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The Born Queen
Book Four of the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone

by Greg Keyes

      Princess Anne is now Queen Anne, and the inheritor of Virgenya Dare’s awesome (and awful) power.  But she has a war on her hands, as well as having to help find a way to stop her lands being overrun with monsters from a poisoned world.  Robert Dare has to be stopped, the world has to be healed... and all before the end of the book.

Four tubby tomes is plenty to tell a tale in, and this series certainly started out well with The Briar King (also reviewed on  What mars this epic is the repetition, and there is plenty of that in here.  Salt-of-the-earth Hotler Aspar fights the monsters in his beloved forest, the Two Musketeers Cazio and Z’Acatto flirt and swordfight, hapless composer Leoff writes his murderous music... by this final volume I felt I wanted a change of events.  Of course, you do get that in here too, as Anne kills whole armies with a thought, bookish Stephen has some rather startling adventures and we find out why we keep hearing about the Black Jester.  But it would have all had more impact in fewer volumes, Keyes’ masterly worldbuilding notwithstanding.  Ultimately, I was left pondering some of the unanswered questions and undeveloped themes and wondering whether or not Keyes knew how it was going to end when he started writing it.

The Book

Tor (Macmillan UK)
18 July 2008
1405033584 / 9781405033589
More at US || UK
NOTE: Some fantasy violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008