The Briar King by Greg Keyes

  (32 ratings)

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Book Information  
AuthorGreg Keyes
TitleThe Briar King
SeriesThe Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Michael 
(Mar 06, 2011)

The Briar King starts fasts, swirls around multiple characters (G.R.R. Martin Style), and is actually pleasurable to read. The magic and most of the plot has barely unfolded before the book ends, so if you are expecting a concise conclusion, or need one, this is not your book. The Briar King is only the set-up, the plot and the characterization; this is a 4 book story so let it unfold and savor it.

The " big action" is really pretty slim, but the dialoges and the encounters are creepy and well portrayed. Keyes writes well so you aren't slogging extra lines and piles of words to get to the meat, so scenes go by fast and the dialog is realistic. There is some cliche, but it's definitely fun; go with it and enjoy the characters.

I've read several 100 of the fantasy books out there, and this easily rises to the top. It's not LOTR, it's not Dune and Keyes isn't Martin, but he's not that far behind them.

Submitted by Skylar Odle 
(Feb 23, 2008)

Greg Keyes has, and will always be my most influential author. He manages to achieve a level of reality that is the root to every fantasy reader's desire. His ability to take a well-known myth and twist it until it becomes his own shows that, though all originality may have long since died in the world, the search for a truly devine read is not a lost cause.
Even in his early books, Keyes had the talent of making truly believable characters. Their flaws make them human and, by so doing, pull you closer to them. Every fantasy buff knows that the good and bad can be found in any story. Its when the good far outweighs the bad that we find a book to which we can truly connect and love. The lack of things, such as a map for pure coincedental instance, must be overlooked to enjoy the greater aspects of the book. It is our imagination that makes us love these books. Our imaginations give us the maps and the faces, not pictures or doodles. This is not television and therefore thought is required. (The hard-back version has a map as do the new copies such that of the Blood Knight. Ask and thou shalt receive, I suppose). Keyes has done this and will continue to do this for many years, I think.

Submitted by Russell Stevenson 
(Jan 11, 2005)

One of the most highly addictive reads around, this book fast becomes hard to put down. It's not that it's hugely original, but the way its written which makes it highly engaging, with several plots running at the same time. The protagonists are sympathetic and likeable, yet there is enough putridness to the villains to balance the story. The only criticisms are the ending, which although part of a series is still quite unsatisfying, and that it is sometimes a little cliched. Overall though, very good and a worthwile read for anyone into the fantasy genre.

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