bastard_king_the

Bastard King, The

by Harry Turtledove

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Synopsis

Lost for more than four hundred years, the Scepter of Mercy lies beyond the reach of the kingdom of Avornis, in the lands corrupted by the Banished One. Cast from heavens to an earthy exile, the Banished One seeks to use the scepter to reclaim his godhood. But the intertwined destiny of the two very different men may interfere with his ascension...

Lanius is the only son of King Mergus of Avornis. But he is the son of the king's seventh wife - and therefore illegitimate in the eyes of church and state. After the king's death, the council of regents takes advantage of the irregular succession to use young Lanius as their figurehead while they rule behind the scenes.

Grus is a captain in the King's navy, a man of common origins, as well as common sense. He is charged with guarding Avornis' border against her enemies - including those who live in thrall of the Banished One. He's watched his homeland weaken under careless rulers - and fears for the future as disturbing visions torment his dreams.

Now both Lanius and Grus must decide what's best for the kingdom - before the influence of the Banished One spreads to their people as well.

And so begins the quest for the Scepter of Mercy...

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