In The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Greg Keyes has crafted a brilliant saga of magic, adventure, and love set against a backdrop of clashing empires and an ancient, reawakened evil. Now, with The Born Queen, Keyes brings his epic to a masterly close, gathering the strands of plot and character into a stunning climax that both completes and transcends all that has gone before.
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.
“[A] sophisticated and intelligent high fantasy epic.”—Publishers Weekly
The legendary Briar King has awakened, spreading madness and destruction across a land devastated by a royal family’s fall from power through treachery and dark magic. Half-remembered prophecies may point to the young princess Anne Dare, rightful heir to the throne of Crotheny, as the world’s only hope. But a mysterious assassin stalks her, so skilled that even Anne’s friend and protector Cazio cannot stand against him, nor can her sworn defender, the young knight Neil MeqVren. Though Anne herself is the conduit of fearsome powers beyond her understanding and control, it is time for girl to become woman, princess to become queen. Anne must stop running and instead march at the head of an army to take back her kingdom . . . or die trying.
Praise for The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone
“A graceful, artful tale . . . a snare ofterse imagery and compelling characters that grips tightly and never lets up.”—Elizabeth Haydon, author of The Assassin King, on The Briar King
“There is adventure and intrigue, swordplay anddark sorcery aplenty.”—Realms of Fantasy, on The Charnel Prince
“There is adventure and intrigue, swordplay and dark sorcery aplenty.”—Realms of Fantasy
When the legendary Briar King awoke from his slumber, dark magics awoke with him and spread across the Kingdom of Crotheny. In Eslen, King William has been murdered, Queen Muriele is stalked by treachery from every side, and their last surviving daughter, Anne, has fled the assassins bent on destroying her family. The queen’s one trusted ally, young knight Neil MeqVren, is sworn to rescue the princess from her pursuers. As spies in the service of the powerful Churchman embark upon a mission to destroy the Briar King, a sinister conspiracy threatens to engulf the land. Personal fates will be decided, and a kingdom’s destiny will hinge upon the ultimate conflict between virtue and malevolence, might and magic.
“Keyes’s world is rich, detailed, and always believable; the twisty plot is delightful and frightening in turns.”—Locus
“Strong world building and superior storytelling.”—Library Journal
“A wonderful tale . . . It crackles with suspense and excitement from start to finish.”—Terry Brooks
Two thousand years ago, the Born Queen defeated the Skasloi lords, freeing humans from the bitter yoke of slavery. But now monstrous creatures roam the land—and destinies become inextricably entangled in a drama of power and seduction. The king’s woodsman, a rebellious girl, a young priest, a roguish adventurer, and a young man made suddenly into a knight—all face malevolent forces that shake the foundations of the kingdom, even as the Briar King, legendary harbinger of death, awakens from his slumber. At the heart of this many-layered tale is Anne Dare, youngest daughter of the royal family . . . upon whom the fate of her world may depend.
Praise for The Briar King
“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
“The characters in The Briar King absolutely brim with life. . . . Keyes hooked me from the first page,and I’ll now be eagerly anticipating sitting down with each future volume of the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series.”—Charles de Lint, award-winning author of Forests of the Heartand The Onion Girl
“A thrill ride to the end, with plenty of treachery, revelation, and even a few bombshell surprises.”—Monroe News-Star (LA)