Exile's Honor


Mercedes Lackey - 2002
    As the son of an impoverished mother, he had no other career choice open to him. And Alberich had risen in the ranks with almost unnatural speed. He developed expertise with many weapons and excelled in academic subjects with an ease that was the envy of his classmates. But in fact, the reclusive Alberich studied long and hard, pushing himself ruthlessly.   In battle, Alberich had always had a sort of “sixth sense” about things which were about to happen—when and from where the enemy would attack. Instinctively, he his this ability, for the Sunpriests kept careful watch for anyone exhibiting “demon powers” which were the hallmark of Karse’s greatest enemy—the witch-nation of Valdemar. Those they caught were “cleansed” in the fires of Vkandis Sunlord.   Both Alberich’s skill and secret served him well in the army of Karse, and when Alberich became one of Karse’s youngest captains, he received a special gift—a powerful white stallion “liberated” from the enemy. But this honor was merely a distraction, for the Sunpriests had laid a trap which even Alberich’s strange foresight could not predict…   Saved from burning as a witch when this odd white stallion braved flames and carried him over the border into Valdemar, he was healed by the same enemies he had been taught to hate his entire life. Though he knew he could never again return to his home, Alberich also knew he could never truly become a Valdemaran. How could Alberich remain true to his own people and still retain his honor while helping to train the direst enemy of Karse?

Scriber


Ben S. Dobson - 2011
    His research into the kingdom's lost past—the very research that sent him into hiding—may hold the answers to a great many questions about the rebels. Questions about their shadowy motives; about their mysterious abilities; and about their ever-increasing numbers, constantly bolstered by those thought killed in their attacks. And only the King's infamous warrior niece Bryndine Errynson and her company of female soldiers trust him enough to help him find the truth before the rebels burn the Kingsland to the ground.Following a trail of historical clues across the kingdom and pursued by forces they don't fully understand, Dennon and Bryndine may be the realm's only hope. But in order to preserve the Kingsland's future, they must first uncover its past.

The Crown Tower


Michael J. Sullivan - 2013
    ONE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION. A LEGEND IN THE MAKING.A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadius can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles are two separate, but related series, and you can start reading with either Theft of Swords (publication order) or The Crown Tower (chronological order).

The Way of Kings, Part 2


Brandon Sanderson - 2010
    Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed ...They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself - and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few days is a young spearman, forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn't understand and doesn't really want to fight.What happened deep in mankind's past?Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?

Cold Iron


Stina Leicht - 2015
    Only Suvi, his fraternal twin sister, supports him. When Nels is ambushed by an Acrasian scouting party, he does the forbidden for a member of the ruling family: He picks up a fallen sword and defends himself.Disowned and dismissed to the military, Nels establishes himself as a leader as Eledore begins to shatter under the attack of the Acrasians, who the Kainen had previously dismissed as barbarians. But Nels knows differently, and with the aid of Suvi, who has allied with pirates, he mounts a military offensive with sword, canon, and what little magic is left in the world.

In Legend Born


Laura Resnick - 1998
    Villages have been razed, and the innocent populace dragged to the mines, there to toil until death with no hope of escape.But there is hope. Five disparate people have been brought reluctantly together by the prophesy of a young Guardian--a prophesy that promises the coming of a savior. These five must put aside ages-old blood feuds before the conquerors force all to bend to their vicious will...

Sasha


Joel Shepherd - 2007
    Sasha is a princess, the like of which the highland country of Lenayin has never seen before. Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle and often led by her rash temper. In the complex world of Lenayin loyalties, her defiant wilfulness is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Lenayin is a land almost divided by its two faiths: the Verenthane of the ruling classes and the pagan Goeren-yai, amongst whom Sasha now lives. The Goeren-yai worship swordplay and honour and begin to see Sasha as the great spirit—the Synnich—who will unite them. But Sasha is still searching for what she believes and must choose her side carefully. When the Udalyn people—the symbol of Goeren-yai pride and courage—are attacked, Sasha will face her moment of testing. How will she act? Is she ready to lead? Can she be the saviour they need her to be?

