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The Charnel Prince by Greg Keyes
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The Charnel Prince

by Greg Keyes

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This isn't really a separate book, I think the whole series is one book that happened to be too thick to put in one cover. In a way, my review for The charnel prince is therefore about the same as my review for The briar king. The only difference is that by now I don't mind the shifts in POV any more. I mostly know the characters, and I know enough of the world not to get thrown, so it doesn't confuse me so much anymore. There are two new characters, one of which I really like (the composer) and one who seems a bit redundant (Ewaut). The other characters, especially Anne and Cazio evolve, in the case of Anne quite satisfactorily. I was planning to read something else in between, but I've gotten so involved with these books, I bought part 3 last night and have already started it... ( )
  zjakkelien | Apr 14, 2014 |
Nov10:

Characters: Still great. Mostly the same guys.

Plot: Gets thicker. Still manages to satisfy.

Style: Maintains the same gritty almost-realism. ( )
  Isamoor | Nov 20, 2010 |
Book two of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. A strong second book almost on par with The Briar King. Some good plot developments with the author continuing to tantalise the reader. My only slight query was the introduction of a new character which I failed to see where it went in the overall story. It may well be this thread is picked up in the next book but at the moment I’m slightly puzzled as to its introduction. Still an engrossing read just missing some of the magic of the first. ( )
  theforestofbooks | Nov 14, 2009 |
The Charnel Prince proved to be another captivating read. The tension remains high, the PoV switches were done smoothly, and the characters all develop in believable ways. One of the reasons, I believe, that this series is so popular, is the balance. There are many components to this story. Mystery, love, politics, humor, interesting world building, loyalty, betrayal, royal characters, and lowborn characters are all present in equal measure. Moreover, those are just examples, there are many themes running through this story, and the best part is, it is all done seamlessly. You would think that it would be complex and confusing but instead it flows well and the only things that keep you confused are the underlying mysteries.

Full Review Here: Dragons, Heroes and Wizards ( )
  Mulluane | Apr 7, 2009 |
Picking up almost directly where The Briar King left off, with a short spell for various injuries to mostly heal, The Charnel Prince continues with the characters who appear, at first at least, almost caricatures, but with a wild, deep, wonderful use of language and magic and plot that sucks you in and pulls you along.

Added to the mix this time we have another gruff but loyal duke, more scheming, but some twists as the younger characters start to mature, some of the ciphers are revealed as such within the story and so on.

The one thing it appears we add to the mix, or maybe not, is the evil of the church. Of course they don't think they're evil - they think they are doing what they must to protect the world against a returning old evil, and the way the story swings you wonder sometimes if they're right, although a church that preaches human sacrifice is not normally one that you'd want to be part of.

There is a new, albeit one suspects sadly temporary, character of a composer. A few years ago I would have ignored this character, but my appreciation of the history of music and its relationship with the church was broadened by something, and you have in one character about 100 years of conflict between the church and musicians as the church tries to ban "The Devil's Music" (which, by the way, includes things such as voices accompanied by instruments, chords, and other such evil things).

This is still wonderful to read, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series, then I will be gnashing my teeth waiting for the last one to become available! ( )
  lewispike | May 3, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345440714, Mass Market Paperback)

With The Charnel Prince, author Greg Keyes keeps up the pace set by The Briar King with a second taut entry in his series--the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. The Briar King has awoken and mythical beasts roam the land. Crotheny's king and his daughters are dead by betrayal. His bereaved wife Murielle keeps tenuous hold on the throne and the hope that her headstrong daughter, Anne Dare, has escaped the assassins' blades. The queen sends her most trusted and lethal knight, Sir Neil MeqVren, on a quest to discover her daughter's fate. He will find Anne has narrowly escaped the massacre at Saint Cer and lives on the run in the company of her maid, Austra, and the duel-prone swordsman Cazio. Meanwhile, woodsman Aspar White is sent on a mission to slay the Briar King. All will fight for their lives in the wake of dark forces emerging from shadow to force a dangerously forgotten prophecy into the world.

Keyes is among authors like George R.R. Martin whose work is reinvigorating the often tired genre of high fantasy with rich, dark, and mature storytelling. His characters are vibrant and range far beyond Dungeons & Dragons cliché. He places these starkly drawn men and women into a world built upon a squirming foundation of myth, legend, prophecy, and folklore, which, to their own peril, they are only beginning to understand. --Jeremy Pugh

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:12 -0400)

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"When the legendary Briar King awoke from his slumber, a season of darkness and horror fell upon the Kingdom of Crotheny. Now countless breeds of unspeakable monsters roam the countryside. An epidemic of madness has transformed peaceful villagers from the wildlands into savage, flesh-eating fiends. In Eslen, King William has been murdered, Queen Muriele is stalked by treachery on every side, and their last surviving daughter, Anne, has fled the assassins bent on destroying her family. Close on the heels of the runaway princess, young knight Neil MeqVren, the queens one trusted ally, is sworn to rescue Anne from her murderous pursuers. Anne herself undertakes a perilous journey toward the sanctuary of her distant paramours arms, but along the way lie the sinister agents and hidden snares of a sprawling conspiracy that few might hope to evade. At the same time, spies in the service of Praifec Hespero, the powerful Churchman, embark upon a mission to destroy the Briar King in the heart of his domain. And the power-hungry Church, spurred on by the mystical events, has launched an inquisition whose repercussions threaten even the queen. As the noose of intrigue tightens across the land, personal fates and a kingdoms destiny alike will be decided in a conflict between virtue and malevolence, might and magic."--Back cover.… (more)

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