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.
When does book three come out, already?