Robin Wiley's Reviews > The Briar King

The Briar King by Greg Keyes
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Mar 20, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, life-changer, love-it-more-than-puppies
Read in March, 2008

Greg Keyes is one of my all time favorite authors. That man can create a world with physical laws, and religions, and creatures - all different from the usual goblin and elf fare. Then he does is again. Of everything he's written, this is the best series. So it's probably better to save it for last. Go read the Waterborn duo, then his Age of Unreason series (a quad), then come back and do this one - called Thorn and Bone. Keyes writes with a driving force. Each chapter is devoted to a character, and you follow 2 - 4 characters throughout the book. And every chapter ends with a "and that's when the chuds came" cliffhanger. So you curse him and love him and just keep reading. I have lost entire nights to these books, in complete bliss.

This series is his best so far. You follow 4 characters. There is Anne, a spoiled, headstrong princess, with some interesting powers. There is Stephen, a young, bookish monk more interested in advancing his knowledge than his spiritual journey. There is Cazio, a rakish swordsman seeking glory and female favors. Finally there is Aspar. He's a King's huntsman. Think Strider - all ranger-like, pre heir to the throne of Gondor.

What's to love?

ACTION - rock solid, and as I said - cliffhanger after cliffhanger!
MAGIC - cool, manipulating laws of nature and physics kind of stuff. No wands required.
RELIGION - super cool. Keyes builds on his stuff from Age of Unreason series. That miracles are a matter of "tuning to the correct frequency" and Saints are people who have a gift for "tuning into" the Divinity station. And there are lines, or pools of energy in the world where the "signal" is stronger. STUFF happens! Pilgrimage to more of these places and get power upgrades!
CREATURES - old European mythical types, like the Briar King, Griffins and Utins - BIG, Dangerous

What's not so fun?

It goes way too fast.
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Reading Progress

02/02/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Ronda  Tutt Well said in your review. I loved this whole series and would of never imagined who would actually end up as the Briar King after reading all 4 books. This series kept my interest and excited to keep reading to find out more. This has to be one of my favorite series along with Robert Newcomb's series "The Chronicles of Blood and Stone Series" and Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander Series". What other series do you recommend?


Robin Wiley Ronda wrote: "Well said in your review. I loved this whole series and would of never imagined who would actually end up as the Briar King after reading all 4 books. This series kept my interest and excited to ..."

I will definately look up Newcomb.

If you like the chapters that keep you going from character to character, I love George RR Martin's Game of Thrones (on HBO in 2010). But there are about 8 people to follow plus 20-30 extras.

If you like sassy banter and good fight scenes, I like Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

The series most like Outlander might be Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey. There's no time travel, but it's got a wonderful heroine, great adventure, sexy men, and a ton of political intrigue.

Read my reviews, if you want more detail.


Ronda  Tutt Thanks Robin, I will check those out, especially Game of Thrones. Right now I am reading Suzanne Collins 2nd book in the Hunger Game Series called Catching Fire. It's ok so far, nothing exciting is happening like it did in the first book Hunger games. I'm also reading The Heritage of Shannara by Terry Brooks, now that story is exciting because something has happened to each character and I can't wait to get to the end. As you can tell I love to read, I try to switch up on the books going from fantacy to romance and then sometimes to mystery.


Robin Wiley I know what you mean about switching up books. I have about 10 books on my nightstand on any given day - just to suit my moods. Lately, I've been on a Fantasy jag, but that could change any minute.


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