The Briar King by

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the Briar King by Greg Keyes

ISBN:0330419455
# 1 in the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series

Picked this up because it is the Jan. read for Fantasy Favorites. unfortunately it is book one in a series that, as of yet, doesn’t seem to be completed. Ah well, at least I won’t go out this weekend and spend all that money on the others.

There is quite a lot to enjoy in this book. The story itself is an interesting one. The prologue tells of the Born Queen who freed humankind from slavery at the hands of the Skasloi. The rest of the book is set thousands of years after this event, when the Skasloi are nothing more than a forgotten race. But something is stirring, and the rumours speak of the Briar King waking.

So far, nothing special. And that is what I’d have to say about this book. It’s fine, a grand read but nothing to write home about. The characters and situations are, as I said, interesting, but there is far too much going on in the book, and to too many characters. Or maybe not to too many, but the changing between them is too frequent and too constant to allow the reader to really get into the story, or to identify with a specific character. Just as you are getting used to one pov the chapter ends and we are transplanted to a different scene and a different character.

I do like the characters though, Neil and Aspsar in particular. Anne I’m not too bothered about. Cazio, although introduced late, also seems intriguing. I suppose the real problem is that it is the first book in the series, and suffers from that problem of being the “set-up” book. Introducing the reader to all these characters and situations and explaining a bit about the world. Its just too much and so the story-line doesn’t pay off as well as it may do by the end of the series. It does seem likely that I will read the others though, once they are published.

Too much chopping between characters and situations

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