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Reaper of Sorrows (Book 1) (Songs of the Scorpion) [Kindle Edition]

James A. West
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In an age between the beginning of all creation and the end of all things, humanity knew the truths of sorcery and gods, steel and blood, courage and cowardice. During this forgotten age rises an evil that threatens to destroy the laws governing life and death….

Known as the Scorpion, Rathe Lahkurin is the greatest and most beloved warrior in the kingdom of Cerrikoth, but a jealous rival is plotting his fall from grace….

Deep within a lightless catacomb an aged mystic is entombed behind a wall of flowing blood, and in another tomb an undying maiden burns, all so that an embittered conspirator can gain black powers and take his revenge….

At a remote fortress reserved for the kingdom’s vilest outcasts, buried deep within a sinister forest rife with foul creatures, villagers are vanishing. Others are turning up dead….

Soon the threads of fate will entangle the Scorpion in a plot darker than any nightmare, a trap that threatens not only his life, but his eternal soul.…

Q & A with James A. West—Reaper of Sorrows

Question: Reaper of Sorrows, Volume 1 of Songs of the Scorpion, begins your second series in the epic fantasy genre. How is this story different from your previous work?

James: The main difference is that in typical epic fantasy there is a stated world-threatening danger, obstacle, or dilemma the hero must overcome. Songs of the Scorpion focuses more on one man—Rathe Lahkurin—and his companions, as they combat smaller troubles. While failing to defeat “smaller” challenges might not always result in the end of the world, failure will surely result in a bitter end for Rathe and those he must protect. Having said that, from what I’ve glimpsed of Rathe’s world so far, there are a lot of truly monstrous foes hanging around, which leaves plenty of room for some harrowing quests that will rise high on the epic scale.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for this series?

JW: I’ve always wanted to write an ongoing series of tales that follow the life and times of a primary character. Reaper of Sorrows is the first of many planned adventures for Rathe Lahkurin, the Scorpion of Cerrikoth. Reaper introduces readers to this new world, and it is also a meet and greet with Rathe taking center stage.

Q: So, Reaper of Sorrows is an origin story?

JW: Exactly. Although, as is my habit, I began his story in the thick of things. From there, his life just gets tougher.

Q: Who is Rathe Lahkurin?

JW: Rathe—pronounced like wraith—is the youngest ever commander of the feared Ghosts of Ahnok. He exchanged a hoe for a sword when still a child, and his natural fighting ability and ambition have earned him fame and countless supporters. His success has also made him a target of those with the power and desire to bring him low.

Q: So how many tales do you intend for Rathe?

JW: As to hard numbers, I have no idea, but I can honestly see myself writing about the events of his life for many years to come. Rathe is a legend in the making, but he’s going to have earn that reputation.

Reading order: Songs of the Scorpion
Reaper of Sorrows (volume one)
Lady of Regret (volume two)
Queen of the North (volume three)
Iron Marches (Fall 2014)

Reading order: Heirs of the Fallen series
The God King (book one)
Crown of the Setting Sun (book two)
Shadow and Steel (book three)
Wrath of the Fallen (book four)
Heirs of the Fallen Omnibus

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Details

    • File Size: 3113 KB
    • Print Length: 267 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00988HXJQ
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,225 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.6 out of 5 stars
    4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Fantasy November 29, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I received a review copy of REAPER OF SORROWS and am pleased (and relieved) to report that the book is excellent all the way around. It is the opening volume of what looks to be a great adventure involving a tough, heroic soldier-turned-outcast named Rathe, aka The Scorpion. Truthfully, I am already looking forward to the second volume.

    The writing was excellent; West's vocabulary is sophisticated yet eloquent and rings true to the genre. And the book was clean and professional.

    Readers should note that this story is sort of "hard fantasy" (akin to "hard science fiction") in that it is very real. West does not write about fire-breathing dragons or elves or dwarves, etc., but there is magic in this story, as well as some monstrous creatures you wouldn't want to meet while camping in the mountains. Truly, some of the scenes made me cringe; a delightful reaction. I often found myself re-reading sentences and paragraphs, to re-savor the story, and to make sure I was reading it correctly.

    The story itself is also well drawn and very compelling. I agreed to provide a review for the book but the most wonderful of things happened: I became a fan.

    While reading, I kept thinking, 'Man, when is poor Rathe EVER going to catch a break?!' West is adept at chasing his main character up the proverbial tree, throwing rocks at him, setting the tree on fire, blowing it up with dynamite, and then chasing after him with a pack of wild dogs. The action in the story was virtually relentless. West has succeeded in the difficult and rather amorphous task of creating a character who is naturally heroic and deserves to win; we cheer him on at every step, while being forced to watch him endure hardship after hardship. Fortunately, Rathe can take it.

