Greg Keyes, The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone,
The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone is a series in four volumes taking place in a universe where used to reign the Skasloi, strange beings with amazing powers who held humans in slavery. 2300 years after their rebellion, humans are now the only masters of a planet divided in small kingdoms and the political tensions are rife.
But some supernatural forces are awakening and an ancient prophecy says that these forces herald the fall of humanity...
The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone is a fantasy saga that isn't really ground breaking for the genre: there are many characters, all engaged in parallel quests that will end up being linked, and you add to that political stratagems and supernatural threats. Keyes throws in some almost invincible monsters, massacres perpetrated by fiendish plotters, some destinies revealed, secret societies and a few errant knights.
So what makes the difference between this saga and many others? It's the quality and the cohesiveness of the world he created: geography, folklore and languages are really developped and it adds a real depth to the series.
The characters are varied and relatable. Sadly many are very stereotypical, but it seems to be a trap that's quite hard to evade when you write epic fantasy.
The story is well told, all through the four volumes, whether it's the political plot or the supernatural plot. Keyes puts in a few twists and turns that are both surprising and cohesive. The pace holds well and the writer likes cliffhangers at the end of the chapters which may be a problem to the reader who would like to put down the book and have a good night sleep!
Any epic fantasy reader should really give this series a try to enjoy the depth of its universe and the quality of the plot.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
All reviews are spoiler free unless explicitly stated otherwise.
I only review stories I have liked even if my opinion may be nuanced. It doesn't apply for the "Novels published before 1978" series of blog posts.
Comments are closed, having neither time nor the inclination to moderate them.