page. -- Sherene Khaw

Finally bought The Baker's Boy, and am about half way through it. I can't seem to put it down! I like the way Bodger and Grift provide comic relief to the story. Have you thought about writing a book just about them them? It would be great! -- James Coppedge

I thoroughly enjoyed the book...the main strength of this novel is the wonderful characters, who are neither good nor evil -- but my favorite - gray. Looking forward to a "A Man Betrayed" -- Peter B

Loved The Bakers Boy! Look forward to reading the next one. -- Kevin Kearns

I have just finished reading the prologue to "The Baker Boy" and found it to be a thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable read. -- Wayne Harriman.

I just started the Baker's Boy today. It's great! -- Patrick Pierson

I have just finished your book "The Bakers Boy" and I really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading " A Man Betrayed" and your final work in the trilogy. Your appreciation of history and your eye for detail has served you very well. -- Ken Smith

I loved the Bakers Boy. Can hardly wait for book two. Keep up the good writing. -- Ed Osiecki

I first became aware of your book in the magazine Science Fiction Chronicles. After reading and enjoying the book immensely, I recommended it to a couple of my coworkers who are also sci-fi and fantasy fans. They both enjoyed also and we all look forward to the next installment. -- Virginia Kayfes

I really liked the first in the series - how long must I await the next? Please have mercy, publish it soon! -- Lisa

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your novel Baker's Boy. I thought it was very well written and very good. -- Christopher Neihengen

Congratulations on on excellent beginning! -- Ben S. Day

Had a lot of fun navigating your website. Damn, think I'll go out and get the book. -- Earl DeCatte

I enjoyed your novel The Baker's Boy and I am looking forward to the sequel. -- Steve

I loved your first book. -- Matt Schmauss

I loved the book!!! :) Thank you! When is A Man Betrayed coming out? Soon I hope!! -- James Hanley

Great book, I'm not done with it yet and I just can't put it down good job. -- Josh

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your trilogy. The Baker's Boy was dynamite; & the info provided for new writers is excellent! -- Dorman

Keep on writing!!!!!! -- Alicia Hyjeck

"The Baker's Boy is the first book of what promises to be an excellent fantasy series......This is well written, in your face adult fantasy, full of imagination and medieval realism." -- Patrick Heffernan, The Plot Thickens.

"....a complex tale of sorcery and swordsmanship, intrigue and affairs of the heart." -- Library Journal

"Jones stamps it all with a distinctive touch compounded largely of sadism and food, a combination that reaches its apex in a deliciously hedonistic and depraved archbishop. There's so much going on that the action barely starts in this novel, and an ominous prophecy promises much more to come." -- Locus.

"One of the best books of the year, and the debut of a great new author. Impatiently awaiting the next book!" -- John B.DeBlanc

"I loved the evil dukes' plotting again and again to kill each other and the joyful evilness of many of the characters. I am eagerly waiting for the next two parts." -- Henry L Lazarus

"An exciting story of flour, sweat and tears" -- .net Magazine

"A real kick ass story." - Mike Currier

"Some of my favorite authors include Eddings, Jordan, Dave Duncan, Feist and Wurts...I am now adding your name to my list. I can hardly wait to read the next one." - Brian Bergquist

"Keep on writing, don't stop." - David Roberts

"Engrossing fantasy." - Paul Mouncey

"...the next major new writer to become a force in the fantasy genre." - Walter R. Malcom

"I write this as yet another letter of praise for your current book The Baker's Boy which I am thoroughly enjoying....and am already anxious is to read the next volume in the series." --Igor Stiler

"Julie, let me add my voice to the choir, great job! Terrific book. Now you join the ranks of Jordan/Kurtz/Eddings/etc etc who have me hooked on a series and are making me wait for the next book. So HURRY UP, but don't rush it." --Hubert Plummer

"Great work! I anxiously await the sequel." -- Ken Greenlaw

"[The] first volume in what promises to be a long and successful fantasy series." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Love your story." -- Bui Thanh Liem

".. this web site has allowed me to express my gratitude for your wonderful book. Keep up the good work." -- John Marco, author of TYRANTS & KINGS, forthcoming in Spring 1999 from Bantam Spectra

"...a pleasure to read." -- Peder Langlo

" I needed something to spark the reading need in myself. Your book is the perfect elixer." -- Randy Walden

"The story is intriguing." -- Suzie Smith

"The Baker's Boy has most of the qualities of a highly successful popular fantasy epic - it's a fat volume with a substantial cast and a vivid, colorful, landscape. But between its sense of sly wit and its focus on character rather than concept, it's a remarkably readable epic." -- TSR Dragon Magazine. To read the entire TSR review, please click here.

