Sep 15
2009

Canticle gets Starred Review from Kirkus

scholes-canticleCanticle (The Psalms of Isaak)

The conspiracy deepens in this sequel to Scholes’ epic, marvelously complex fantasy debut (Lamentation, 2009).

In the previous installment, ancient spells of the Wizard King Xhum Y’Zir leveled the city of Windwir, repository of knowledge from the Old World. The instigator of the destruction, a Y’Zirite cult, reveals itself as the sequel opens by assassinating several major political figures, an act which the cult sees as the necessary prelude to the advent of its prophesied Crimson Empress. As civil war spreads across the Named Lands, nobleman schemer Vlad Li Tam and his extensive family search for the stronghold of their foe; the Gypsy King Rudolfo seeks a cure for his ailing infant son Jakob, heralded by Y’Zirites as the Child of Promise; Windwir survivor and prophetic dreamer Neb seeks his destiny in the Churning Wastes; and his beloved, the young Marsh Queen Winters, faces the unpleasant, deadly truth that the Y’Zirite cult sprang from her own people. Not only is Scholes a capable world builder, he ably handles the tough task of keeping the series momentum going, intensifying the mystery so deftly that even if readers can’t foresee where the story’s going, it’s clear that the author knows exactly what he’s doing.

— Kirkus, Starred Review

Sep 1
2009

Canticle gets Starred Review from PW

scholes-canticleCanticle (The Psalms of Isaak)

The sequel to Scholes’s stellar debut 2008’s Lamentation ingeniously fuses epic fantasy and postapocalyptic science fiction.

Magicked assassins kill numerous leaders from across the Named Lands and send the region into economic and political turmoil. Amid the chaos, Jin Li Tam gives birth to General Rudolfo’s son, sickly Jakob. As Rudolfo sets out in search of a cure, young Marsh Queen Winters ascends the throne of her people only to realize her past has been an elaborate lie; former Androfrancine Pope Petronus risks his life to bring some semblance of peace to the realm; and Nebios ben Hebda uncovers bombshell revelations regarding the Order’s “metal men” and the history of the Old World. Abounding in prophecy, myth and mystery, this grand-scale saga is a towering storytelling tour de force.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Feb 1
2009

Booklist on Ken Scholes’ Lamentation

Lamentation (The Psalms of Isaak)

In his first novel, a vividly imagined sf-fantasy hybrid set in a distant, post-apocalyptic future, Scholes, already highly praised in the
speculative-fiction community for his dazzlingly inventive short fiction,
turns his talent up a notch. When an ancient weapon destroys Windwir, the Named Lands’ greatest city and repository of knowledge, the only surviving member of the city’s Androfrancine order is the metallic android Isaak. Rudolfo, lord of the Ninefold Forest Houses, finds Isaak surprisingly intact in Windwir’s smoldering ruins and guilt-ridden over his role in the city’s downfall. Yet Rudolfo quickly begins to suspect that Sethbert, overseer of the neighboring Entrolusian City States, is the real culprit and starts girding his Gypsy Scouts for battle. So begins Scholes’ Psalms of Isaak, a projected five-volume saga containing all the ingredients of a first-rate epic-magic, arcane science, and a handful of compelling protagonists. By the end of the novel, the reader is caring deeply about the characters and looking forward with burning anticipation to the sequels. — Booklist

Jan 20
2009

nice Library Journal review for Lamentation

Ken Scholes’ Lamentation (The Psalms of Isaak)

As an ancient weapon destroys the city of Windwir, a young apprentice watches from a nearby hilltop, mourning the death of the city and his father. When Rudolfo, Lord of the Nine Forest Houses, realizes what has happened, he knows for certain that the land will soon be plunged into a devastating war. The author of Last Flight of the Goddess launches a new series with the startling image of mass destruction, and the action only builds from there. Richly detailed and original in concept, Scholes’s epic fantasy belongs in most libraries. –Library Journal

Jan 6
2009

Ken Scholes’ Lamentation is a Romantic Times Top Pick

This is fantasy as it should be. Scholes’ subtle and complex plotting are the breadwinners here, but his world building and political scheming bring home the bacon as well. This reader has never read a freshman novel this good.

Summary:
The city of Windwir, the capital of the Androfrancines and the home of the greatest library in all the kingdoms, is entirely laid to waste by an ancient and awful weapon. As the remaining kingdoms of the Named Lands mourn the loss of the people of Windwir and thousands of years of knowledge, the Androfrancines must try to rebuild their order as far-reaching political machinations come into play.

Romantic Times, 4 1/2 Stars

Buy Lamentation (The Psalms of Isaak)

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