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The Fall of The Kings Paperback – October 29, 2002
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A return to the marvelously complicated world of witty court intrigue and deadly University scandal last seen in Swordspoint (Tor, 1994). Theron Campion, an aristocratic student, is drawn into a controversy about the nature of the ancient kings and the northern wizards. Basil St. Cloud is at the center of this dispute and as his relationship with Campion deepens, he finds that his historical findings have modern, highly political implications. As all scholars know, the kings were corrupt and their wizards were simply charlatans, but St. Cloud has discovered an ancient source that promises something altogether different. However, the Council of Lords becomes aware that the northern-most parts of the country are murmuring for a return to monarchy and, suspecting the University as a source for the discontent, they send a spy to ferret out information. St. Cloud and his students become the focal point for an explosive denouement that is as tragic as it is inevitable. Kings stands on its own in all its intricate, fascinating glory. The characters are fully realized, and some of the secondary ones, like Campion's mother, are so well done that they threaten to steal scenes. Kushner and Sherman inject plenty of humor and bawdiness into their tale, providing grounding for some of the abstruse historical debates. This is high fantasy at its best-literate, passionate, and compelling.
Jody Sharp, Harford County Public Library, MD
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Generations have passed since the nobles rose to power, killing the last king and burning the wizards who served as the king's advisers. When Basil St. Cloud, a professor of ancient history, meets Theron Campion, a young and eccentric nobleman, their passionate relationship brings to light forbidden knowledge about the true history of the last king and the nature of the bond between the king and the land. Set in the same world as Kushner's Swordspoint, this dynamic tale of the twin powers of love and scholarship offers a glimpse into the connection between learning and politics while portraying the lives of individuals poised on the border of myth and reality. Kushner and coauthor Sherman (Through a Brazen Mirror) craft a sensual and evocative tale that should appeal to fans of Tanith Lee and Storm Constantine. Highly recommended for readers of mature fantasy.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Crabbe (by the way Crabbe is also the name of one of the minions of Malfoy,Harry Potter's enemy),Nicholas Galing and all the others.But oh, the sumptuous writings, the splendid descriptions of the parties of the nobility, whit a dialogue almost Wildean in its witticism, the obsessive power of artifacts...all is superb. The passages in which Basil St Cloud is first obsessed by luscious and archaic dreams, then awakens and peruses a strange old book who he believes is the origin of the dreams...well,you have to read it. You are reminded of Vandermeer's Book of Ambergris.But The Fall Of Kings is an absolute masterpiece, in a class of his own.
Get the hot chocolate out and enjoy this bawdy, intellectually stimulating novel of love and betrayal.
Now, Ellen Kushner and her partner, Delia Sherman, have once again delighted my literary palate with 'The Fall of the Kings'. This novel is as rich as a Pre-Raphaelite painting, full of lush hues and romantic themes.
'The Fall of the Kings' is full of so many multifacted characters to love, to dislike and to ardently sigh over--Theron, the wonderfully charming, decadent, shamelessly self-indulgent, warm and idealistic son of Alec, from 'Swordspoint'; Basil St. Cloud, the handsome and charismatic young scholar with his longing for truth and passion for the past--and for Theron; The Lady Sophia could easily give her ancestress, Diane of Tramontaine a good fight. Where Diane's motivations were more mysterious, Sophia is quite open when it comes to wielding power. And of course, who could forget Theron's sister, Lady Jessica, the beautiful and ruthless pirate queen.
Even the ghost of Richard St. Vier makes a small spectral appearance.
Add to this heady mix raucous university students, dueling professors, hidebound scholars, men in elegant frocks, women in shimmering gowns, a heartless paintrix, ancient lore and buried secrets, and 'The Fall of the Kings' becomes the kind of novel that envelopes you in its many layers.
Like 'Swordspoint', the eroticism is subtle, allowing the reader to savor the intimate moments between Theron and Basil. Kushner and Sherman do not go into details, and as excellent storytellers, they do not need to.
'The Fall of the Kings' is another masterwork of high fantasy--a world that once visited is very hard to forget.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first part of this book is so promising. I read this not long after my initial encounter with Swordspoint, which I hadn't loved then (it's one of...Read more
I think I hated it because for nearly the whole book I get to be inside Theron...Read more