The Charnel Prince

The Charnel Prince

Continuing the Saga of the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone

Book - 2004
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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 queen's one trusted ally, is sworn to rescue Anne from her murderous pursuers. Anne herself undertakes a perilous journey toward the sanctuary of her distant paramour's 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 kingdom's destiny alike will be decided in a conflict between virtue and malevolence, might and magic.

Here then is Book II of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone: intoxicating and harrowing, passionate and grand--it is Greg Keyes's most ambitiously imagined and vividly rendered work of epic fantasy.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, Ballantine Books, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345440679
0345440676
Characteristics: 518 p. : 1 map ; 25 cm

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cpurvis
Dec 27, 2010

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cpurvis
Dec 27, 2010

In this sequel to The Briar King, Anne, her maid Austra, and her protectors Cazio and z'Acatto are working to earn passage by sea to her home in Eslen, while trying to keep a low profile. Anne and Austra experience further trials with their friendship and Anne learns more about her destiny and undergoes a transformation into a mature and powerful adult. Sir Neil, against his wishes, and still haunted by the death of his love, Fastia, travels south to find Anne and meets with treachery and unexpected kindness. Meanwhile, Aspar, Winna, and Stephen Darige are tasked by Praifec Hespero to hunt down and kill the awakened Briar King. However, they discover that his presence might not be as harmful as the Church fears and discover more evidence that makes them question the Church's motives. Queen Muriele governs Eslen with a much wiser hand than her husband ever did, but she is faced with many challenges and finds unexpected allies. The book ends with her in prison after a palace coup by her brother-in-law Sir Robert, who has literally returned from the dead, but she has managed to keep her son safe and out of harm's way.

In addition to the familiar characters from The Briar King, The Charnel Prince introduced a new main character, a composer and a musical genius Leovigild "Leoff" Ackenzal. Heading to the royal castle to meet the late king William. Leoff accidentally stumbles on an evil plot to drown the Lowlands under waters. He helps to thwart the attempt and becomes a small hero. This helps him to get a position as the court composer and to start his masterwork, an opera-styled musical composition that brings together singers and an orchestra of 30 players for the first time in the history of the world. However, to finish his work, he has to find his way through the complex political situation of the court and the censorship of Praifec Hespero.

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