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*
| Content: 16+
| 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
Another thing that annoyed me just a little was the constant PoV switching. Now this is something that Greg Keyes has done all along and in books one and two, I thought things flowed along smoothly. For some reason however, in this book, they seemed a bit too frequent and less smooth. There were times when a switch left me completely confused as to what was going on, something that never happened in the previous two books. Again, possibly a flaw on my part. Instead of expecting the characters to be doing something new, I should have been focusing on changes in the plot. Very possibly something that you will or will not even notice at all.
Now, what I did like. One of the cool things about reviewing an entire series back to back is that I can, if I want, talk about a different facet of the writing in each review. For this review, I want to note the descriptive scenes. Now alot of authors write powerful visual scenes that transport you into the picture along with the characters. Not many of them though use all of the senses as well as Greg Keyes. He uses not only the usual sights and sounds but he includes touch, taste, smell, and emotions. Not overdone mind you but just enough to make everything that is going on three-dimensional. Even minor scenes, like a character viewing a distant mountain for example. You not only see what he sees but you find out what emotions the sight evokes, the smell of the evergreens that surround him, the chill in the air, the sounds of the wind and how it feels against his skin. On the other hand, if he takes a sip of wine, you get to experience the cool, refreshing feel of it cascading down his parched throat while the taste of apricots and sunshine explode against his tongue, the experience reminding him of the carefree days of his childhood running free through an orchard. (My poor example, not a quote from the book.) It serves to give you an enriched sense of immersion that is hard to match. It is also something that few authors can pull off without making you gag. Greg Keyes does it well.
Overall, minor flaws aside, this is an interesting continuation of the series. Things just get more and more intense and there are definitely some surprises in store. A very old cliché can be used here to accurate effect, "the plot thickens!" At this point in the story, I am dying to know how it will all wrap up and I have a feeling that there are more surprises and plot twists in store. Not a series of standalones to be sure. This series is slowly but surely building to what I hope will be a satisfying ending and I have my copy of The Born Queen staring at me just begging me to read on and find out. If you enjoy a story with a diverse cast of characters, a deep, multilayered political and religious mystery, a sprinkling of dry wit, romance, and unwavering loyalty mixed in with quests, adventure, intrigue, and war, well you are going to love this book and series. I can almost promise you, you will not get bored!
Other books in the series
Librarything Rating 3.89/5
Amazon Rating 3.7 out of 5 stars
(53 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: The Blood Knight: Book Three of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone
Buy Book: AbeBooks - BAM
Amazon: US - Canada - UK
Buy Book: AbeBooks - BAM
Amazon: US - Canada - UK
Epic Fantasy Series Review of The Blood Knight: The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: Book 3 by Greg Keyes- Reviewed by Mulluane - on April 15 2009 - Rating: of 5 Stars