"Epic fantasy in the traditions of Terry Brooks and Tolkien"
The Briar king has awakened from his long sleep and intends
to reclaim the forests he regards as his own. It makes no
difference to the old god that humans have cleared much of
the woods and inhabit the cities where his forest once
stood. Creatures from myth and legend walk the land,
killing the humans that get in their way and a desperate
people are fearful fear each day may be their last.
While magic is let loose on the land, assassins kill the
king of Crotheny and his two daughters. Queen Muriele sent
Princess Anne into hiding while her simpleton brother
Charles rules in name only. The queen has many enemies who
would like to topple her from the throne, including the
Praifec and the church who wants to rule in place of the
king. Neighboring kingdoms are preparing for war with
Crotheny while Princess Anne eludes her enemies as she
daringly makes her way back to her homeland to take her
rightful place on the throne.
Readers who enjoyed THE BRIAR KING will love the sequel as
the real enemies of the monarchy show their true colors.
The action is fast paced and filled with damsels in
distress, heroic knights and vile villains. The characters
that fight on the sides of justice well endear themselves
to the audience. THE CHARNEL PRINCE is epic fantasy in the
traditions of Terry Brooks and Tolkien.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted August 9, 2004
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 24, 2007
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 wildlands 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 II of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: intoxicating and harrowing, passionate and grand-it is Greg Keyes's most ambitiously imagined and vividly rendered work of epic fantasy.