Del Rey, August 2004, 23.95, 487 pp.
The Briar king has awakened from his long sleep and intends to reclaim the forests he regards as his own. It makes no difference to the old god that humans have cleared much of the woods and inhabit the cities where his forest once stood. Creatures from myth and legend walk the land, killing the humans that get in their way and a desperate people are fearful fear each day may be their last.
While magic is let loose on the land, assassins kill the king of Crotheny and his two daughters. Queen Muriele sent Princess Anne into hiding while her simpleton brother Charles rules in name only. The queen has many enemies who would like to topple her from the throne, including the Praifec and the church who wants to rule in place of the king. Neighboring kingdoms are preparing for war with Crotheny while Princess Anne eludes her enemies as she daringly makes her way back to her homeland to take her rightful place on the throne.
Readers who enjoyed THE BRIAR KING will love the sequel as the real enemies of the monarchy show their true colors. The action is fast paced and filled with damsels in distress, heroic knights and vile villains. The characters that fight on the sides of justice well endear themselves to the audience. THE CHARNEL PRINCE is epic fantasy in the traditions of Terry Brooks and Tolkien.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner