Scholes' journey through the Named Lands continues to fascinate; his characters are top notch and investment in them comes easily. This novel is more technical than the first in the series. Canticle forces the reader to hunker down and dig in along with the characters, all the while keeping the end of the journey in sight.
In the year since the fall of Windwir, the Gypsies have become the only stable government in the Named Lands, and their leader, Rudolfo, is the most capable leader left. When a group of assassins invades a state dinner and murders every noble there except Rudolfo, stability is thrown into chaos.
Vlad Li Tam fled the Named Lands after the fall of Windwir, and as Rudolfo journeys to find him and seek answers, Vlad faces brutal and horrifying treachery from within his own ranks. (TOR, Oct., 384 pp., $25.99)