This is fantasy as it should be. Scholes' subtle and complex plotting are the breadwinners here, but his worldbuilding and political scheming bring home the bacon as well. This reader has never read a freshman novel this good.

The city of Windwir, the capital of the Androfrancines and the home of the greatest library in all the kingdoms, is entirely laid to waste by an ancient and awful weapon.

As the remaining Kingdoms of the Names Lands mourn the loss of the people of Windwir and thousands of years of knowledge, the Androfrancines must try to rebuild their order as far-reaching political machinations come into play. (TOR, Feb., 386 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Victoria Frerichs