Daggerspell


Katharine Kerr - 1993
    Little did she know her extraordinary friends represented but a glimpse of a forgotten past and a fateful future. Four hundred years-and many lifetimes-ago, one selfish young lord caused the death of two innocent lovers. Then and there he vowed never to rest until he'd righted that wrong-and laid the foundation for the lives of Jill and all those whom she would hold dear: her father, the mercenary soldier Cullyn; the exiled berserker Rhodry Maelwaedd; and the ancient and powerful herbman Nevyn, all bound in a struggle against darkness. . . and a quest to fulfill the destinies determined centuries ago. Here in this newly revised edition comes the incredible novel that began one of the best-loved fantasy seers in recent years--a tale of bold adventure and timeless love, perilous battle and pure magic. For long-standing fans of Deverry and those who have yet to experience this exciting series, Daggerspell is a rare and special treat.

Fool's Assassin


Robin Hobb - 2014
    For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?Suddenly Fitz's violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.

The Rage of Dragons


Evan Winter - 2019
    Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He's going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn't get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He'll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.

Echoes of the Great Song


David Gemmell - 1997
    . . A MASTERLY TALE TOLD WITH CLARITY AND VERVE.”–The Times (London)The Avatars are immortal and live like kings–even though the empire is dying. Their immortality is guaranteed by magic crystals whose influence is now waning, overwhelmed by the sheer power of a great flood and a sudden ice age. But when two moons appear in the sky, and the ruthless armies of the Crystal Queen swarm across the land bringing devastation and terror, the Avatars unite with their subjects to protect their universe.As the cities face imminent destruction, three heroes emerge. Talaban, a warrior haunted by tragedy; Touchstone, the mystic tribesman seeking his lost love; and Anu, the Holy One, the Builder of Time. And when all seems lost, two others enter the fray: Sofarita, the peasant girl who will inspire a legend, and the madman, Viruk, who will become a god. . . .

Wizard's First Rule


Terry Goodkind - 2003
    . . and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them—for reasons Richard can't imagine and Kahlan dare not say.In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword—to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

The Prodigal Mage


Karen Miller - 2009
    It has been a time of great change. But not all changes are for the best, and Asher's world is in peril once more. The weather magic that holds Lur safe is failing, and the earth feels broken to those with the power to see. Among Lur's sorcerers, only Asher has the skill to mend the antique weather map that governs the seasons, keeping the land from being crushed by natural forces. Yet, when Asher risks his life to meddle with these dangerous magics, the crisis is merely delayed, not averted. Asher's son Rafel has inherited the father's talents, but has been forbidden to use them. Many died in the last Mage War and these abilities aren't to be loosed lightly into the world. But when Asher's last desperate attempt to repair the damage leaves him on his deathbed, Rafel's powers may not be denied. For his countrymen are facing famine, devastation, and a rift in the very fabric of their land.

Dragonsbane


Barbara Hambly - 1985
    In return for the promise of the King to send help to the Winterlands, Aversin agreed to attempt the nearly impossible feat again.With them, to guard them on the haunted trip south, went Jenny Waynest, a half-taught sorceress and mother of Aversin's sons.But at the decadent Court, nothing was as expected. Rebellion threatened the land. Zyerne, a sorceress of seemingly unlimited power, held the King under an evil spell, and he refused to see them. Meantime, the dragon fed well on the knights who had challenged him.In the end, Aversin, Jenny, and Gareth had to steal away at night to challenge Morkeleb, largest and wisest of dragons......but that was only the beginning of the perils they must face.

The Deed of Paksenarrion


Elizabeth Moon - 1992
    It takes place in a fictional medieval world comprised of kingdoms of humans, dwarves, and elves. The story begins by introducing Paks as a headstrong girl of 18, who leaves her home (fleeing a marriage arranged by her father) to join a mercenary company. Through her journeys and hardships she comes to realize that she has been gifted as a paladin. The novel was originally published in three volumes in 1988 and 1989 and as a single trade edition of that name in 1992. The three books included are The Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold.From publisher Baen: "Paksenarrion, a simple sheepfarmer's daughter, yearns for a life of adventure and glory, such as was known to heroes in songs and story. At age seventeen she runs away from home to join a mercenary company and begins her epic life . . . Book One: Paks is trained as a mercenary, blooded, and introduced to the life of a soldier . . . and to the followers of Gird, the soldier's god. Book Two: Paks leaves the Duke's company to follow the path of Gird alone—and on her lonely quests encounters the other sentient races of her world. Book Three: Paks the warrior must learn to live with Paks the human. She undertakes a holy quest for a lost elven prince that brings the gods' wrath down on her and tests her very limits."