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The Coming of Wisdom

by Dave Duncan

Wally, a fugitive from the twentieth century, must now decide how he is to become the leader of the Swordsmen who have a tremendous power in this feudal world that Duncan has created. Sequel to the reluctant swordsman; followed by Destiny of the Sword.

The Crooked House

by Dave Duncan

This series is a little shorter and is intended for the young teens. The heroes in this series are much younger.

The Cutting Edge (A Handful of Men, Part 1)

by Dave Duncan

Beautiful Queen Inos married the loyal stableboy Rap and made him her king. They were very much in love, and they lived happily ever after. Fifteen years went by Rap and Inos were comfortable, secure, and truly happy, raising their family in the little backwater kingdom of Krasnegar, well removed from the hurly-burly of great affairs... But in far-off Hub, the old Imperor's health, and some say his sanity, deteriorated inexorably. The borderlands were seething, Prince Emshandar -- or Shandie, as Rap knew him -- found himself leading his grandfather's armies into terrible battles where victory and justice hung in gravest doubt. And now the end of the millennium was at hand, ushered in by prophecies of cataclysmic upheaval on a scale never before imagined. All across Pandemia, sensible people tried to dismiss a growing sense of unease as superstitious nonsense. Then a God appeared to Rap and warned him that the prophecies spoke the least of the truth. Devastation was a certainty; total destruction loomed. The very fabric of the world was at risk. And it was all Rap's fault. The lasting in the world Rap had wanted was another adventure. And it might be the last thing he would ever get.

Emperor and Clown (A Man of His Word, Part 4)

by Dave Duncan

The loyal stableboy Rap had fought through hell and high water to rescue Inos, his queen. But at the end, it had all been in vain. Inos had married the accursed Sultan Azak. A failed and broken man, Rap awaits his fate, at the hands of Azak's torturers while Inos follows her lord on a dangerous journey.

Future Indefinite (Round Three of the Great Game)

by Dave Duncan

For five years Edward Exeter has resisted the destiny circumscribed in the Filoby Testament--a sacred and mystical text that has named him the one who will bring death to Death. For five years the young Englishman has passed back and forth through secret portals that link his world with the farthest flung outpost of British imperialism--a realm called Nextdoor, where earth-born mortals can live forever, possessing powers that make them gods. Through war and murderous intrigue on both sides of the magical boundaries, he has tried to escape the irresistible pull of a Great Game that has designated him its most important player. But Death has finally roused Edward Exeter, as was predicted. And now he has accepted the burdensome mantle that has been thrust upon his shoulders: that of D'ward, the Liberator foretold. For centuries, the ruling Pentatheon of human gods has held the people of Nextdoor in its sway through terror, magic and superstition--with Zath, its most fearsome member, accumulating powerful mana through ritual sacrifice and wholesale bloodletting. By opposing the tyranny of the Pentatheon, D'ward imperils not only himself, but the future of two distinctly separate yet strangely empathetic worlds. Now old friends have become foes, old enemies his acolytes. The guardian Service, which once welcomed Exeter into its ranks, now plots murderous gambits at formal affairs--and betrayals to be unwittingly enacted against him by Edward's closest companions and loved ones. And for the hundreds and hundreds of the devout who have joined the Liberator on his fateful trek across the Vales, doom surely awaits at the end of the journey. But D'ward Liberator is not the Edward Exeter who came naked into this world just a few short years ago. For he has lived the Game and learned it well--far better, in fact, than his adversaries could ever imagine. And he will play it boldly to its shocking, worlds-shattering conclusion--even if it means having to pay the devastating price of godhood.

Gilded Chain

by Dave Duncan

As unwanted and rebellious boys, they find refuge in Ironhall....Years later they emerge as the finest swordsmen in the realm--A magical ritual of a sword through the heart binds each to his ward--if not the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates--with absolute loyalty.And the greatest Blade of them all was--and is--Sir Durendal. But a lifelong dream of protecting his beloved liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits when Durendal is bonded till death to an effete noble fop at his king's orders. Yet Destiny has many strange and inscrutable plans for the young knight--for a mission, a contest, and, perhaps, a treasure await him in a faraway land. But he soon finds himself enmeshed in treason and foul intrigues, compelled to betray the king he had hoped to serve. The Blades have ways to protect their own, but death and madness haunt the path to salvation--and few ever return unscathed. As unwanted and rebellious boys, they find refuge in Ironhall....Years later they emerge as the finest swordsmen in the realm--A magical ritual of a sword through the heart binds each to his ward--if not the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates--with absolute loyalty. And the greatest Blade of them all was--and is--Sir Durendal. But a lifelong dream of protcting his beloved liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits when Durendal is bonded till death to an effete noble fop at his king's orders. Yet Destiny has many strange and inscrutable plans for the young knight--for a mission, a contest, and, perhaps, a treasure await him in a faraway land. But he soon finds himself enmeshed in treasonand foul intrigues, compelled to betray the king he had hoped to serve. The Blades have ways to protect their own, but death and madness haunt the path to salvation--and few ever return unscathed.

