Bantam, Nov 2002, 13.95, 496 pp.
Over five centuries ago the Northern King, his army, and the wizards traveled to the Kingdom of the South for a marriage that would bind the two lands into one union. Over time the king and the wizards fell out of favor with their nobles and were killed. The Council of Lords became rulers of the land and any talk of wizards or magic is considered treason. For two hundred years the nobles ruled without any serious threat to their authority but now rumors come to their attention of the restoration of the monarchy.
The council sends spies to the University to see if anyone has done anything that could be considered heresy. Two names keep cropping up in the investigation. History Professor Basis St. Cloud who thinks that magic once actually existed and Theron Campion, heir to the Duchy of Tremontaine. These two men are fated to play a prominent role in events that will usher in a new age of thought.
Ellen Kushner and Della Sherman combine their talents to create a work that is sublimely rich in characterizations and a perspective similar to medieval Europe. The political infighting at the university adds a sense of the ridiculous to this very serious epic drama. The characters, fully developed and complex creations, are prisoners of their place in society, which makes them all the more interesting when they step out of their station in life. THE FALL OF KINGS is an experience not to be missed.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner