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[[ Download Kindle ]] ⚡ The Briar King î In the kingdom of Crotheny, two young girls are playing in the tangled gardens of the sacred city of the dead when they stumble upon the unknown crypt of a legendary ancestral queen This should have won some awards, IMHO maybe it was the narrator.A good fantasy story, although definitely in the European cast There s backstory, about 2000 years back, that is interesting but doesn t seem to be in focus in either the background nor the foreground.So, here s what I think is going on Our main story is set in a medieval world It s been 2200 years since an enslaved humanity and elf union revolted from their creepy mystic alien masters But there is a flashback prologue This should have won some awards, IMHO maybe it was the narrator.A good fantasy story, although definitely in the European cast There s backstory, about 2000 years back, that is interesting but doesn t seem to be in focus in either the background nor the foreground.So, here s what I think is going on Our main story is set in a medieval world It s been 2200 years since an enslaved humanity and elf union revolted from their creepy mystic alien masters But there is a flashback prologue and clues throughout the novel, that the leader of the revolt was Virginia Dare and some Croatans of lost Roanoke colony fame.So what I think happened, is some undefined actions of the slavers leaked people out of our world and into Keyes world because the leakage stopped when the slavers were defeated But it left elves and Renaissance humans with magictechnology they didn t understand, and no infrastructure, so things settled into a bronze or or iron age culture for a couple thousand years.Now, though, science and religion and magic are all on the move again, and prophecies are awakening the Briar King and the world will be shaken to it s roots in another couple of booksMeanwhile, there s some really likeable, really believable characters a royal family of the house of Dare, and landless but talented knight sworn to them a ranger woodsman holter accidentally paired to brilliant, but slightly hapless young monk from acivilized region and a young duelist who finds the trouble he is looking for when he rescues a rebellious Dare princess Greg Keyes needed to torch his thesaurus, and who ever told him such a thing existed needs to be drug out into the street and shot But oh ye blogger, why would thou, an English major, deny the beauty that synonyms dost bestow upon the worn, weary, and drear language Because, ye ingrates synonyms are only replacements They don t make worn, wear, drear language any better They just make it ridiculous Like putting Alexander McQueen or Prada on a scarecrow Or a cow And I mean a literal cow, Greg Keyes needed to torch his thesaurus, and who ever told him such a thing existed needs to be drug out into the street and shot But oh ye blogger, why would thou, an English major, deny the beauty that synonyms dost bestow upon the worn, weary, and drear language Because, ye ingrates synonyms are only replacements They don t make worn, wear, drear language any better They just make it ridiculous Like putting Alexander McQueen or Prada on a scarecrow Or a cow And I mean a literal cow, not the denigrating derivative sometimes used to refer to fat people.Yeah, I know, I m insensitive.To prove my point, here is a passage from J R R wait, do I really need to tell you who that is and what he wrote I would find that patronizing War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory I love only that which they defend Wordsthan two syllables 1 Count it One And it s destroyer There s elegance to that, rhythm music It s grand, and wonderful Beautiful But uncomplicated, unpretentious.Now an outtake from The Briar King At that moment, Wilhilm reappeared, with a stoneware platter of cheese, a pitcher of mead, and mazers for each of them It suddenly occured to Stephen that he was hungry, and when he bit into the pungent, almost buttery cheese, he amended that to ravenous The mead was sweat and tasted of cloves Uh Spork I need a spork so I can dig my eyeballs out with it.Derivative spellings of common Earth names are lame Respelling Lucas to Lucoth does not make it cool It makes it lame Virginia Dare spelled as Virgenya is also lame Don t insult the intelligence of your readers like that William, Willhelm, whatever Wilhilm What the even if you wanted a special name, there s too many letters that look alike for your readers to get the sound and feel of it without painfully sounding it out.There s a basic rule to good writing use strong nouns and verbs Prepositions typically function as adjectives or adverbs, and this book uses them to pieces Dead horse, much Of cheese, of mead, of them, of cloves that is the sign of