Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Greg Keyes (Series Summary)

Mulluane | 11:45 PM | 1 Comment so far

An Epic Fantasy Series Review

Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Greg Keyes
The Briar King - The Charnel Prince - The Blood Knight - The Born Queen
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Monday, April 27, 2009

The Briar King (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: Book 1) by Greg Keyes

Mulluane | 1:45 AM | 1 Comment so far

*Blurb*

Two thousand years ago, the Born Queen defeated the Skasloi lords, freeing humans from the bitter yoke of slavery.

But now monstrous creatures roam the land—and destinies become inextricably entangled in a drama of power and seduction. The king’s woodsman, a rebellious girl, a young priest, a roguish adventurer, and a young man made suddenly into a knight—all face malevolent forces that shake the foundations of the kingdom, even as the Briar King, legendary harbinger of death, awakens from his slumber.

At the heart of this many-layered tale is Anne Dare, youngest daughter of the royal family . . . upon whom the fate of her world may depend. *Blurb source was author's website which no longer available*

The Briar KingThe Briar King

The Briar King by Greg Keyes

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: 16+
| Author: Greg Keyes
| ISBN-10: 0345440706
| ISBN-13: 978-0345440709
| Publisher: Del Rey (March 30, 2004)
| Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
| Read an Excerpt
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 4 Stars
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
The Briar King is one of those delightful books that slowly grows on you. It starts off a bit slow, gaining in momentum, until you look up and it is 3am, and you kick yourself for all those "just one more chapter..." moments.


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Charnel Prince (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: Book 2) by Greg Keyes

Mulluane | 3:15 PM | 1 Comment so far

*Blurb*

When the legendary Briar King awoke from his slumber, a season of darkness and horror fell upon the Kingdom of Crotheny. Now countless breeds of unspeakable monsters roam the countryside. An epidemic of madness has transformed peaceful villagers from the wildlands into savage, flesh-eating fiends. In Eslen, King William has been murdered, Queen Muriele is stalked by treachery on every side, and their last surviving daughter, Anne, has fled the assassins bent on destroying her family.

Close on the heels of the runaway princess, young knight Neil MeqVren, the queen’s one trusted ally, is sworn to rescue Anne from her murderous pursuers. Anne herself undertakes a perilous journey toward the sanctuary of her distant paramour’s arms, but along the way lie the sinister agents and hidden snares of a sprawling conspiracy that few might hope to evade.

At the same time, spies in the service of Praifec Hespero, the powerful Churchman, embark upon a mission to destroy the Briar King in the heart of his domain. And the power-hungry Church, spurred on by the mystical events, has launched an inquisition whose repercussions threaten even the queen. As the noose of intrigue tightens across the land, personal fates and a kingdom’s destiny alike will be decided in a conflict between virtue and malevolence, might and magic.*Blurb source Del Rey*

The Charnel Prince

The Charnel Prince by Greg Keyes

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: 16+
| Author: Greg Keyes
| ISBN-10: 0345440714
| ISBN-13: 978-0345440716
| Publisher: Del Rey (October 25, 2005)
| Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
| Read an Excerpt
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
The Charnel Prince proved to be another captivating read. The tension remains high, the PoV switches were done smoothly, and the characters all develop in believable ways. One of the reasons, I believe, that this series is so popular, is the balance. There are many components to this story. Mystery, love, politics, humor, interesting world building, loyalty, betrayal, royal characters, and lowborn characters are all present in equal measure. Moreover, those are just examples, there are many themes running through this story, and the best part is, it is all done seamlessly. You would think that it would be complex and confusing but instead it flows well and the only things that keep you confused are the underlying mysteries.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Blood Knight: (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: Book 3) by Greg Keyes

Mulluane | 1:15 AM | 2 Comments so far

*Blurb*

The legendary Briar King has awakened, spreading madness and destruction. Half-remembered, poorly understood prophecies seem to point to the young princess Anne Dare, rightful heir to the throne of Crotheny, as the world’s only hope. Yet Anne is hunted by the minions of the usurper Robert, whose return from the grave has opened a doorway through which sinister sorceries have poured into the world. Though Anne herself is the conduit of fearsome powers beyond her understanding and control, it is time for girl to become woman, princess to become queen. Anne must stop running and instead march at the head of an army to take back her kingdom . . . or die trying.

