The second book in a dazzling four-volume fantasy epic of war and virtue, sorcery and betrayal The Briar King has woken and, with the aid of monsters formerly found only in folk tales, is destroying the forest and the people who live on its bounty. Aspar White, the king's forester, has been assigned the impossible task of killing the fearsome newcomer, but will discover that nothing about the Briar King is as straightforward as expected. Meanwhile Leoff, young composer and self-professed coward, becomes embroiled in the horror of a town's destruction - motivated by an intrigue that leads him to the aid of Muriele, widowed Queen of Crotheny. As she fights to save her family, the queen despatches a trusted knight, Neil, to save her youngest daughter - in whose hands may rest the entire kingdom's future. But as prophecies, saviours and assassins close in, the mother's plan may leave Princess Anne - and the kingdom - as vulnerable as ever.
Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Greg Keyes now lives in Savannah, Georgia, and is the author of The Waterborn, The Blackgod, and the 'Age of Unreason' tetralogy.