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The Born Queen (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 4) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 25, 2008
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Praise for Greg Keyes and his novels of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone
The Blood Knight
“[A] sophisticated and intelligent high fantasy epic.”
The Charnel Prince
“There is adventure and intrigue, swordplay and dark sorcery aplenty.”
–Realms of Fantasy
“Strong world building and superior storytelling.”
The Briar King
“A wonderful tale . . . It crackles with suspense and excitement from start to finish.”
“A graceful, artful tale from a master storyteller . . . [The novel] starts off with a bang, spinning a snare of terse imagery and compelling characters that grips tightly and never lets up.”
–Elizabeth Haydon, bestselling author of Prophecy: Child of Earth
About the Author
Greg Keyes was born in Meridian, Mississippi, to a large, diverse storytelling family. He is the author of The Briar King, The Charnel Prince, and The Blood Knight (Books One, Two, and Three of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone), The Waterborn, The Blackgod, the Age of Unreason tetralogy, and the Star Wars New Jedi Order novels Edge of Victory I: Conquest, Edge of Victory II: Rebirth, and The Final Prophecy. He lives in Savannah, Georgia.
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Furthermore, there were crude errors in this one. For instance, the Black Arrow was supposed to be usable for 7 times; in Born Queen, they said it was usable more than three times, as originally thought. WTF? Don't even get me started on the whole Skaslos / Serfy things. The biggest secret of the book is told to Aspar casually, so much that I went back two pages twice trying to figure if I missed something. Then, it turns that Wheny was Kept in half a sentence - I had to go back as my dog licked me and I lost a spot in the book - literally two words explained the whole thing and I could not figure out what happened for about two pages. And I read the book before. Maybe Greg Keyes should learn from Tolkien and re-write things just how the Bard did with the Hobbit. Inconsistencies are a plenty, characters that were built up to crescendo are basically extinguished on a whim, and a few of them are not even mentioned in a finale (final 10 -20 pages actually "resolve" the things that were built up for 1700 pages).
Please, Gregory Keyes, rewrite the ending. Remember the Blackgod from the Chosen of the Changeling. That was some ending.
I edited the review - I would give the series 4 stars, and this book 2 stars - as the ending messed up the entire series.
All three of these seem to stem from time pressure to resolve the series in this one extra book. Had Keyes advanced the story and developed the characters as he had in the previous three, albeit at the cost of a fifth volume, the series could have been stronger. One gathers that the cliffhangers were handled the way they were since there wasn't time/space to get characters from the danger immediately faced to the next danger or place they needed to be in the plot. The wholesale slaughter of formerly major characters again would have been better over two or more volumes - the body-count just seemed a bit too high. Finally, the resolution itself required more background and development in order to seem less contrived.
While I find myself in the odd position of arguing that a fifth book would have made the story a better one, there it is. Certainly worthwhile reading, the story isn't particularly satisfying in the conclusion. Keyes' writing continues to impress - however one gets the distinct impression that this series was weakened at the end by financial and business factors rather than serving as a reflection of the artist's genuine intent.
The novel ends the series, and ties up all the loose ends.
And not everyone is around in a happily-ever-after fashion.
But the series was enjoyable.
And the ending make sense.
So I think i'ts a worthwhile read--both the entire series, and this concluding novel.