    I look forward to the second volume of the Song of the Scorpion series, and recommend it.
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    3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Scorpion September 10, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This book was a blast, non stop action and a good story that was well written with a good cast of characters. The Scorpion (Rathe) is a character I look forward to following on his adventures. If you are looking for a fun action packed and violent book this is for you. Enjoy.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Heroic Fantasy February 26, 2014
    By Deke
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Having been on a string of great premise but poorly written books this came as a pleasant surprise.


    - Well developed main character. He was written in the vain of Solomon Kane more so than Conan and I found it a pleasant take. He was tough both mentally and physically but not so much so that he was overwhelming and unbelievable. I especially like the way nothing ever came easy, there was absolutely no dues involved and the outcomes, though always in the heroes favor, only came after much trial and tribulation.

    - Truly bad "bad" guys. The villans were, like the hero, not overwhelming in their power but evil enough to make you dislike them immensely and root for their demise.

    - Detailed action and environment description. I truly felt like I could see and feel what the characters were doing and their sense of their environment from the POV written about


    - Limited world building and secondary character development. They were introduced, both the world and secondary characters, but we never learn about them as people, their motivations or the world at large. Though the author isn't obligated to include these aspects, when a character or world is introduced it seems incumbent to include these details. For example when REH or Wagner introduced characters or places in the world of his heroes we got backstory and descriptions.

    Overall a Great book and one I would def. recommend!
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    4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Non-Stop Action January 7, 2013
    By wayne
    Format:Kindle Edition
    If you're ready for non-stop action with hardly room to take a breath, you're ready for this book.

    Okay, you have our warrior guy, Rathe, who doesn't just like killing, maiming, raping and pillaging, even though, good warrior dude that he is, it's expected and as a captain, he's expected to tolerate and allow it. But Rathe wants more in life, he wants purpose, he wants to do right, he wants deeper meaning to life.

    Good, right? Not in this story. Oh no. There are jealous wankers, and evil little monkeys (no, not literal monkeys, you dweeb) who throw monkey-wrench (yeah, see how I did that) after monkey-wrench at poor Rathe's feet, ankles, knees, head, you name it.

    The poor guy just can't cut a break in this story. But you like the guy. You want him to succeed. You want him to kick evil-jealous-plotting-morons right in the ass.

    This is non-stop action, full of men, and fighting, and evil, and magic, and betrayal, and lust, and twists...good golly, this book has everything but the kitchen sink.

    The writing is spot on, solid. Characters are well-drawn with depth. Plot is hole-less. Very well done book.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars its a good read October 9, 2014
    By ELM
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I did like the book, but seems to me that the dumb decisions nearly all having to do with not killing the cowardly captian when he had an opportuinty and allowing himself to me taken hostage more than once when it was obvious that it was a bad idea. Also why woudl anyone accept a drink from an enemy out for your position how as a smirk on his face. I guess you can be a hero without being bright.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Great action March 9, 2015
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Found this while browsing through some fantasy books and I'm very happy I did. You can tell practically right from the opening pages that the author knows how to write. His prose is nice and accessible and never a hassle to get through. The best thing is that from start to finish there is a breakneck pace, the action never lets up. Worth the read for sure.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great story line and well written.
    Published 2 months ago by Mike Neal
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    This book ended too left me wanting more
    Published 6 months ago by ggnona313
    5.0 out of 5 stars Swords From Scabords
    An epic adventure with heroes and monsters abounding! Excellent narrative and full, descriptive scenery. Can't wait for the following. Forward!
    Published 7 months ago by Dragosgold
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    brilliantly written!
    Published 7 months ago by chelsea
    4.0 out of 5 stars Decent read
    I can admit I enjoyed the novel, although it was a tad short at 180 pages (as listed). I thought it was a decent beginning, I haven't yet picked up part 2 to see where the story... Read more
    Published 12 months ago by reads too much
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun
    Thoroughly enjoyed the book after reading his previous series. Fast paced and fun with a relatively fresh perspective on the genre.
    Published 15 months ago by Fosfam
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
    Loved this book from the beginning. Very well written and would highly recommend. Looking forward to more Songs of the Scorpion.
    Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    really enjoyed the book. all the characters and different things going on kept me involved and to read the next.
    Published 16 months ago by James Arthur Frazier
    5.0 out of 5 stars good book
    Great book and well worth the read. Fast pace and very interesting. The author keeps the story easy to follow and discribes the worlds in a manor that doesnt take away from the... Read more
    Published 16 months ago by ryan oxyer
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    More About the Author

    James A. West is the bestselling author of the epic fantasy series Heirs of the Fallen, and the heroic fantasy series Songs of the Scorpion. He is a native of the Pacific Northwest, but life is a road of many turns. James served in the US Army, spent a year as a long-haul truck driver with his wife (who also happens to be his high-school sweetheart), and attended the University of Montana.

    He currently lives in Montana with his wife, and has been known to work for chips and salsa.

    While James spends most of his time navigating alternative realities, he periodically comes up for air at:

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