"I finished the book in just three days. I'm a fast reader but that's quick, even for me. There's not a slow spot in the entire book, yet it's not one of those that leaves you exhausted and breathless because a lesser writer mistakes lots of movement for action...This book is one of those success stories every writer strives for." -- Fresno County Sun. To read the entire Fresno County Sun review, please click here.

"This book will appeal to fantasy fans....Jones is a facile storyteller." -- Kliatt

"I read your book when it came out and liked it a lot!!...Working where I do (B. Dalton) I tend to read a lot, to say the least. And you are one of the best new writers I have had the pleasure to read." -- Collins Borgman

"Keep up the fantastic writing." -- John J. Albarano II

"I just started reading The Baker's Boy - wonderful book! Thank you for writing it." --Scott Frank

"I loved your book. I can't wait for the next. If it's possible could you make the next one longer? I hate reading books in one night." -- John Albert

"...just finished reading it tonight, and I enjoyed it immensely! After reading the Prologue I thought you were twisted, but twisted is good." -- Warren Wu

"Dear Ms. Jones - Your book was one of the better fantasy novels I've read in the last decade or so, and considering that I was the founder of an SF/Fantasy bookstore, and the SF expert/new book buyer for the Recycle Books chain (and therefore read just about everything released between 1984 and 1994, when I went back to being a computer geek, which pays A LOT better...) that saying quite a bit." -- Dave Medinnus

"I really enjoyed the book." -- J. Alan Eldridge

"Curse you! Thanks to this silly page, do you know how much time I've wasted reading the first few chapters of your novel? Oh, sure, if it had been lousy, I could have just blown it off and gotten back to work, but you had to make it GOOD and ENGAGING! What were you THINKING? And of course, now I actually have to BUY your book! Do you know how many books I own that I've been trying to find time to read? And now I'm going to have to add YOURS to the collection! And I'll probably wind up reading it right away, which is grossly unfair to all the other books which have been patiently waiting their turn. Good stuff. Harumph. And I'll probably enjoy it, too." -- Peter Butler

"I loved The Baker's Boy." -- Cesar Ochoa

I think the cover is brilliant. I carry your book everywhere with me. Now I've reached Chapter 7, I'm pausing to say I have a sneaking suspicion that Jack is the king's SON....mmm possibly?? Great work! -- Mary Berger

I loved the book!!! Thank you! When is "A Man Betrayed" coming out? Soon I hope! -- James Hanley

The book was wonderfully intriguing, exciting, and well-written. I'm actually glad I waited till tonight to finish it. We're having unfriendly weather -- snow, high winds, -50 wind chills -- and it was the perfect diversion. I forgot all about the weather until I put the book down. Now what will I do for tomorrow? -- Lazette Gifford

Just putting a a tantalizing clip from your book on the net is not very sporting. Being an addicted reader of over 3000 SciFi and Fantasy books, I'll now have to buy it! -- Brian McGoldrick

Very clever work. I really enjoyed it. -- Donald Rupp

Really enjoyed The Baker's Boy and am anxiously waiting for the sequel! -- John Palmer

I loved the book even though I'm not much into fantasy books. and I can see I will have to buy the series to see what happens in the end. I suspect Jack is the king's real son and his mom was the woman mentioned in the king's book left at the hunter's hut; the king's illicit lover. As for where the rest of the two b ooks will take me...it will be an interesting journey. -- Steve Schneider

Any word yet on when the next book is due out? I am rather anxious to read it. I want to be your first confirmed sale on that one too. I have a record to uphold! -- Bob the Palindrome

Oh sure, I read the first two chapters and now I have to run out and buy the book! And I probably can't even wait till the paperback comes out...well, Christmas is coming up, and someone is bound to ask what I want! -- Bruce Jones (no relation )

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