|Submitted by J.M. Martin |
(Feb 07, 2005)
I'm not a SF reader so I'm not familiar with Mr. Keyes' Star Wars work other than, of course, that he has written a few books for Mr. Lucas & Co. I picked up the first book in his Age of Unreason series, Newton's Cannon, at the same time that I purchased a used copy of The Briar King. I very much enjoyed NC(book I of Age of Unreason), but after reading The Briar King, I was hooked. From now on, any fantasy Greg Keyes writes, I will be there to quaff it down like a thirsty sailor whose gullet is as dry as a bone. Because I was so excited after finishing The Briar King, I went straight to The Charnel Prince, rather than to the second Age of Unreason title, A Calculus of Angels.
The official reviewer, Rob Bedford, did a great job of summarizing The Charnel Prince, so I won't endeavor to do the same. I'll just say that TCP was an aggressive page-turner for me. I found myself picking it up whenever I had a free moment to devour the adventures of his ensemble of deftly-developed characters. Keyes established a precedent in The Briar King, much like George R.R. Martin has done in his wonderful Ice and Fire series, that no character is safe, so I found myself sometimes holding my breath whenever danger reared its head.
By the time I was three-quarters into the book, I really wanted to slow down and savor it, since I knew the third one is well away from being published at this time [early '05] but, try as I might, it was just not to be! I ended up reading through the wee hours of the night. It was daylight by the time I read the last pages and shut the book with what I'm sure was a wistful and satisfying look on my face.
The only caveat I can think of is that readers might, from time to time, be distracted by Keyes' inventiveness with language, for he makes up - or slightly modifies - words in order to have his fantasy world "own" them in a certain sense. An example that comes directly to mind is the word 'langschips,' which he substitutes for 'longships.' But after a few instances of this, it actually DOES become part of his world in my opinion, further fleshing it out and drawing the reader in.
I really have nothing adverse to say about The Charnel Prince, or any of Keye's novels for that matter. My only beef at the moment is that Keyes doesn't yet have a web site! Come now, man! It is time. I'd sure like to visit him online, gather his musings, read his news, heck, maybe even get the chance to email him so I can heap oodles of praise and encouragement, and urge him to "Write, you bloody fool! Write like the wind!!"
In all seriousness though, Keyes, like GRRM, David Eddings, and David Gemmell, has my guaranteed readership for the long haul. Those are probably my top three favorite fantasy authors, and I'm starting to count him among that esteemed company! If you haven't read The Briar King and The Charnel Prince yet, please do that straightaway. In fact, I urge you to put down whatever you're reading this very moment and go get these books straightaway. Do it now!
email: martinjm70 @ yahoo.com