I have a problem with Ken Scholes. His books read too fast. Seriously, I suck them down like candy – ok, that’s a bad analogy since I don’t really like candy. I suck them down like coffee with Baily’s that has cooled to chugging temperature. I read both Lamentation and Canticle so quickly that I kind of almost don’t remember them. The story was great, the characters were great, the prose was great… but the pace was so fast and the text so consumable that reading and finishing it was like a dream – fleeting and already fading.
I honestly don’t have a whole lot more to say about Canticle other than “I enjoyed it,” but there are a couple of things Scholes did well that deserve highlighting. Thing One: characters that were complex but still believable. Sometimes when you have characters that are both good and bad, it’s contrived. Not so with Canticle – I always believed the turns and changes of heart that the characters had. Thing Two: Subtle character development. Scholes did a masterful job maturing and changing his characters from the start of Lamentation to the end of Canticle, and he did so subtly enough that you barely realized it had happened until you stopped and compared. Thing Three: introducing potential future plot developments without being glaringly obvious or saying “ha, ha, I know something you don’t know!”
Ok, stopping with the numbered Things before this mini-review becomes a Dr. Seuss book. Lamentation was good. Canticle was better. I’m very much looking forward to book three, and I’ll do my best to slow down and savor it.