It has been two thousand years since the Born Queen defeated the last of the Skasloi lords. In doing so she freed the race of humansonce taken from their distant homes and forced to wear the bitter yoke of slavery. Thus begins the saga of the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, an epic tale of war and virtue, sorcery and betrayal...
The Briar King: Book One of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone
In the kingdom of Crotheny, two young girls play in the tangled gardens of the sacred city of the dead. Fleeing an imaginary attacker, the girlsone of whom is the reckless young daughter of the kingdiscover the unknown crypt of the legendary, ancestral queen, Virgenya Dare.
In the wilds of the forest, while investigating the slaughter of an innocent family, kings holter Aspar White weaves his way through a maze of ancient willowsand comes face-to-face with a monstrous beast found only in folk tales and nightmares. Meanwhile, traveling the same road, a scholarly young priest begins an education in the nature of evil, found festering just beneath the surface of the seemingly peaceful land.
The royal family itself comes under siege, facing betrayal that only sorcery could accomplish. Nowfor three beautiful sisters, for a young man made suddenly into a knight, and for a woman in love with a roguish adventurera rising darkness appears, shattering what was once certain, familiar, and good. These destinies and more will be linked when malevolent forces walk the land. For Crotheny, the most powerful nation in the world, is shaken at its core. And the Briar King, harbinger of death, has awakened from his slumber.
Imbuing his tale with richness, pathos, action, and passion, Greg Keyes begins an amazing new epic that takes fantasy fiction to a new level. At the heart of the story, Keyes has placed a remarkable young woman, Anne Dare, the youngest daughter of a royal family . . . and the one person upon whom the fate of this world may depend.
The Born Queen
The sky cracked and lightning fell through its crooked seams. With it came a black sleet tasting of smoke, copper, and brimstone. With it came a howling like a gale from hell.
Carsek drew himself up, clutching his bloody bandages, hoping they would keep his guts in until he saw the end of this, one way or another.
"She must order the charge soon," he grunted, pushing himself to his feet with the butt of his spear.
A hand jerked at Carsek's ankle. "Get back down, you fool, if you want to live until the charge." Carsek spared a glance at his companion, a man in torn chain mail and no helm, blue eyes pleading through the dark mat of his wet hair.
"You crouch, Thaniel," Carsek muttered. "I've done enough crouching. Fourteen days we've been squatting in these pig holes, sleeping in our own shit and blood. Can't you hear? They're fighting up front, and I'll see it, I will." He peered through the driving rain, trying to make out what was...
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