The book Science Fiction Chronicle named one of the two best fantasy novels of 1997 is finally available in e-book form!
All the lands beneath the Hundred Moons have been at peace for two hundred years under the benign rule of the Domdur Empire. During the long centuries when the gods guided the Empire's expansion, in each lifetime a single individual was chosen to receive certain divine gifts and lead the Domdur in battle; now that the world is at peace, the champions are no longer needed, and the last two have lived out their lives in peaceful anonymity.
Malladd, son of Hmar, a village smith, expects to do the same. He considers the gods' choice of him to be not a blessing but a nuisance.
When the oracles fall silent and the gods withdraw their guidance, the Domdur are not unduly concerned; their mastery of the world is complete, and they have no more need of divine meddling.
But then the heir to one of the warlords who fought the Domdur stumbles upon dark magic that may give him the power to avenge his ancestor's defeat and overthrow the Empire. That this may cast the world into chaos does not trouble him; he cares about nothing but vengeance upon his ancient foes.
When this dark wizard raises an army of the undead to march on the Domdur capital, will Malledd give up his anonymity to battle this threat?
And without any oracles to confirm his claim, will anyone even recognize him as the divine champion?
Can it be that the gods have forsaken the Domdur, and that the rebel wizard is the new object of divine favor?
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About the Author
Lawrence Watt-Evans is the award-winning author of over forty novels and more than a hundred short stories in the fields of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife and an overweight cat.
A couple of years ago I was between projects, trying to decide on what to write next. I had sent my agent an entire box of possibilities, ranging from sketchy notes on partially developed ideas to complete chapter and outline proposals, and asked his opinion on which was most likely to help my career -- I write what I like, but I like making money, and if I don't have a project I'm really enthusiastic about, I'll choose on the basis of what seems most commercial.
While waiting for his reply, I read a manuscript a publisher had sent me in hopes I'd provide a laudatory quote to go on the cover. The novel in question, which I won't name here, was a very traditional fantasy in most regards -- a good one, for the most part. As I read it, though, I wasn't able to turn off the editorial side of my brain, as I usually do when reading. I kept thinking, 'No, that's stupid -- it'd be more effective if this happened instead,' or, 'Oh, that's a good scene -- he should have played it up more,' or, 'This piece of world-building makes no sense at all.'
hen I finished reading it, I sat there and analyzed the whole thing, outlining the essentials in my head. I mentally put together detailed lists of everything the author had done right and everything he'd done wrong, and decided how all the wrong things should have been done. Then I put it back together. The result wasn't much like the original, but it was interesting. And that's when my agent called to say that while there was some very interesting stuff in the box I'd sent him, none of those really looked anything like a potential bestseller.
'Well, how about this, then,' I said, and I briefly outlined my drastically reworked version of the novel I had just read. It was all right there in my head, since I'd just come up with it.
'That I could sell,' he said.
He was right. It took me two years to actually write the novel, and it mutated even further -- there are a few elements of that other novel still recognizable, but only a few. Touched by the Gods took on a life of its own. So did Malledd and the Domdur Empire. I'm pretty well pleased with the result
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Enjoyed it, as I do most of his works. The specially chosen hero who seeks normalcy is a nice change from more common fantasy tropes.
I was very disappointed after reading this one. Excitement in this story is scarce, and reading is laborious. Even though the story is predictable, I thought that it would still be a gripping story. The plot had promise, but simply put, it just didn't deliver.