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The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1)
The Briar King - Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1
Author: J. Gregory Keyes
“Starts off with a bang, spinning a snare of terse imagery and compelling characters that grips tightly and never lets up . . . A graceful, artful tale from a master storyteller." — –ELIZABETH HAYDON — Bestselling author of Prophecy: Child of EarthIt has been two thousand years since the Born Queen defeated the ...  more »


Book One of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone

In the kingdom of Crotheny, two young girls play in the tangled gardens of the sacred city of the dead. Fleeing an imaginary attacker, the girls–one of whom is the reckless young daughter of the king–discover the unknown crypt of the legendary, ancestral queen, Virgenya Dare.

In the wilds of the forest, while investigating the slaughter of an innocent family, king’s holter Aspar White weaves his way through a maze of ancient willows–and comes face-to-face with a monstrous beast found only in folk tales and nightmares. Meanwhile, traveling the same road, a scholarly young priest begins an education in the nature of evil, found festering just beneath the surface of the seemingly peaceful land.

The royal family itself comes under siege, facing betrayal that only sorcery could accomplish. Now–for three beautiful sisters, for a young man made suddenly into a knight, and for a woman in love with a roguish adventurer–a rising darkness appears, shattering what was once certain, familiar, and good. These destinies and more will be linked when malevolent forces walk the land. For Crotheny, the most powerful nation in the world, is shaken at its core. And the Briar King, harbinger of death, has awakened from his slumber.

Imbuing his tale with richness, pathos, action, and passion, Greg Keyes begins an amazing new epic that takes fantasy fiction to a new level. At the heart of the story, Keyes has placed a remarkable young woman, Anne Dare, the youngest daughter of a royal family . . . and the one person upon whom the fate of this world may depend.
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780345440662
ISBN-10: 0345440668
Publication Date: 1/21/2003
Pages: 560
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 27 ratings
Publisher: Del Rey
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

althea avatar reviewed The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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
medieval-type society.
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.
LadyLioncourt avatar reviewed The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Plenty of dry wit, humor, and adventure, intriguing plots, and just enough romance to add a little spice to things. This book is an excellent addition to any shelf!
reviewed The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book!
foodie avatar reviewed The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
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reviewed The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) on + 4 more book reviews
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.


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