The Gilded Chain (King's Blades Series #1)

by Dave Duncan

As unwanted and rebellious boys, they find refuge in Ironhall. Years later they emerge as the finest swordsmen in the realm. A magical ritual of a sword through the heart binds each to his ward-if not the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates with absolute loyalty. And the greatest Blade of them all was-and is-Sir Durendal. But a lifelong dream of protecting his beloved liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits when Durendal is bonded till death to an effete noble fop at his king's orders.

Impossible Odds

by Dave Duncan

Elite warrior swordsmen, they are unequalled in any time or realm . . . The King's Blades The King has decreed that new Blades must be sworn into the service of the Grand Duke Rubin, deposed by a foul usurper and currently on the run. But none of the rough youths being readied at Ironhall possess the seasoning to survive what better, more skilled Blades already have not. Still, two woefully unprepared candidates are approached with an offer of early bonding and probable death: deft but dense, rude Ranter, and eager, impetuous Ringwood . . . with a third, the inadequate swordsman but potentially able spy Bellman, enlisted into their threadbare ranks. Joining the Duke's entourage along with the courageous and prescient White Sister Trudy, the would-be champions must restore a rightful ruler to the throne or die in the process. But before them waits an army of the dead. And the Duke whom the Blades must protect to the last drop of their lifeblood is not the liege they imagined . . .

Impossible Odds: A Chronicle of the King's Blades

by Dave Duncan

This stand-alone novel takes place some two years after Paragon Lost. Once more, one of the King's blades must go to a foreign country and try to prevent a war.

The Jaguar Knights

by Dave Duncan

The realm's most feared swordsman, Sir Wolf has earned his name, the "King's Killer," well. Unlike many of his brother Blades, however, Wolf detests his sworn duty to do the bloody bidding of a liege he can never respect. But when an impregnable fortress is breached and a former royal mistress is abducted by brazen assailants, Wolf must leap into the fray. Burdened with the company of his disgraced brother, Sir Lynx--the only Blade ever to lose his ward and live--and shadowed by a mysterious Inquisitor with a secret agenda, Wolf must make his way across a landscape of nightmares vivid and terrible enough to chill any fearless heart. For somewhere in this dark, unfamiliar world, the fate of all Chivial hangs in the balance--and it is the destiny of one reluctant Blade to tip the scales to salvation . . . or doom.

Magic Casement (A Man of His Word, Part 1)

by Dave Duncan

Princess Inos lived an idyllic life in her fathers' sleepy, backwater kingdom, and she was best friends with her childhood companion, the stableboy, Rap. But when a prophecy seemed to say Inos should be married, she was exiled to the Impire to learn to be a lady. She was far away when Rap's magical talents began to emerge, and it was he who told her of the fate awaiting them both. . . .

Paragon Lost

by Dave Duncan

Many legends have emerged from the shadows of Ironhall, yet surely none can surpass the greatness and glory predestined for Sir Beaumont-possessor of the purest and strongest of hearts, and a mind as quick, keen, and accurate as his sword. But the day he sets out in the service of the elderly Lord Wassail turns to a black one, and young Beau's journey ends in horror and blood . . . and disgrace. Banished from the King's Blades, he now faces a grim future as a homeless pariah, a creature to be shunned and despised. But redemption can come from unexpected directions and in unrecognizable guises. Approached in secret by the legendary Durendal, now Grand Master of the Order, the dishonored paragon is offered one last chance to win back his weapon and his place among his brothers in arms. But to do so, Beau must ride alone back through the icy gates of Hell . . . and do battle with the Devil himself.

Past Imperative (Round One of the Great Game)

by Dave Duncan

The Game has gone on since time immemorial--its dangerous moves and methods crossing from world to world, from dimension to dimension, through hidden portals located in fields and forests and places of serious magic. A deadly contest of skill and manipulations, it ruthlessly creates wizards and destroys human pawns.. .and transforms men, women and children into something different--something more. In the summer of 1914, in a world poised on the brink of madness, a young man beyond reproach awakens with no memory of recent events--grievously injured, under police guard, and accused of a heinous, impossible murder. And in a different, distant... A troupe of penniless actors makes its way across a dangerous, unpredictable land--and stands by helplessly as its youngest member is taken prisoner by the loyal minions of a corrupt and vengeful goddess. For an elaborate ancient prophecy has split the realm's ruling Deities into warring factions--a prophecy that mentions the captive crippled child... and a youth recuperating from mysterious wounds in a British hospital bed. But slavery is not to be Eleal Singer's fate--as resourcefulness, courage, chance and dragon carry her ever-closer to her perilous foretold meeting with the one who will bring death to Death. Nor will the gallows claim Edward Exeter on this explosive eve of World War. For, across a mystical threshold, there are new worlds for him to explore.. .and deliver.

