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 humans-once 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 girls-one of whom is the reckless young daughter of the king-discover the unknown crypt of the legendary, ancestral queen, Virgenya Dare.
In the wilds of the forest, while investigating the slaughter of an innocent family, king's holter Aspar White weaves his way through a maze of ancient willows...and 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. Now-for three beautiful sisters, for a young man made suddenly into a knight, and for a woman in love with a roguish adventurer-a 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.