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Ken Scholes’s debut novel, Lamentation, was an event in fantasy. Heralded as a “mesmerizing debut novel” by Publishers Weekly, and a “vividly imagined SF-fantasy hybrid set in a distant, postapocalyptic future” by Booklist, the series gained many fans. It was followed by Canticle and Antiphon. Now comes the fourth book in The Psalms of Isaak, Requiem.

Who is the Crimson Empress, and what does her conquest of the Named Lands really ...

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Ken Scholes’s debut novel, Lamentation, was an event in fantasy. Heralded as a “mesmerizing debut novel” by Publishers Weekly, and a “vividly imagined SF-fantasy hybrid set in a distant, postapocalyptic future” by Booklist, the series gained many fans. It was followed by Canticle and Antiphon. Now comes the fourth book in The Psalms of Isaak, Requiem.

Who is the Crimson Empress, and what does her conquest of the Named Lands really mean? Who holds the keys to the Moon Wizard’s Tower?

The plots within plots are expanding as the characters seek their way out of the maze of intrigue. The world is expanding as they discover lands beyond their previous carefully controlled knowledge. Hidden truths reveal even deeper truths, and nothing is as it seemed to be.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After three books (Lamentation, Canticle, and Antiphon) and a three-year break, Scholes resumes the Psalms of Isaak series with this intricate adventure. Rudolfo, the Gypsy King, deals with political intrigue, treachery, and the constant threat of the Y’Zirite armies. Isaak, the wayward mechoservitor, is found by the farmgirl Marta. Pope Petronus delves into ancient secrets, laying bare the layers of myth stretching over the centuries. Rumors and prophecies suggest that soon the long-broken world will be healed at last. Fitting with the frequent incorporation of dreams into the story, the narrative has a removed, almost hallucinatory feel; even when things happen, they happen in nebulous ways. Science fiction and fantasy elements overlap seamlessly, bringing Scholes’s far-future post-apocalyptic world to life in captivating detail. While new readers will be lost in the myriad plotlines, characters, and alien concepts, fans will undoubtedly enjoy this continuation of the saga. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, the Donald Maass Literary Agency. (June)
From the Publisher
“A diverse cast of dynamic characters, a tantalizingly labyrinthine mystery, a world full of wonders, and powerful symbolism and imagery power this seamless merging of epic fantasy and science fiction.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Antiphon

“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 Reviews, starred review on Canticle

Kirkus Reviews
The long-awaited fourth and penultimate installment of the sci-fi/fantasy saga The Psalms of Isaak (Antiphon, 2010, etc.) takes off running and doesn't stop. A generations-spanning plan has borne its violent fruit, and the Y'Zirites, an empire of religious zealots who believe that ritual bloodletting and scarification "heal the world," are on the verge of conquering the Named Lands. However, various factions of resistance are prepared to make their last stand. The remaining armies plot one final, devastating act of sabotage. In accordance with a message from her long-dead grandfather, Lady Jin Li Tam intends to assassinate Y'Zir's mysterious Crimson Empress. Jin's husband, Gypsy King Rudolfo, pretends to collaborate with the conquerors while secretly plotting their defeat. Meanwhile, Jin's father, Vlad Li Tam, now possessed of a devastating magical artifact, pursues his own terrible purpose in Y'Zir. And those are only some of the threads of a complexly woven story (others include exploring the ruins of a highly advanced civilization on the moon and the desperate flight of an amnesiac mechoservitor and the little girl who loves him). Jumping into the series at this point is decidedly inadvisable, but readers of previous volumes will be enthralled--and entirely occupied with keeping track of which side everyone's on, as the genuine and the elaborately faked betrayals pile up. As various parts of the epic's plotlines become clearer, motivations become murkier; it's still anyone's guess how this will end. Exciting, dizzying, heartbreaking.
Library Journal
The Named Lands find no end to conflict, as the Y'Zrite faithful battle followers of the Androfrancine Order, and Rudolfo, the Gypsy King, tries to maneuver through a minefield of intrigue and politics. But his wife and infant son are endangered by a member of his household, and the mechaservitor Isaak is believed destroyed in an underground explosion. VERDICT The latest novel in "The Psalms of Isaak" series (Lamentation; Canticle; Antiphon) takes the action and political machinations a step higher in terms of complexity and subtlety. While newcomers should start with the first book, series fans should have no trouble keeping up. A glossary of people, places, and terms provides useful definitions, particularly for those fresh to the series.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765321305
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Series: Psalms of Isaak Series , #4
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 659,468
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

