This excellent fantasy series ("Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone") is very
reminiscent of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire - except that
it's actually finished! (There's one more book in the series that I
haven't yet read.) It follows a similar format, structurally, and the
'feel' of the writing is very similar. The story itself, however, is
quite original - at least, more so than many fantasy epics. I mean,
it's still got Dark Forces and Bold Warriors and Beautiful Queens etc,
etc... but we want that, right?
The implication, at the beginning of The Briar King is that the lost
colony of Roanoke island was somehow transported into an alternate
world. However, not much is done with this setup, as we are now many
many years from that time, and fully immersed in this world - a world
where humans were once enslaved by the demon lords, the Skasloi, but
managed to free themselves through dread magics, and develop a
However, the King's Holter, a dedicated woodsman, Aspar White, has
been seeing strange and ill things in his forest of late... When he
rescues Stephen, an innocent young scholar and novice monk, from
bandits, he is at first irritated by the young man's naivete, but soon
realizes his book-learning may shed light on some of the mysteries of
the forest... old tales of the rise of the fearsome Briar King, a sort
of Green Man/nature spirit of ambiguous nature.
Meanwhile, the mystic prophecies of the gypsy-like Sefry race seem to
indicate that there must be a Queen in the land. There is indeed a
Queen - and some princesses to boot - but there are also assassins
abroad... The low-born warrior knight Neil McVren is absolutely loyal
to Queen Muriele - and also falling in love with one of her daughters
- but his bravery may not be enough to stop the treachery and foul
plots that surround the royal women.
In an age when fantasy writers start ambitious series and trail off into silence (I'm looking at George R.R. Martin here), Greg Keyes should be commended for his ability to execute fantasy series that have wonderful scope and actually come to a conclusion. If you like the Song of Fire and Ice series and you are sick of waiting for it to end, try out an author that knows where he's going. Keyes' world is complex and interesting, and the fantasy here is down and dirty, all the blood and sex and nasty magic you could want. Check it out.
A fantasy novel that i really thought i would not get into and was surprised i love the series as much as i do! there are tempting clues about the past and the future of this land that keeps you coming back for more! there are several stories going on at once as all the parties converge in the beginning , separate to go their own ways then reconvene again. it is like a rubber band explosion ! the separate stories are easy to follow because they are by chapter , not switching around in the middle. The is a little magic and properties of this land that do not apply to ours but mostly the interaction and growth of the characters is fantastic! I just finished book two and am on my way to tear through three.
Character driven with a good story line. It moves along well without bogging down in the "how do I stretch this to 4 volumes" trap. A good mix of characters, some of whom are not all they seem and several other surprises along the way. You will want to read all 4 books. Briar King, Blood Knight, Charnel Prince and Born Queen.
The book is well written and the action is good. I had trouble "getting into" the characters at first, but they gradually took on shape. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and would definitely try another book by the same author.
This is a suspenseful story that wastes no time getting started. It is a little confusing at first while the reader works to understand the setting, connect this fantastical world's mythology with the present action, and to distinguish its characters. I really enjoyed the book throughout, though I found the ending a little rushed and anti-climactic. I agree with reviewers who have described this novel as similar to Game of Thrones, although I found the characters in The Briar King more developed and realistic. I will be reading the next book in the series ASAP.
2 thousand years ago, the Born Queen defeated the Skasloi lords, freeing humans from the bitter yoke of slavery. But now monstrous creatures roam the lan-and destinies become inextricabley entanbled ina drama of power and seduction.
Book One of the Kingdom of Thorn and Bone. The Royal Family comes under seige, facing betrayal that only sorcery could accomplish. Three beautiful sisters, a knight, and a woman in love with an adverturer face a rising darkness shattering what was once certain, familiar, and good. These destinies and more will be linked when malevolent forces walk the land.