The once mighty kingdom of Jorsk is in decline, its borders beset by enemies, both worldly and otherworldly. The king has retreated to the capital, abandoning the far-flung provinces. The only hope of the people lies in their Chosen One, blessed by the gods as defender of the realm. But of late every Chosen One has died, targeted by the harshest of the enemy attacks.
Only the most desperate of men now seek that post. Devlin Stonehand is a desperate man. Overwhelmed by grief at the death of his family, he has lost the will to live. But he has vowed to provide for his brother’s widow and children, and the post of the Chosen One carries with it a substantial reward.
For Devlin, a farmer and metalsmith, it is the answer to his prayers—prayers that include a yearning for the oblivion of death. After he has won the post, though, Devlin discovers that sometimes the hardest goal to achieve is that which had once seemed the simplest. For unlike the other Chosen Ones, he persists in surviving. Are the gods just tormenting him further, or does he have a greater destiny than he imagined? Can a man who courts death ever truly come to embrace life?
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|Title of History eBook: Devlin's Luck||Series: The Sword of Change, , #1|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Bantam Books|
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|Parent title||Devlin's Luck|
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Chapter OneThe stranger entered Kingsholm on the third and final day of the midsummer festival. Lesser versions of the festival were celebrated throughout the Kingdom of Jorsk, but here in the capital city, the residents threw themselves into the celebration with an almost maniacal glee.
There was much to celebrate. Under the wise leadership of King Olafur, the residents of Kingsholm had enjoyed another year of peace and prosperity. Only the most bitter and contrary of the elders tried to dampen the celebration by pointing out that in times not so long ago peace and prosperity had been enjoyed throughout the Kingdom. Now, scarce a month went by that they did not hear tales of hardship from the distant corners of Jorsk, stories of failed harvests, attacking marauders, or uncanny plagues. But since these evils had yet to touch the lives of those who lived in the capital, they were deemed of little consequence.
At first the stranger, too, appeared of little consequence. He might have been any trader or farmer, come to Kingsholm to take part in the great celebration. But he did not mingle with the crowds, instead passing through them as if they held no power to touch him.
Devlin Stonehand regarded the celebrating townsfolk with a mix of impatience and dismay. In other circumstances he would have chosen to wait outside the city for another day, until the festival was concluded. But the choice was not his. Without coin in his pocket there was no inn where he could sleep or tavern that would feed him. He had not eaten in two days, and now he had a choice between begging in the streets or going forward to discover whatever fate awaited hi...