Synopses & Reviews
It has been two thousand years since the Born Queen defeated the last of the Skasloi lords. In doing so she freed the race of humans once taken from their distant homes and forced to wear the bitter yoke of slavery. Thus begins the saga of the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, an epic tale of war and virtue, sorcery and betrayal...
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.
"[S]imply smashing....Keyes takes all the genre's conventions and...breathes new life into them. Action-packed fantasy rife with humor and sensuality...an epic new series sure to hook readers by the wagonful." Kirkus Reviews
"The characters in The Briar King absolutely brim with life. It's been a while since I've been this taken with a traditional fantasy novel, but Keyes hooked me from the first page." Charles de Lint, award-winning author of Forests of the Heart and The Onion Girl
"Keyes's talent for world crafting and storytelling makes this series opener a strong addition to fantasy collections." Library Journal
"Readers drawn to sagas so sweeping that they only get started in the first five hundred pages will love Keyes's fully realized world....Most of all, however, readers will love Keyes's characters..." Rebecca Barnhouse, VOYA
"A high-level, high-fantasy novel....Complex story lines and multifaceted characters are introduced deftly....Keyes employs his considerable storytelling skills to great effect here, creating an epic cliff-hanger..." School Library Journal
"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, author of Destiny: Child of the Sky
"A gorgeous work of deep intrigues and exciting characters, and action to leave the reader breathless. The Briar King belongs in every fantasy collection." Melanie Rawn, bestselling author of the Dragon Prince and Exiles series
"Lord, how the man can use the English language. [Greg Keyes] can really spin out images and he's given some really clever twists to old tried-and-true fantasy premises....Definitely left me turning the pages late." Katherine Kurtz, New York Times bestselling author of the Deryni Chronicles
Book One of Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, perhaps the most exciting epic fantasy of the new decade. Conspiracies plague the kingdom of Croiteny, and the king and his family are threatened from all sides. Knights, assassins, and even the clergy become embroiled in bitter and deadly events, and the world teeters on the brink of war. But everything pales next to the news that deadly, mystical creatures have returned to the forest. For if their master the Briar King should wake, all mankind could be swept aside like chaff in the wind. An ensemble fantasy in the tradition of George R.R. Martin and Terry Goodkind, Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone will establish the award-winning Greg Keyes as one of the finest authors in the world of fantasy today.
About the Author
Greg Keyes was born in Meridian, Mississippi, to a large, diverse, storytelling family. He received degrees in anthropology from Mississippi State and the University of Georgia before becoming a full-time writer. He is the author of the Age of Unreason tetrology and The Charnel Prince (Book II in The Kingdoms of Blood and Stone) as well as The Waterborn, The Blackgod, and the Star Wars New Jedi Order novels—Edge of Victory I: Conquest and Edge of Victory II: Rebirth. He lives in Savannah, Georgia.