But a mysterious assassin stalks her, so skilled in the deadly fencing style of dessrata that even Anne’s friend and protector Cazio, a master of the form, cannot stand against him, nor can her sworn defender, the young knight Neil MeqVren.

As for Anne’s other companions–Aspar White, the royal holter who bears an enchanted arrow capable of felling the Briar King; and Stephen Darige, the monk who blew the horn that woke the Briar King from his slumber–they cannot help her, as their separate paths carry them ever deeper into a deadly maze of myth and magic from which return may be impossible.

Meanwhile, Queen Muriele is a prisoner of the false king. With no allies but a crippled musician, who is himself a prisoner, and a serving woman who is both more and less than she seems, Muriele will find herself a pawn in Robert’s schemes for conquest–and a weapon to be used against her own daughter.*Blurb source Del Rey*

The Blood KnightThe Blood Knight

The Blood Knight by Greg Keyes

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: 16+
| Author: Greg Keyes
| ISBN-10: 0345440722
| ISBN-13: 978-0345440723
| Publisher: Del Rey (May 1, 2007)
| Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
| Read an Excerpt
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 4 Stars
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
I have some mixed feelings about this installment of the series. Maybe because my gut is telling me that it should all be wrapped up by now, and yet there is another book to go. More then likely it is the lack of character development, which has been replaced by plot development. Well, you people know me by now, I am all about the characters, and this book did not feed my need so to speak. Basically, readers who are more story focused then character focused will find plenty to love here. Character focused readers might be a bit disappointed, but as I said, there is plenty of story to get you through.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Born Queen: (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: Book 4) by Greg Keyes

Mulluane | 1:55 PM | 5 Comments so far

*Blurb*

The Briar King is dead, and the world itself follows him to ruin. Aspar White, wounded and tired, must embark on one last quest to save the forest and the people he loves, but he has little hope of success.

Anne Dare at last sits on the throne of Crotheny, but for how long? The Church, now led by the corrupt and powerful Marché Hespero, has declared a holy war against her, giving the king of Hansa the pretext he needs to unleash his vast might on the young queen and her unready army.

But Hansa is the least of Anne’s worries. The Hellrune, war seer of Hansa, strikes at her through vision and prophecy. The Kept–last of the elder Skasloi lords–weaves his own dark webs. Anne’s teacher and ally in the sedos world might also be her worst enemy, and Anne’s own mounting strength compels her toward madness.

Surviving these dangers and mastering her eldritch abilities are merely prelude to the real struggle. There are many–some with power matching or even exceeding Anne’s own–who are willing to kill in order to seize control. For whoever sits upon the throne will have the ultimate command to bring about the world’s salvation–or its apocalypse.*Blurb source Del Rey*

The Born QueenThe Born Queen

The Born Queen by Greg Keyes

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: 16+
| Author: Greg Keyes
| ISBN-10: 0345440730
| ISBN-13: 978-0345440730
| Publisher: Del Rey (January 27, 2009)
| Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
| Read an Excerpt
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 3 Stars
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
Sadly, it is my considered opinion that this book should have been split into atleast one, if not two, more volumes. There was potential here, the characters were fun to watch, the underlying subplots hinted at great things to come, and all of that is thrown right out the window as this book rushes to a confusing and hectic conclusion. Yes, I know I said that the last book made me feel like the series was needlessly dragging on, this novel proved me wrong; it needed to be extended instead of trying to cram everything that happens into one book.


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