The Searcher’s Lament

Rating: 4 out of 5.
searcher's lament book cover
Saige Denmark, 2022 – Nocturne of Oblivion #1

What if you woke up in unfamiliar surroundings with no memories, barely aware of your name?

This is what happens to Kian. Finding himself on Ghede, a planet peopled by starving inhabitants who subsist among the trash piles from other planets, Kian eventually builds a ragtag alliance with a small group of outcasts like himself.

Warrior Rhyz, witch Amara, elemental twins Veda and Veera – all have their own darkness, taking the form of anger, self-doubt, fear, despair. The mischevious orphan Bastion, though, is pure light. Evil Lord Balthizar pursues the group from world to world in his efforts to regain his possession of the boy.

Best classified as dystopian science fiction with elements of high fantasy, The Searcher’s Lament has traditional characters: strong warriors, witches, elementals, their enemies, and their Enemy.

There are some challenges when reading. The delineation between flashback/dissociative scenes and the primary narrative is often fuzzy enough that the reader has to backtrack to figure out what’s happening. Some dialogue is overly flippant and comedic, and the speaker’s identity is sometimes unclear. 

What makes this book worth reading is Saige Denmark’s skilled world-building. Readers may also appreciate the intentional decision of these nicely developing characters to form a loving, committed family. Although the two books are very different, those who loved The House in the Cerulean Sea for its emphasis on family might also appreciate The Searcher’s Lament.

There are two additional books in the Nocturne universe; each provides the backstory for a character in The Searcher’s Lament. Search Goodreads to find the other titles.

Thank you to the author and her publicist, from whom I received a complimentary copy of the book. I used it to write my honest review.