In The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Greg Keyes has crafted a brilliant saga of magic, adventure, and love set against a backdrop of clashing empires and an ancient, reawakened evil. Now, with The Born Queen, Keyes brings his epic to a masterly close, gathering the strands of plot and character into a stunning climax that both completes and transcends all that has gone before.
The Briar King is dead, and the world itself follows him to ruin. Aspar White, wounded and tired, must embark on one last quest to save the forest and the people he loves, but he has little hope of success.
Anne Dare at last sits on the throne of Crotheny, but for how long? The Church, now led by the corrupt and powerful Marché Hespero, has declared a holy war against her, giving the king of Hansa the pretext he needs to unleash his vast might on the young queen and her unready army.
But Hansa is the least of Anne’s worries. The Hellrune, war seer of Hansa, strikes at her through vision and prophecy. The Kept–last of the elder Skasloi lords–weaves his own dark webs. Anne’s teacher and ally in the sedos world might also be her worst enemy, and Anne’s own mounting strength compels her toward madness.
Surviving these dangers and mastering her eldritch abilities are merely prelude to the real struggle. There are many–some with power matching or even exceeding Anne’s own–who are willing to kill in order to seize control. For whoever sits upon the throne will have the ultimate command to bring about the world’s salvation–or its apocalypse.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Suspense & Thrillers eBook: The Born Queen||Series: The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, , #4|
|Release Date: 03-25-2008|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Born Queen|
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The Born Queen
The Queen of Demons
Anne sighed with pleasure as ghosts brushed her bare flesh. She kept her eyes closed as they murmured softly about her, savoring their faintly chilly caresses. She inhaled the ripe perfumes of decay and for the first time in a very long time felt a deep contentment.
Anne, one of the phantoms simpered. Anne, there is no time.
A bit irritated, she opened her eyes to see three women standing before her.
No, she realized. They weren’t standing at all. Feeling a weird tingle that she knew ought to be more, she turned her gaze around her to see what else there was.
She was elsewhere, of course, couched on deep, spongy moss grown on a hammock in a blackwater fen that went beyond sight in every direction. The branches of the trees above her were tatted together like the finest Safnian lace, allowing only the wispiest of diffuse light through to glisten on the dew-jeweled webs of spiders larger than her hand.
The women swayed faintly, the boughs above them creaking a bit from their weight.
One wore a black gown and a black mask, and her locks were flowing silver. The next wore forest green and a golden mask, and her red braids swayed almost to her feet. The third wore a mask of bone and a dress the color of dried blood. Her hair was brown.
Their undisguised lips and flesh were bluish-black above the coils of rope that had cinched about their necks and wrung out their lives.
The Faiths, those obtuse creatures, were dead. Should she be sad? Part of her thought so.
She started. Was one of them still alive? But then she felt the ghosts again, tickling against her. Now she