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 wild lands 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. Here then is Book 2 of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: intoxicating and harrowing, passionate and grand, it is Greg Keyes most ambitiously imagined and vividly rendered work of epic fantasy.
Pay another visit to the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone.
©2005 Gregory Keyes (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Keyes is among authors like George R.R. Martin whose work is reinvigorating the often tired genre of high fantasy with rich, dark, and mature storytelling. His characters are vibrant and range far beyond Dungeons & Dragons cliché. He places these starkly drawn men and women into a world built upon a squirming foundation of myth, legend, prophecy, and folklore, which, to their own peril, they are only beginning to understand." (Amazon.com review)
I read the first book of the series and was excited to find audio versions on Audible. I read the reviews on the first book, but I couldn't disagree more with most of them. These books are nothing like the Game of Thrones series. They stand on their own merit and thankfully Mr. Keyes knows how to end a story.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
"The Briar King" is a four star book and I was excited about this book because of the first one. This book started with a really good scene involving Zombies. From there it went downhill fast. The rest of the action takes place nonchalantly. There are plenty of monsters and strange characters, but the way they are introduced is boring. You know how some writers such as Stephen King can write about the simplest events and make them exciting and some writers can write about the most exciting events and make them sound boring. GK is the latter. I decided I would listen to 2 hours before giving up. I listen to 2 hours and 7 minutes and decided not to waste anymore of my time. I believe GK has a good imagination, but he needs to team up with someone who can mentor him in the art of writing. The narrator does not help. He has a soft voice, which sounds like he is reading a children's book to children.
I read the first volume in this series in paperback and enjoyed it, so I downloaded books 2 and 3 when I saw they were on Audible. This was a mistake. I'm not sure how much I would've enjoyed the trite, one-dimensional characters and meandering plot if I'd read the book myself, but the audio performance was so artless that it compounded the issue. I was rooting for the recording to end. I was rooting for protagonists to die. I was rooting for physical harm to befall Mr. Keyes. I will not be burning time by reading Book 3 and wish I hadn't wasted a credit on it.
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