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  1. #16
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    It bears mentioning I think that Keyes writes really top-notch action scenes. I feel he writes with a strong visual style, I keep imagining many of his scenes as artwork, which usually comes out very compelling in my mind. For some of the fight/action scenes I mentioned it usually comes out like top-notch anime in my head. I'm waiting til I get through Kate Elliot's In The Ruins to read the Blood Knight, and it's been awhile since I read any Keyes but I remember getting big kicks out of some parts, like when Aspar was having a running archery battle in the forest with some bandits, good stuff.

  2. #17
    Defender of Cononicals Physics Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rilzik View Post
    I like how he leaves every POV change at a huge clifhanger and after every switch your like WTF, you can't do that.
    That was one thing I found annoying, actually. Minid you it DID keep me hooked, but I found every chapter ending in a cliffhanger to feel artificial and just a contrived device to hook readers. It worked, but I felt a little cheated.

    Now some comments on the old Briar King review thread, which I just read. I saw the original cover for Brair King (the yellow one), and it looked very classy and sophisticated. What were they thinking changing it? The one I bought (red with the ugly guy) is horrible. (not that I think Asper is ugly. I picture him as being rugged, but handsome.) I would never have picked it up in the store, but it was given to me as a gift. It was near the bottom of my (very long) to-read pile until a friend borrowed it and gushed about it. Sometimes I wonder about these marketing people. Now Charnel Prince and Blood Knight are okay, I guess, but I still prefer the original.

    I suppose also after reading that thread, I have to admit that BK is full of sterotypes. But for some reason, they worked in this book.

  3. #18
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    I have to agree. I dont' care if Neil is the most cliched character of all time, I love that dude.

  4. #19
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rilzik View Post
    I don't think it is anything like Martin. It is fast paced and thats good too when your in the mood. I like how he leaves every POV change at a huge clifhanger and after every switch your like WTF, you can't do that.
    Erm, you've just described the first three ASoIaF books as well, which also use the rotating POV device (although admittedly he doesn't always end each one on a cliffhanger, but certainly he leaves most of them on a climax of some kind).

    According to Keyes' website, the fourth and final book, The Born Queen, might be out in about 12 months' time. Apparently he's doing this one faster as he doesn't have any Star Wars books to distract him this time around.

  5. #20
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate it. It seems like most folks who've read the books like them to some extent. "Martin-Lite" dosen't necessarily sound like a bad thing, (it's not like it's lite beer).

    I think I'll have to read these books some time soon.

    Thanks for your help.

  6. #21
    Like Martin, he's not afraid to kill characters, and I like that.

    I feel he writes these scenes masterfully. I can't help but re-read these passages whenever they come about. They're written in such a way that you and the character realize the death almost simultaneously.

    I would recommend this series, along with the Tamir Trilogy.

  7. #22
    I want to be a princess sic's mom's Avatar
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    I just picked up the first book yesterday at the used bookstore. Heard so much about this series on this forum thought I would give it a shot. After I am done reading the series I am into now I will read this. Love Martin so hopefully I will like this one. Though I have found that just because you like one author doesn't always mean I will like one people say writes like them.

  8. #23
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    I started reading The Briar King last Thursday and I'm really enjoying the book. I usually have 3-5 books going at one time. However, I haven't picked up any of the others since I started this one. I don't mind if some characters are a little cliched. Sometimes, I'd rather have a good story and cliched characters than a book that makes every character neutral.
    Last edited by Kohan Knight; December 13th, 2006 at 01:07 AM.

  9. #24
    hey there everyone, I've been browsing for a while and decided to finally post. I only read the first book in this series and while it was entertaing the prose was a bit choppy and the characters kind of flat. I dont think there is much of a comparison to Martin in that respect (he being my favortie author so I could be bias here). Overall despite flaws, Keyes is good storyteller, his ideas were interesting and the book was a fast read with continous action.

