Antiphon by Ken Scholes Pslams of Isaak #3

Welcome back to The Named Lands where all the nations and its people are thrown into chaos. The right hand of the long lost Wizard Kings are making their play to overthrow the Androfrancine Order and its servants. The Ninefold Forest and its allies are now under threat of attack from this new Crimson Queen waiting in the shadows but the real threat may exist closer than expected. The Canticle has been played and in its wake the tones of the Antiphon are being heard. The Antiphon requires a response and I’m not sure you are ready for what is to come. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon events from the previous books.

Rudolpo and his wife Jin Li Tam welcomed their new son Jakob into the world, also know as the child of promise. Jakob was born deathly ill due to the magik powders Jin used throughout her life and the family was searching for a cure. The prayers were answered when the usurper Marsh Queen Ria, Winters once thought dead sister, cures Jakob with blood magick and the Ninefold Forest has a debt to pay for this. Rudolpho and Jin decide to join the Ria in her Marsh lands to learn about this religion and more about this Crimson Queen but what they find will not be a pleasant discovery. Petronus having been killed and resurrected by Ria using the same blood magick that cured Jakob, is now banished to the wastelands. The blood magick has affected Petronus much the same way as Neb in that both now can see into each others dreams. The loud tones and echoes of the Canticle are being felt throughout the waste’s and Petronus needs to find it’s source.

Neb has been living in the wastes for six months trying to decipher the code of the Canticle. Once he does, Neb realizes that he is being hunted by blood magicked women with the goal of preventing him from reaching the Antiphon by any and all means necessary. The Antiphon requires a response and it may not be what any of us expect. Finally we have Charles, the creator of the metal servants and he has taken to Isaak as a father figure. Charles eventually sees the truth in that Isaak can do things outside of his written code and that he can dream just like Neb, Winters, and Petronus. A dark path lies ahead for Isaak and Charles might not be able to bare it.

Let me start off by saying that Antiphon is a much slower read than Canticle and with that I don’t believe it is quiet as good. With that being said, the revelations and shocking moments mean so much more with the slow buildup and the story as a whole needed that. Heavily influenced by Christainity for the religious aspect, mixed in a bit of magic, a Ray Bradbury type of Sci-fi, and more than a fair share of grimdark moments is what this series is to me. If you found yourself a bit sick with the reading of the torture scenes in Canticle than I am sorry to tell you that this book gets darker still. I wasn’t expecting this series to go down this path but there is no turning back at this point. Scenes and plot choices introduced in Lamentation will come back full circle. Secrets will be revealed with plenty more left to be answered with the final two volumes.

This series is on a path to be one of my all time keepers. The originality, plot, depth of character growth, and tragic choices and scenes make this series a one of a kind tale. This is sure to be a series I will finish before the year is out so stay tuned for those updates. Requiem is on the horizon along with many other aspects of this world.


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