Tor, Sep 14 2010, $25.99
When the arrogant Androfrancine Order monks ruled the Named Lands with an iron fist, they ignored the people’s well-being to focus on the technolgy and magic of the ancient Wizard Kings. Thus their neglect and fall leaves chaos throughoutout The Named Lands as groups that once believed in te now dead Y’Zirite religion rises with its bloody violence.
When Nebious was a child, he witnessed the horror that haunts him as an desert chieftain; he watched the genocde of Windwir. He misses his Marsh Queen spouse while suffering from feral nightmares and is aware that women warriors seek to kill him. His mother the Ninefold Forest Queen Jin Li Tam tries to keep him safe, but so many want him dead. Nebious learns from his mother that her religious advisors believe that Jakop, the baby son of the Gypsy King Rudolfo, is the “Child of Promise”; if affirmed the infant has followers who want him as the high king and adversaries who want him dead. At the same time hidden in the shadows is the most dangerous threat to the Named Lands while eerily music spreads from the wastes across the lands leaving the Androfrancine monks and Rudolfo wondering what this denotes.
The third volume of the Psalms of Isaak (see Lamentation and Canticle) continues the excellent moxing of science fiction and epic fantasy with a powerful mystery adding excitement (a venn diagram in which the three genres’ respective circles mostly overlap). The fast-paced story line contains a myriad of subplots yet also is filled with action that cohesively moves forward the overarching theme. With all the adventures that takes place, fully developed players representing different aspects of the Named Lands’ various societies, especially the key leads, make for a terrific thriller that showcases Ken Scholes’s talent. This series is a winner.