The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1)

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9780345440662: The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1)
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“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
Bestselling author of Prophecy: Child of Earth

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. . . .

THE BRIAR KING
Book One of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone

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.

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Review:

The Briar King, Greg Keyes's latest elegant entry into the world of high fantasy, lays the groundwork for what promises to be a mesmerizing four-book series--the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. Keyes spins his tale in a meticulously crafted fantasy realm on the brink of apocalyptic change. The Briar King, a legend cobbled from children's stories and rural folklore, is waking from his slumber to an unknown but cataclysmic end. Dark agents are afoot in the land, stirring war and edging an ancient prophecy closer to fulfillment. In destiny's path are a king's woodsman, his headstrong lover, a bookworm priest, a cocksure swordsman, and the embattled (from within and without) kingdom of Crotheny. Keyes masterfully intertwines far-off courtly intrigue with the personal quest of the woodsman and his brave companions who seek to unravel the secret of the Briar King before all is lost.

Although The Briar King will suffer the inevitable comparison with George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, it should be said that Keyes's work is no mere rip-off. This is excellent world building, applied with a dark, powerful touch that should convince Martin fans to become Keyes fans, too. --Jeremy Pugh

From the Back Cover:

“The characters in The Briar King absolutely brim with life. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this taken with a traditional fantasy novel, but Keyes hooked me from the first page.”
–CHARLES DELINT
Award-winning author of Forests of the Heart and The Onion Girl

“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

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780345440709: The Briar King (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0345440706 ISBN 13:  9780345440709
Publisher: Del Rey, 2004
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9780330419451: The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone)

Tor, 2004
Softcover

9781405033510: The Briar King

Easton..., 2003
Hardcover

9781405033527: The Briar King

Tor Books, 2003
Softcover

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