  10. #25
    Registered User Rilzik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physics Knight View Post
    That was one thing I found annoying, actually. Minid you it DID keep me hooked, but I found every chapter ending in a cliffhanger to feel artificial and just a contrived device to hook readers. It worked, but I felt a little cheated.
    Well ya it's supposed to be annoying. It's the reason why your annoyed that is the point. Your annoyed cause you want to keep reading that character and ultimately the book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kohan Knight View Post
    I started reading The Briar King last Thursday and I'm really enjoying the book. I usually have 3-5 books going at one time. However, I haven't picked up any of the others since I started this one.
    I was the same way.

  11. #26
    In honor of completing The Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone series, I've decided to resurrect this very out ot date thread In short, I've read, and enjoyed "The Born Queen", the fourth and final volume in the series. Without giving anything away, if you've liked the series so far, then more than likely you'll enjoy the conclusion because it's basically more of the same...and if you haven't, then you probably won't even get this far For my more detailed analysis, you can check out the review HERE which is excerpted below:

    "For three books now, readers have followed the memorable adventures of Virgenya Dare’s descendant Anne Dare, the king’s holter Aspar White, the honorable knight Neil MqVren, the studious monk Stephen Darige, and the roguish Vitellian dessrator Cazio among others, and in “The Born Queen” Greg Keyes delivers the payoff. Storylines converge, major questions are answered—Will Anne save the kingdom or destroy it? Who is Kauron? Will Cazio ever find out who murdered his father and does he love Austra more or Anne? Where is the fourth Faith? Will Aspar ever get his revenge against Fend? Is Hespero an enemy or an ally? What are the three thrones of power? Will Neil ever find love & happiness? Who is the author of The Codex Tereminnam—destines are fulfilled, and not everyone survives to the end. Of course getting to that point is half the fun, and like the previous books “The Born Queen” is narrated from several different point-of-views where numerous plotlines are occurring at the same time. These include Anne growing into her role as Queen and discovering the full extent of her power while waging war against Hansa and the Church; Aspar fulfilling his geos to the Sarnwood Witch who wishes to birth a new Briar King; Stephen searching for—and finding—Virgenya Dare’s lost journal and the secret faneway that granted her the power to defeat the Skasloi; and Leovigild Ackenzal trying to compose a song that will mend the boundary between life & death which continues to unravel, while complicating matters even further is the prophetic Hellrune, the unkillable Robert Dare, the Kept, and the return of the Black Jester, all leading to an unforgettable convergence at the place where it all started…Eslen."

  12. #27
    El-Prawno
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    Just finished the series.

    Loved the fourth book.
    A lot more chaotic and non-linear compared to the rest of the series.
    Cements Keyes as a top 10-15ish fantasy author in my opinion.

  13. #28
    *grumble* I'll wait for the paperback, I'll wait for the paperback, I'll wait for the paperback. That's my new mantra. I shouldn't have looked into this thread, though. My resolution is already weakening...

  14. #29
    Ranke Lidyek
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    At the risk of sffworld blasphemy, I'll say that Keyes is more than Martin-lite. Martin has lost the thread in his series and the quality of his writing does not obfuscate the lack of cohesive plot and theme overall. I feel that Keyes has a wonderful, old-fashioned storyteller vibe where the STORY matters, while he also pays attention to his characters. Leoff was wonderfully written--not your standard hero and Neil rises above his archetype. Granted, this is fantasy, and even Martin's characters are stock if you look closely (Jon Snow, anyone?).

    In short, I haven't enjoyed a fantasy this much since David Gemmell's offerings. It's refreshing. I'd heard nothing about this series until a critiquer mentioned that my own writing style reminded him of Keyes. I'm glad I stumbled across this series. Lord knows I've been striking out lately on that front. I loathed Lies of Locke Lamora for its glib excess, and a few other novels (including Grey--forget the author's name) were godawful as well.

    Good to be back in the game. Starting Blood Knight today.

  15. #30
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    I loved this series. Keyes took his characters and initially they were somewhat bland, but I still cared about them. They weren't allowed to stultify, and they became very interesting people by the end, but still with a strong remnant of they were originally were.
    I wouldn't call this Martin-lite either. That sounds so pejorative, like calling a basketball player "Baby Jordan". Keyes series is complete and it is wonderful.

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