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Seventh Decimate
Cover of Seventh Decimate
Seventh Decimate
The Great God's War Series, Book 1
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The acclaimed author of the Thomas Covenant Chronicles launches a powerful new trilogy about a prince's desperate quest for a sorcerous library to save his people.
Fire. Wind. Pestilence. Earthquake. Drought. Lightning.
These are the six Decimates, wielded by sorcerers for both good and evil.
But a seventh Decimate exists—the most devastating one of all...
For centuries, the realms of Belleger and Amika have been at war, with sorcerers from both sides harnessing the Decimates to rain blood and pain upon their enemy. But somehow, in some way, the Amikans have discovered and invoked a seventh Decimate, one that strips all lesser sorcery of its power. And now the Bellegerins stand defenseless.

Prince Bifalt, eldest son of the Bellegerin King, would like to see the world wiped free of sorcerers. But it is he who is charged with finding the repository of all of their knowledge, to locate the book of the seventh Decimate—and reverse the fate of his land.

All hope rests with Prince Bifalt. But the legendary library, which may or may not exist, lies beyond an unforgiving desert and treacherous mountains—and beyond the borders of his own experience. Wracked by hunger and fatigue, sacrificing loyal men along the way, Prince Bifalt will discover that there is a game being played by those far more powerful than he could ever imagine. And that he is nothing but a pawn...
The acclaimed author of the Thomas Covenant Chronicles launches a powerful new trilogy about a prince's desperate quest for a sorcerous library to save his people.
Fire. Wind. Pestilence. Earthquake. Drought. Lightning.
These are the six Decimates, wielded by sorcerers for both good and evil.
But a seventh Decimate exists—the most devastating one of all...
For centuries, the realms of Belleger and Amika have been at war, with sorcerers from both sides harnessing the Decimates to rain blood and pain upon their enemy. But somehow, in some way, the Amikans have discovered and invoked a seventh Decimate, one that strips all lesser sorcery of its power. And now the Bellegerins stand defenseless.

Prince Bifalt, eldest son of the Bellegerin King, would like to see the world wiped free of sorcerers. But it is he who is charged with finding the repository of all of their knowledge, to locate the book of the seventh Decimate—and reverse the fate of his land.

All hope rests with Prince Bifalt. But the legendary library, which may or may not exist, lies beyond an unforgiving desert and treacherous mountains—and beyond the borders of his own experience. Wracked by hunger and fatigue, sacrificing loyal men along the way, Prince Bifalt will discover that there is a game being played by those far more powerful than he could ever imagine. And that he is nothing but a pawn...
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  • From the book Nearly two years after the day he had felt himself killed by lightning, and then-impossibly-had lived, the day when Bellegerin rifles had changed the world, Prince Bifalt and his company departed Belleger's Fist without announcement or display. Why risk raising hopes, he had asked his father, when success is hardly imaginable? And King Abbator had agreed. For that reason, there were no trumpets or banners. The company did not pass outward along an aisle of courtiers. The high balconies of the Fist were empty, apart from the King himself, his most trusted counselors, and his lead commanders. None of them waved or shouted encouragement. Some of them were probably swearing to themselves.

    But someone had started a rumor. Stolle, an incurable gossip, may have said something to his new wife, who shared his taste for whispered secrets. He had surely felt compelled to give her some explanation to account for an absence that might not end. Or Captain Swalish's family might have overheard a low remark intended for someone else. In any case, the Open Hand was tinder for rumors. They spread like wildfires.

    When Prince Bifalt left the Fist mounted on his favorite destrier, with his ten guardsmen, two supply-wains, and one former Magister, his road through the Hand was lined with crowds. Belleger's people-most of them failing merchants and tradesmen, destitute serving-folk and farmers, starving beggars and maimed veterans-knew nothing about the Prince's quest. They only knew he would not leave his place at his father's side, or in the army, for any trivial purpose. So they gathered to watch him go. If they guessed he went in search of some nameless power that might save them from Amika, they did not show it. They only watched in silence while he rode between them.

    For his part, Prince Bifalt presented a countenance of resolute confidence. He could not offer hope, but he had no intention of encouraging despair. Shining in his bronze helm and breastplate, both marked with the beleaguered eagle of his homeland, he was the perfect emblem of a soldier who would redeem his people or die. His only concession to a long journey was the silk rather than boiled leather he wore under his armor to avoid chafing. And he had at his back as much support as King Abbator could spare. His ten guardsmen were all veterans, all armed with rifles as well as their more traditional weapons. The wains with their paired oxen carried stores and necessities enough for a season in unfamiliar lands. The oxen were managed by four teamsters chosen for strength and stamina as well as for devotion to their beasts. And the Magister with the company was an older man who had once been mighty, but who still knew a trick or three that might defend the quest from Amikan theurgy.

    In addition, the Prince himself was far from helpless. His training, experience, and weapons were augmented by a chiseled visage, a piercing gaze, an unyielding nature, and the knowledge that his quest was desperate. Also, he loved his people as he loved his father. His homeland was dear to him. There was no man in Belleger better suited to his task than he.

    Nevertheless, his air of confidence was a sham. Behind his faade, uncertainties gnawed at him. He had no map to his destination. Indeed, he had no assurance his destination existed. If he found it, it might not have what he needed. And if what he needed were there, he might not be allowed to use it.

    ...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 21, 2017
    Donaldson (the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series) opens his unremarkable epic fantasy novel, first of a trilogy, with a never-ending war. The countries of Belleger and Amika have fought so long that everyone has forgotten the cause of their enmity. Both sides have sorcerers who cause massive carnage on the battlefield with one of the six rather clichéd powers called Decimates, but Belleger may have eked out an advantage with the advent of the also-rather-clichéd new technology of rifles—until suddenly, sorcery no longer works in Belleger. Certain that Amika is responsible, Prince Bifalt of Belleger goes on a quest to find the rumored seventh Decimate in order to destroy Amika entirely, but the world he ventures into is, of course, larger than he knows or can understand. Donaldson’s plot elements and characters are familiar, but his handling of them is stark, stripped almost down to allegory, which brings a little novelty into the otherwise overused scenes but also leads to flat characters and repetitive moments of moral reflection. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary.

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Seventh Decimate
Seventh Decimate
The Great God's War Series, Book 1
Stephen R. Donaldson
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