Two thousand years ago, the Born Queen defeated the Skasloi lords, freeing humans from the bitter yoke of slavery. But now monstrous creatures roam the land, and destinies become inextricably entangled in a drama of power and seduction. The king's woodsman, a rebellious girl, a young priest, a roguish adventurer, and a young man made suddenly into a knight all face malevolent forces that shake the foundations of the kingdom, even as the Briar King, legendary harbinger of death, awakens from his slumber.
At the heart of this many-layered tale is Anne Dare, youngest daughter of the royal family - upon whom the fate of her world may depend.
"Although The Briar King will suffer the inevitable comparison with George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, it should be said that Keyes's work is no mere rip-off. This is excellent world building, applied with a dark, powerful touch that should convince Martin fans to become Keyes fans, too." (Amazon.com review)
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A promising start
To be honest I expected more than the book managed to deliver. The title alone was enough to seduce me into purchasing The Briar King. But even with such a promising start it fell short. It took a good chunk of the first part to get the plot going and to be honest the first hundred pages felt like a really, really long prologue. After a while the plot and action picked up but it is difficult to care about an obnoxious character when you haven't been carried on by the momentum of the series of actions the said character makes, but rather feel like you are forced to read through a tedious introduction. The second part of the book redeems the snoozefest the first part is.
Overall, The Briar King has potential as a first book of series. Not quite original but not exactly a carbon copy of some previously published works of other authors
I would rate it 3,5 out of 5, mostly for the exquisitely worded paragraphs.