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The Born Queen (Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone 4) Paperback – Unabridged, 3 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 650 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; 1 edition (3 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033041948X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330419482
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 821,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Praise for Greg Keyes and his novels of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone The Blood Knight "[A] sophisticated and intelligent high fantasy epic."-Publishers Weekly "Enthralling."-Locus The Charnel Prince "There is adventure and intrigue, swordplay and dark sorcery aplenty."-Realms of Fantasy "Strong world building and superior storytelling."-Library Journal The Briar King "A wonderful tale . . . It crackles with suspense and excitement from start to finish."-Terry Brooks "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 "From the Hardcover edition."

Book Description

War is coming. With the usurper Robert Dare having fled, Princess Anne has finally ascended to the throne to the Kingdom of Crotheny, but it may already be too late to stop the approaching destruction. Dark monstrosities prowl the countryside, and as the holter Asper soon discovers, the Sedos power that granted humanity its freedom may now be responsible for the corruption that will eventually destroy it. As the combined forces of Hansa and the Holy Church mass against the Queen they claim to be an unnatural shinecrafter, Anne’s mother Muriele sets out on an embassy of peace to Hansa, accompanied by the knight Sir Neil MeqVren. But, there is more to Muriele’s mission than first appears, a fact that puts both of them at the mercy of Hansa’s unstable king, and the unkillable Robert Dare. The world has been poisoned, and only the one who gains control of the legendary Sedos Throne can heal it. Anne knows that it must be her, but as she embraces her powers, and the violent impulses they bring, she finds herself changing. Only she can stand against the forces that threaten Crotheny, but the cost of her victory may be too great for the world to bear…

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. D. Wilson VINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In my reviews for the previous book in the "Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone" series, I have essentially stated that this is a good fantasy series, but not a great one. Perhaps a thrilling conclusion would have elevated its status in my eyes, but that was not to be.

"The Born Queen" is like queuing up to ride on a roller-coaster which then just crawls ten feet along the track and lets you off. It really doesn't take the series to the heights that it needs, and comes across as extremely rushed.

The first half is largely the same as the previous volumes - fast-paced; good chapter cliffhangers, etc - but doesn't really go anywhere. And then in the second half, many of the characters suddenly completely change personalities (Keyes employs various mechanisms to facilitate this change, some of which work better than others), and remarkably we're where we have to be. It all reads very conveniently.

Several times, important events seemed to happen in the "in between" moments. A chapter would finish with a character facing a mini-cliffhanger, and when we next return to that character, something major has happened and we missed it. I just do not understand what Keyes was playing at here.

Then there is a "war" promised on the back cover. Don't bother going looking for it - it isn't there. We don't see a proper battle in the whole book.

The story of Leoff the musical genius turned out - as I had expected - to be completely pointless to the overall story and a waste of the time it took me to follow it.

Finally, the novel is also pretty badly written in places, as well, showing classic signs of being written in a hurry.

Overall, this is a weak effort by an author whose reputation would suggest that he is better than this. In a way, then, I suppose it is a fitting ending to what was always, in my view, a mediocre series.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Glen on 29 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
After the first three books in the series I had very high hopes for the final volume. Unfortunately they were not met.

The book starts promisingly enough, but then proceeds to jump forward from set-piece to set-piece without giving a chance for any one to develop fully. Mr Keyes appears to lose his previous fine control of the trajectories of each character, along with his firm grip on the overall dramatic arc of the plot. Some characters are transformed (and readers of the previous books may have seen this coming), but it seems to happen between the 'meanwhiles'. The disjointed approach robs us of any opportunity to take the changes on board gradually, and feels, frankly, perfunctory. It's as if he ended up with two books worth of story left to tackle in the final volume, and couldn't quite pull it off.

Writing itself is good, just the content that is lacking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 April 2009
Format: Paperback
The fourth and final volume in the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series opens with war about to consume the kingdom of Crotheny. Anne has taken the throne of the kingdom, but has been declared a heretic and a witch by the Church, who have amassed an army to the south whilst their ally, the King of Hansa, mounts an assault from the north. Meanwhile, the death of the Briar King and the rise of the prophesied Blood Knight both seem to portend a time of great suffering, and Stephen, Neil, Aspar and Cazio face different struggles in different parts of the land to ensure the survival of the kingdom and the world itself.

Right from the off, something feels 'wrong' with The Born Queen. Despite having read the first three books in short order six months ago, I found it very hard to get into this book initially. Characters seemed to have suddenly changed or moved a long way from where they had been at the end of the third book, and were behaving inconsistently with their prior selves (particularly Anne, although that at least is partially deliberate). The plot suddenly felt a lot more mechanical. In the first three books the characters had good reasons for doing what they were doing, but in this final book the characters feel like chess pieces being moved around merely at the author's whim. People do things because visions tell them to, or because they are under a curse, or because certain characters can suddenly see into the future with pinpoint accuracy. Tonally, the book feels a mismatch with the first three, with the more Song of Ice and Fire-like realism of the earlier books suddenly lost in favour of dark twists more akin to those of The Prince of Nothing trilogy or vision and prophecy-based storylines that feel more akin to Dune.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maureen n on 18 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After the slow pace of the proceeding book, events take off here. The author continues to deal with the separate stories and trajectories of each character in turn, as was his pattern in previous books. However the plot gets distinctly darker: the fanes, including those used by Anne and by Stephen Darige, are powers of darkness, whose use can only corrupt the user - a fact apparent to the reader long before it is apparent to the individual fane-power user.
This book 'grips' in the way the first two did: it keeps the attention, and keeps one's concern for the characters as they themselves are unaware of how they are changing.
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