KEN SCHOLES is the author of the acclaimed series The Psalms of Isaac, which comprises Lamentation, Canticle, Antiphon, and this new novel.  He lives near Portland, Oregon, with his wife, journalist Jen West Scholes, and their three-year-old twin daughters.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Absolute read for fantasy fans

    The world is in upheaval and seems on the axis of great change. The feel all is falling further away from what everyone knows it to be.

    Jin Li Tam is on an island with her son, the one the Y'Zirite's call the Child of Promise. Being worshiped as she tries to come to grips with what she now knows her destiny is. Vlad Li Tam travels the vast sea, following a ghost, to do what needs to be done with the Crimson Empress and the Child of Promise. Neb finds himself on the Moon with Petronus, and no idea what he's to do now that he's lacking the tools he needs to do what he is called to do. Lost as he tries to find his way in a new world, his world. Winters is still searching the final piece of the Final Dream. Hoping to help her people find their way home to their world. Rudolfo is struggling with the unexpected leave of his wife with his one and only son. The absence of his son weighs heavy on him, not knowing what his wife was thinking going into the center of danger as she did. Rudolfo comes to learn his own pieces in the Y'Zirite plans and makes plans of his own.

    We get a feel that the people struggling to stop the downward slide are losing. Things are not going well and they are at opposite ends of the world trying to correct it on their own. None know what the other is doing. Secrets are crossing. And the results are...amazing, heartbreaking, reviving, hopeful. Everything all in one.

    The beginning brings us quickly back to where we are after Antiphon. The Prelude is a refresher of what's going on in this world, yet at the same time drawing curiosity, making me want more. It's felt like ages for me since I finished Antiphon, and Ken draws me in quickly with refreshers of what happened and where we are now. Perfect. Flawless.

    The connections to the world (and moon) all become clearer. The further we follow Ken through his Whymr maze the closer we come to the truths of what is happening and why. It seems now, as things come out, that it was tried very hard to replicate the culture lost on the moon. But things were never quite right. Things are still incomplete but starting to come in the open on how to fix them. All that the Wizards and Younger Gods fought over, and the results becoming clearer with each page.

    We have all our familiar characters Point Of Views. And love seeing the troubles they get themselves into. We also have a new POV, Marta. Marta gives us a view of innocence and a connection to one we want to see more of and his connections to everything. I found all the POV's intreguing. I loved what I learned from all the views. The history and workings of the Y'Zirite are heavy and well designed that you need all these POV's to get the feel for what is happening and why. It's so easy to follow these POV's. Ken writes them with a grace that makes you feel he's been doing this for lifetimes. I really enjoyed getting to see more POV from Vlad Li Tam as well. Wow, the Li Tam family has got serious connections through out the world and can influence just about anything it seems, but this still has them in a bind as well.

    Oh my gods! This series is amazing. Out-of-the-box crazy-amazing read. Love it! A book to be savored by each word. This read is not a light one. When you pick it up be ready to be submersed and mentally mapping all that's happening. This is a read to read over with an eyeglass and ponder over with a pipe Yes, all that and more!

    Absolute read for fantasy fans.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Very good read - excellent series so far Ken Scholes has become

    Very good read - excellent series so far

    Ken Scholes has become one of my favorite authors, and doesn't seem to be falling into the pedantic pontificating trap that some fall into by their fourth book in a series. His style is a bit choppy, as in lots of very short chapters that cycle frequently through each character's events - but the series is interesting and the characters engaging. I am waiting with bated breath for the next (and final?) book.

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  • Posted July 1, 2013

    Excellent! Scholes just keeps up the pace. No problem in picking

    Excellent! Scholes just keeps up the pace. No problem in picking up with the story and the characters. This is the fourth of five books. The characters each have their own storyline which converge at times and separate. It will be hard to wait for the next book. I couldn't put this book down. Definitely a series to recommend.

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    Posted July 15, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

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