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


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.

The problems I have with this concluding book are many. The characters all go through some serious personality changes. Cannot really say more then that without including spoilers but suffice it to say, it did not feel at all natural. The plot conclusion, which had so much potential, left me confused in extreme. Most of the time I found myself just going "Huh?" To say that the ending felt rushed is an understatement.

However, it was not all bad so let us get to the good stuff. The story itself, the plot and premise are original and in many ways, fascinating. I have a fondness for mythology-based stories and this is definitely one of those. The world Keyes creates is dark and creepy, in a send shivers up your spine sort of way. It is also never boring, ever. If anything, you will want to put it down ever so often just so you can catch a breath. In addition, just so we are clear, not all of the conclusion is chaotic, some of it makes alot of sense and is priceless to boot. Even the bit about a reference to the lost colony gets some coverage, something that I was looking forward to and hoping for. Nope my friends, you are now stuck, you have read the first three so now you must read this one, otherwise you will never know how it all turns out!

This is a very difficult review for me to write. On the one hand, I do not want to give you the impression that it is a bad book, it is not. On the other hand, I do not want you to go into expecting it to be like books 1-3, because it is not. This is where the whole preconception thing comes into play and in this case, preconception will hurt you. You need to go into this book with NO expectations, about anything. You also need to be prepared for an almost overwhelming flow of information, twists, turns, surprises, and rapid about faces. This is a book that could very well benefit from multiple rereads. If I did not have such a large TBR pile right now, I would immediately read it again. I have the distinct feeling that if I did, things might make a bit more sense now that I know what direction the story heads in. Not sure that this is a bad thing. I mean if the book were that bad, I would not want to reread it right.?

Looking at the series as a whole, I must say it is one of the better ones I have ever read. Could have been better had the ending not been so rushed, but still I have to recommend it to epic fantasy readers as one of those essential series that belongs on every fantasy fan's bookshelf.

Series Summary
Other books in the series
Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Kindle: The Born Queen (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone)The Born Queen

Audible: Here

Buy Book: AbeBooks

Amazon: US - Canada - UK

Agree with my review? Disagree? Leave a comment and share your opinion!

Epic Fantasy Series Review of The Born Queen: Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: Book 4 by Greg Keyes- Reviewed by Mulluane - on April 01 2009 - Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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  1. The whole series is on my shelf - but unread :>(
    I read your good review with interest and even you tell us why book four isn't as good as book 1- 3.
    It will be a difficult decision for me what to read next after the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. Beside The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Reddick and Thief with no Shadow by Emily Gee, Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series is a hot cnadidate.

  2. I will have to try this one out some day. I don't often find fantasy or science fiction books where I share a name with a major character. {SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  3. It is difficult to decide now if I wish to read this series of not. As good as the series may be, if the end feels rushed then I am going to be left disappointed. Maybe one to pass on for the time.

  4. Mulluane you are a reviewing machine!

    I just read through the four reviews you did for the Kingodms of Thorn and Bone and they brought back some really great memories of the series for me. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the books.

    I can see your point about how The Born Queen book could have easily been split into two different books as there was so much going on, overall though I'm glad he didn't as it was nice to see an Epic Fantasy series actually come to a close instead of dragging on and on.

    I agree whole heartedly with your assessment of "The Born Queen" though as it has a much different feel.

    When you wrote:

    "You also need to be prepared for an almost overwhelming flow of information, twists, turns, surprises, and rapid about faces. This is a book that could very well benefit from multiple rereads."

    I was nodding my head in agreement. This book just had so much going on, at points it was just overwhelming.

  5. Thanks for all the kind words!

    I avoid reviews of books I am reading, or intend to read until after I have finished a series. Then I go look to see if I was way off base.

    In the case of book 4, it was pretty evenly split. Some reviewers closely echoed my thoughts on the chaotic and confusing nature of this installment while others felt that it was one of the best books they have ever read.

    My advice would be to check out some other reviews. We all bring something different to the table and my tastes may not mirror your own. It is an excellent series, and even though I was disappointed by book 4, I still enjoyed the series as a whole.


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