The Blood Knight By Greg Keyes
|Greg Keyes began The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone to much acclaim in 2002 with The Briar King. In 2004, he continued his epic with The Charnel Prince, and won over many fans with his character driven plots and high adventure. This series has shown signs of being one of the finest epic fantasies being woven in recent years, and Keyes' latest, The Blood Knight, fulfills the promise of the earlier work while improving the formula and delivering his best novel yet.|
The initial premise is still ingenious: the survivors of the lost colony of Roanoke are somehow spirited off to a fantasy world where they become slaves to a demon race. Under the leadership of the first European child born in the Americas, Virginia Dare, the humans throw off the reigns of their infernal masters and form human societies.
But the power used to dethrone the demonic Skasloi has a price, and hundreds of years later, in The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, the price is finally catching up with humanity.
The Blood Knight begins with us thrust right back into the action. Since we've last seen our heroes, Princess Dare has been kidnapped by mysteriously blessed monks, and somehow her friends must rescue her and march to Eslen and retake her throne from her undead uncle, Prince Robert. Cazio the duelist faces manhood without his mentor, Sir Neil leads knights in a suicidal charge against an overwhelming force, and Leoffrey learns to rue the day he crossed Prince Robert and Praifec Hespero. Stephen Dandridge comes into his appalling birthright, Aspar White must brave a different sort of forest, and the dying world gives birth to a new sort of monster -- a Waurm. (flightless dragon)
Earlier comparisons to George R.R. Martin's magnum opus, A Song of Ice and Fire are proven well-founded in this third volume. Replete with rousing battle, astonishing heroics, shocking deaths, and even more stupefying revelations, The Blood Knight is to The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone what A Storm of Swords is to A Song of Ice and Fire.
The Blood Knight is the best novel yet from a fine novelist, and the best epic fantasy of the year thus far. If you've not given this series a shot yet, you owe it to yourself to go pick up The Briar King and The Charnel Prince, and get cracking before The Blood Knight is released in July.
With the quality continuing to improve, it's only a matter of time before the first edition prices of this series begin to rise exponentially. Be sure to put away a first edition, and beat the rush by getting your hands on first editions of The Briar King and The Charnel Prince as soon as possible.