Book 1 of "Psalms of Isaak"
ISBN - 978-0-7653-6091-5
FIRST PUBLISHED - 2009
PAGES - 421
GENRE - Fantasy
BINDING - Paperback
AUTHOR - Ken Scholes
SYNOPSIS - An ancient weapon has destroyed the Androfrancine city of Windwir. From many miles away, Rudolfo, Lord of the Ninefold Forest Houses, sees the horrifyng column of smoke rising. Nearer to the Desolation, a young apprentice is the only survivor of the city - Nebios sat waiting for his father outside the walls and was transformed as he watched everyone he knew die in an instant.
And within sight of Windwir sits Sethbert, the Overseer of the Entrolusian City States, gloating in triumph. At his side is Lady Jin Li Tam - her father's pawn in the game of statecraft but destined to become her own Queen on the board.
Soon all the Kingdoms of the Named Lands will be at one another's throats.
EXCERPT - It is a bird made of metal, a gold spark against the blue expanse that catches the afternoon sun. The bird circles and waits.
When the song begins below, the golden bird watches the melody unfold. A shadow falls across the city and the air becomes still. Tiny figures stop moving and look up. A flock of bird lifts and scatters. The sky is torn and fire rains down until only utter darkness remains. Darkness and heat.
FL Speak - I've absolute no idea why this book was lying on my shelf for the last 2 months without being read. In the last 2 months, I read 11 non-fantasy books. ELEVEN!! And I still twitched before picking up Ken Scholes. Partly because he's a new writer, I haven't heard of before and partly because I wanted my comeback to fantasy genre with a fantastic book. I shouldn't have twitched.
This book just blew me away. And I've no idea why he isn't so well known. "Lamentation" has everything, everything that every debutant wishes he had in his book. And as soon as I finished it, I snatched the second book of this amazing epic series from the shelf.
Coming back to the book, the Named Lands are in a mess. The most powerful city of Windwir lies in a pack of rubble and bones. The entire city has been destroyed in a couple of seconds, the Great Library demolished and human flesh charred in the fiery heat. It took less than a minute and the city of Windwir is no more. The Gypsy King with his Wandering Army races to the city to offer whatever aid he could find. Another army marches nearby. The Entrolusians under the rule of the Overseer Sethbert is riding towards the fallen city of Windwir, even boasting that it was his doing. But when the new Pope of Windwir evokes the Writ of Shunning to the Gypsy King, it looked like an ever greater war is coming. Because the Writ of Shunning effectively put the The Gypsy King and his Wandering Army as the people behind the destruction of Windwir.
Meanwhile the House of Li Tam has allied themselves with the Gypsy King which puts a bigger question to the fore. Why? What did the ruler of House Li Tam know that no one else knew? Elsewhere, a once forgotten man, believed to be dead, rises and proclaims himself the true Pope and armies rally against both the Popes. And in the aftermath of the confusion, the truth remains obscure until the true Pope begins to peel the layers of deceit. Someone knew Windwir would fall, someone even made sure it would. All that remained to be known was who was manipulating the events. Is the Gypsy King really the victim or was someone guiding him all his life to this very moment. But when armies clash and the sword sings, the only thing left to do is survive.
Wow! I stayed awake all night determined to finish this. Sleep came hours later after my mind repeated the scene again and again, over and over. This is one series that is going to take the world by storm and fling it aside. Lamentation gave me the shivers, the thrill, the absolute joy that any fantasy lovers wish to visit upon.
Ken Scholes writes with such clarity and speed that you're in no way able to even guess what might crop up next. If you believed you've realized the plot, hang on to your hats buddy. You're in for a helluva ride. The reluctant Pope, the arrogant enemy, the sly tactician, the naive dreamer boy, the brave warrior and a smoking lethal lady, this book has it all. And the next book, Canticle, is sure to be a scorcher.
My Rating - 5 stars
PRICE - INR 260/-