Present Tense (Round Two of the Great Game)

by Dave Duncan

In the midst of the horror of the first World War, a stranger falls from nowhere into the mud and death of the Flanders battlefield--bruised, babbling, and stark naked...with a remarkable story to tell. Welcome to the second round of The Great Game--the timeless diversion of human gods, created to relieve the tedium of immortality. A ruthless contest of treachery, magic, betrayal and manipulation--a melange of created histories, abused powers and obliterated lives--it weaves through the centuries and across the dimensions, ensnaring warriors, wastrels, kings and commoners in its lethal web. After three unaccounted years, Edward Exeter, wrongly accused murderer and fugitive from law, has reappeared on this Earth--bearing scars and secrets from a place he calls Nextdoor. He has crossed over from a war of spears and arrows to do service in one of heavy artillery and poison gas. But powerful forces on both sides of a guarded mystical border have other plans for the young patriot. And there are ancient prophecies to be fulfilled. For, in a very different realm of .godly intrigues, Exeter is Liberator--the one who is to "bring death to Death." It is a prophecy Edward wants no part of--as, in the company of loyal comrades, he races across a bomb-ravaged Britain, fleeing murderous pursuers from two separate worlds. But there is no escaping his Destiny--as tormenting memories of darkest betrayal and miraculous triumph crowd Exeter's thoughts and propel him onward. For there are obligations to the past and to the future alike that must be met if civilizations are to survive. And, ultimately, it is the dead who will rouse D'ward Liberator to new action--as it has been foretold.

The Reaver Road

by Dave Duncan

A trader of tales comes to unvanquished Zanadon in hopes of witnessing the coming of a god to turn back the Vorkan horde sweeping the country. Heroes, gods, maidens in distress...it's all here! From book jacket: "It is your turn now, Thorian," I said, as we crouched hiding in the dark. "What is your tale?" There was a pause, then a sigh which seemed to last for several minutes--the product of an unusual lung capacity. "Alas, Omar! It is nothing. The tale of Thorian will compare with yours as the mud of the paddy field below the glory of the lotus. Not only has my brief existence been totally bereft of incident, but I lack your felicity of phrase and facility of pharynx: You come from far and exotic lands, overflowing with wonders. You have viewed deeds of heroes and the wrath of gods. Beside your peacock splendor, I am the maggot in the filth of the chicken run." "That is indeed an inspiring opening!" I declared, much impressed. "Pray proceed."

The Reluctant Swordsman

by Dave Duncan

This Trilogy became a classic almost as soon as it was published. Wally finds himself transferred from the 20th century to a world where swordsmen are powerful, magic works, and, without his help, a society will collapse.

Silvercloak

by Dave Duncan

A Notorious Killer Stalks the King. The world's most deadly assassin has been hired to kill King Ambrose. Once again King's Daggers are plunged into danger, because only White Sister Emerald can identify the killer's magic and only Sir Stalwart knows what he looks like. The two must trap the killer before he can strike the king -- or at them. As the trial of death leads back to Ironhall, the swordsmen school Stalwart so recently left, he finds he is a boy sent to do a man's job -- and Emerald is a girl sent to do a boy's.

Sir Stalwart: Book One of the King's Daggers

by Dave Duncan

Young Stalwart, known as Wart to his fellow students, is expelled from the academy for King's Blades, only to be plunged into a current of breathless intrigue and danger. Fantasy.

Sky of Swords

by Dave Duncan

The mightiest swordsmen in the relm, are bound by magic to defend their noble wards...to the death.The King's Blades The unloved child of the unscrupulous King Ambrose,Princess Malinda learned at an early age to fight for what was rightfully hers. Now, with the Kings abrupt death, civil war has become her grim destiny. Making her uncertain way through the blood labyrinth of schemesand betrayals, Malinda can trust none but the Blades of the Royal Guard. But the Blades themselves are in grave peril. And the young Queen faces the most crucialdecision of her life: a choice that will either redeem her kingdom from chaos...or bring ultimate destruction down upon it, her Blades, and herself.

The Stricken Field (A Handful of Men, Part 3)

by Dave Duncan

Part three of Duncan's projected tetralogy (most recently Upland Outlaw, p. 338), set in Pandemia, land of sorcerers, gods, and numerous human varieties. The insane but enormously powerful dwarf mage Zinixo has ensorcelled many of Pandemia's magicians, compelling them to join his all-but-irresistible Covin. Meanwhile, various characters resist Zinixo by one means or another.

Upland Outlaws (A Handful of Men, Part 2)

by Dave Duncan

The power-mad dwarf-sorcerer Zinixo had driven Emshandar V from his throne. He had shattered the ancient Protocol that kept tenuous peace among Pandemia's warlocks. And his conquest had only begun. Somehow the deposed Imperor had escaped his clutches -- so far -- but Shandie would soon be found. Then the Impire would be Zinixo's alone. Outlying countries would fall beneath his fist. And at long last, he could wreak fabulous revenge upon Rap of Krasnegar. For Zinixo wielded the greatest magic ever imagined: an army of slave-sorcerers bound to serve his every whim -- to the death. No one could stop him: Shandie had scarcely an ally in the world; Rap's magical powers were a shadow of their former strength; and there was hardly a free sorcerer to be found in all Pandemia. Where could any resistance effort find even. . . A Handful of Men?

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