In The Darkling Wind, author S.P Somtow returns with the fourth novel in the Inquestor series, arguably topping the other novels to become the best instalment yet.
As with the other books in the series, The Darkling Wind contains a brilliant and truly unique fantasy world which is sure to captivate any reader. This instalment brings some shocking revelations as well as increasing depth to the characters which have previously been explored.
One of the things that really stood out for me in this book was the dialogue. There is something so natural about it that makes it smooth and enjoyable to read, but at the same time it is so much more engaging in it than everyday speech. It is something that really grabs you and pulls you into the story from the get go. Even If you are not a fan of conventional Sci-fi (much like myself before giving these books a try), you are bound to find a message within that resonates with you. Personally, there was something about the line: “Don’t talk to me of freedom, Jherwo; It’s is a word, air, empty.” Which really spoke to me.
This is a series I am so glad to see continue and one which I would highly recommend to any avid reader, whether they are a fan of Sci-fi or not.
Chronicles of the High Inquest: The Darkling Wind:
The epic of a galactic empire’s fall (Inquestor Series Book 4)
Kelver is leading a revolution to bring about the end of the twenty-thousand-year hegemony of the godlike Inquestors, who have presided over the million-planet Dispersal of Man in a reign of staggering cruelty and stunning beauty. Conflicted in their love for him are the two young Inquestors who trained with him — Siriss, the White Inquestrix, who has joined his army and yet is compelled to betray him, and violet-eyed Arryk, who was his lover and is now his nemesis. War is inevitable and no world will be left unscathed.
The revolution comes to the planet Essondras, where Zalo, author of necrodramas, plays performed entirely by animated corpses, seeks the mythic truth behind the horrific reality, and where his lover, the darkweaver Ir Jenjen, is reinventing the art of darkness. Will Zalo continue to create stories for the dead, or will he learn the art of astrogating, guiding star whales through the light-mad overcosm to find humanity a new home?
S.P. Somtow paints on a vast canvas: in the words of Theodore Sturgeon, “a shattering storm that whirls away, leaving your world full of brilliance and cacophonies of color … few have even attempted the description of a universe so vast.…” Of his work, Analog said “He may yet give us the greatest science fiction novel of all time.”
This classic, the towering epic of a galactic empire’s collapse, comes in a new digital-friendly edition including for the first time the introduction written by Theodore Sturgeon.
About the Author
S.P. Somtow, Once referred to by the International Herald Tribune as ‘the most well-known expatriate Thai in the world,’ Somtow Sucharitkul is no longer an expatriate, since he has returned to Thailand after five decades of wandering the world. He is best known as an award-winning novelist and a composer of operas.
Born in Bangkok, Somtow grew up in Europe and was educated at Eton and Cambridge. His first career was in music and in the 1970s, his first return to Asia, he acquired a reputation as a revolutionary composer, the first to combine Thai and Western instruments in radical new sonorities. Conditions in the arts in the region at the time proved so traumatic for the young composer that he suffered a major burnout, emigrated to the United States, and reinvented himself as a novelist.
His earliest novels were in the science fiction field and he soon won the John W. Campbell for Best New Writer as well as being nominated for and winning numerous other awards in the field. But science fiction was not able to contain him and he began to cross into other genres. In his 1984 novel Vampire Junction, he injected a new literary inventiveness into the horror genre, in the words of Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, ‘skillfully combining the styles of Stephen King, William Burroughs, and the author of the Revelation to John.’ Vampire Junction was voted one of the forty all-time greatest horror books by the Horror Writers’ Association, joining established classics like Frankenstein and Dracula. He has also published children’s books, a historical novel, and about a hundred works of short fiction.
In the 1990s Somtow became increasingly identified as a uniquely Asian writer with novels such as the semi-autobiographical Jasmine Nights and a series of stories noted for a peculiarly Asian brand of magic realism, such as Dragon’s Fin Soup, which is currently being made into a film directed by Takashi Miike. He recently won the World Fantasy Award, the highest accolade given in the world of fantastic literature, for his novella The Bird Catcher. His seventy-plus books have sold about two million copies world-wide. He has been nominated for or won over forty awards in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
After becoming a Buddhist monk for a period in 2001, Somtow decided to refocus his attention on the country of his birth, founding Bangkok’s first international opera company and returning to music, where he again reinvented himself, this time as a neo-Asian neo-Romantic composer. The Norwegian government commissioned his song cycle Songs Before Dawn for the 100th Anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize, and he composed at the request of the government of Thailand his Requiem: In Memoriam 9/11 which was dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.
According to London’s Opera magazine, ‘in just five years, Somtow has made Bangkok into the operatic hub of Southeast Asia.’ His operas on Thai themes, Madana and Mae Naak, have been well received by international critics.
Somtow has recently been awarded the 2017 Europa Cultural Achievement Award for his work in bridging eastern and western cultures. In 2020 he returned to science fiction after a twenty-year absence with “Homeworld of the Heart”, a fifth novel in the Inquestor series.
To support S.P. Somtow’s work, visit his patreon account at patreon.com/spsomtow.
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