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Publisher's Summary

An ancient weapon has completely destroyed the city of Windwir. From many miles away, Rudolfo, Lord of the Nine Forest Houses, sees the horrifying column of smoke rising. He knows that war is coming to the Named Lands.

Nearer to the Devastation, a young apprentice is the only survivor of the city - he sat waiting for his father outside the walls, and was transformed as he watched everyone he knew die in an instant.

Soon all the Kingdoms of the Named Lands will be at each others' throats, as alliances are challenged and hidden plots are uncovered.

This remarkable first novel from an award-winning short-fiction writer will take readers away to a new world - an Earth so far in the distant future that our time is not even a memory; a world where magick is commonplace, and great areas of the planet are impassable wastes. But human nature hasn't changed through the ages: War and faith and love still move princes and nations.

©2009 Kenneth G. Scholes (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
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    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Meg
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • 05-15-09

Highly Enjoyable

Plot is well developed with excellent pace and characters are penned with a sapient hand. Rather than thin, transparent characters, Ken Scholes writes with insight.

I prefer stories/authors who are able to maintain an interesting tale, something Ken has a strong sense for. When an author is able to meld interesting and character depth it is a satisfying and enjoyable balance!

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kory
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 09-28-10

Contemporary take on fantasy

Interesting mix of traditional sci-fi and fantasy elements set in post-apocalyptic environs. Characters are vibrant and have definite point-of-view.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific first volume of an epic fantasy

Riveting, highly original story, engrossing characters, tremendous writing - this book has it all. I also enjoyed the narrators except for the one who narrated Rudolfo - he was too ponderous and slow for my taste. I can't recommend this book highly enough - can't wait for book 2!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting.

You cannot help but be immersed in the world that Ken Scholes has woven. And the adventure continues...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good book, but not great

I started off and really liked the beginning of the book. I was quickly drawn into the characters and wanted to know more about them. The plot lines were good and they kept you guessing, but somehow at the end of the book, it just couldn't hold my interest. At first I thought about downloading the second book but now I am glad I waited. I really have no desire to continue on as I just barely made it through the last hour or two of the first book.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • Carroll, IA, USA
  • 06-22-09

Not much depth.

It's sad, because the setting has a lot of potential. But the characters lack depth, and are hard to relate to. The "events" that take place are presented in a way that makes it hard for you to care about them, almost like watching the history channel. Maybe I've just been spoiled by Mistborn, but this book barely held my attention.


PS. the multiple narrators don't help sell the characters when they overlap.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Mediocre, forgettable potboiler

Lamentation is the kind of book that is so unremarkable that it's difficult to summon the energy for a review. Scholes use of the language bores me. His writing just scrapes the level of a young adult novel. His repetitive hammering of invented terms is a constant reminder that his imagination went into his world and its history, and not its characters or plot.

The characters are flat and predictable, which some (Neb in particular) becoming more annoyance than entertainment. Scholes tries to give his characters the moral ambiguity that is very popular now, but fails utterly. His character have (at most) *exactly* two moral dimensions in which they can only move back and forth with jarring and predictable regularity.

Jin Li Tam and Rudolpho feel lifted almost unaltered from the likes of Dune's Lady Jessica and Duke Leto, but without the freshness of a new idea that made Dune interesting. Neb is a typical young adult novel staple 15-year-old who is as learned and wise or stupid and innocent as the scene requires to fulfill the most proximate trope. I can't pass a single scene with him without wondering if his entire existence is to appeal to boy readers of that age.

Scholes's characters constantly reference his world creation in metaphor, as if he can't let a page pass without reminding us of the particulars of his creation. For example, in both internal psychonarration and dialogue, the phrase "Whymer Maze" is substituted for any synonym of "complex", "difficult", or "intricate". I counted between 10 and 20 such uses.

The book is also very backward by my standards when it comes to how it treats men and women. Other than Jin Li Tam, whose entire world revolves around the men in her life, there are no female characters worth mentioning. There are a few that are peripheral and are obvious tropes, like the girl marsh "king" who is nothing but a vaguely mystical female target of lust and fascination for Neb. It's disappointing but common for the genre, I suppose.

If you aren't looking for especially inspired work or reading, and you don't mind retreading common tropes, and consider a typical magic and steam-powered "boys and their toys" context good enough, you might find more to like in Lamentation than I did. But if you are hoping for complex characters, a mastery of the use of the English language, or something truly memorable, you won't find it here.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story!

Would you listen to Lamentation again? Why?

Yes. Such a great story. For me it has everything, a little scifi a little fantasy.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Isaak: Because robots rock.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Noah
  • New York, New York
  • 08-17-10

Bo-ring.

This book is boring. The characters are boring, the world is boring, the prose is boring, the action is boring. If I was reading this, I would have been able to skim it quickly to see what happened next (if I cared); as it was, I was trapped for hour after hour listening to this totally forgettable yawnfest.

The narrators were good, though, and did good voices. I hope they have more interesting, well-written material to work with next time.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful