Carol's Reviews > The Born Queen

The Born Queen by Greg Keyes
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's review
Mar 21, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Read in July, 2009

(This review is for the whole series)
This fantasy saga is fairly long and has a complicated plot, many characters, and a lot of different concepts and themes in play. It could have been a huge sprawling mess, but Keyes does a remarkable job of maintaining control of all his many and disparate threads. He has consistently snappy pacing, a good grasp of when to apply humor and when to apply poignancy, and a well-built world. There were some things that I would have liked a little more explanation of or exploration for, but I think that's the kind of thing that will vary considerably depending on the reader.
The overall story is about a late-medieval flavored world in which several old powers, forces, and beings are re-emerging. Ancient prophecies are bearing fruit and mythical creatures are re-appearing. Several people scattered across the world are caught up in dealing with these things and averting an apocalypse. Some are likely, some are not; some are willing, some are not. There is a headstrong young woman who is heir to a throne and great magical power, a scholarly monk, an aging and rough-edged forrester, a swashbuckling swordsman, a loyal knight, a shrewd queen, and a talented composer.
Keyes does some interesting things with the trope of ancient prophecies coming true and old legends coming to life. He has a good understanding of the way old knowledge is diffused and distorted across times, places, and peoples. He has an equally good understanding of the way people misunderstand these pieces of lore and how they blunder and stumble when trying to make sense and use of them.
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