a writer trying entirely way too hard Of does not make you sound cultured, historical, whatever it s pomposity.Also, Keyes uses adjectives on top of the prepositions Adjectives on top of adjectives No strong descriptions, no rhythm or music to his selections just piecemealed synonyms plucked out of a bloody thesaurus.Also, the narrator s voice I would have understood if the narrator was a pompous ass Or if one of the main character s voice was a prick but Locuth, the man who barely serves any purpose at all and in my opinion could have easily been completely obliterated without any detriment done to the plot at all described a man s voice as cultured and sibilant Sibilant Really The backwater village s local idiot used the word sibilant Insert eye roll here I am giving this 4,5 stars This is the first book of a interesting series At the beginning, it takes us way back in the time when mankind were slaves to a race of powerful magic users We get to see how we fought against them and earned our freedom, lead by a powerful witch queen But in doing so, we did something that has a potential to come back and haunt us Times change, mankind moves on and forgets Kingdoms are formed, they are fought for, grow strong, then stagnate, become too compliant I am giving this 4,5 stars This is the first book of a interesting series At the beginning, it takes us way back in the time when mankind were slaves to a race of powerful magic users We get to see how we fought against them and earned our freedom, lead by a powerful witch queen But in doing so, we did something that has a potential to come back and haunt us Times change, mankind moves on and forgets Kingdoms are formed, they are fought for, grow strong, then stagnate, become too compliant and assured of themselves Our kingdom, Crotheny is ruled by a weak and naive king who has no idea that he is being fooled by somebody close to him.Magic and its users were viewed as dangerous There are nopowerful witch queens The church is formed who persecutes all who have the potential as heretics Soon the old Gods are defeated, jet some remain asleep and waiting They awake only when the times are right, when there is change in the air All agree that this is a bad omen Now there are some indications that church leaders condone old rituals so they can strengthen their holy army All this so they can usurp the royal line Princess Ann was just a little girl when she was playing in the city of the Dead She stumbles on something and falls through into a burial chamber below and lands on a sarcophagus She tries to open it, but its too heavy She can move it just a bit, so a crack formes Knowing inside is her ancestress, the legendary queen, she talks to her Something stirs Princess keeps it a secret That day she started something that will make her the only living descendant of a royal line of Crotheny capable of communicating with the shadows There is a war coming and they warn her that when the old God, the Briar king awakes, Crotheny must have a queen And then there is treachery and carnage They try to wipe out the royal family Our kingdom suddenly finds its self on a brink of ruin And then, the Briar king awakes Understand that this author is new to fantasy and this is his first stab at writing in such a genre So, while this was compared to George R.R Martin s SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, understand it doesn t come close That said, this is an honest start with solid promise in the future GOOD POINTS 1 Lots of time spent on a believable History 2 good cast of character 3 it moves 4 author is good at creating emotional affects especially fear and curiosityBAD POINTS 1 dialogue needs work Understand that this author is new to fantasy and this is his first stab at writing in such a genre So, while this was compared to George R.R Martin s SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, understand it doesn t come close That said, this is an honest start with solid promise in the future GOOD POINTS 1 Lots of time spent on a believable History 2 good cast of character 3 it moves 4 author is good at creating emotional affects especially fear and curiosityBAD POINTS 1 dialogue needs work While it doesn t suck it lacks complexity and nuances that we expect in dialogue 2 Some of the characters, like the dialogue, needs development Lots of archetypes for those who like it 3 a few plot holes.This novel will be helpful in assisting me with my writing as I can use it to George R.R Martin to compare pieces Sometimes you learnfrom a novel, that needs some improvement, than something as flawless as George R.R Martin.STORY PLOTTING B minus to B CHARACTERS DIALOGUE C plus to B minus WORLD BUILDING B to B plus FANTASY FOCUSES TWISTS B minus to B OVERALL GRADE B minus to B WHEN READ 2005 revised review January 2013