I have almost nothing to go on... I vaguely remember the villain's name starting with a k, and maybe something about a skull. The villain's name might also start with an s, and have a k in the name, and be what's making me think of a skull. At the end of the book the main character, who is either a man or boy, has to disguise his thoughts about somebody because the villain is asking him about them, and can sense his thoughts or read his mind. It seems like he pictures a girl riding somewhere on a horse. I'm pretty sure there were some sci-fi elements as well as fantasy. I think it was a series, and that the book I'm thinking of may have been the fourth one. For some reason I thought the books were by Ursula k leguin, but none of them seem to match. I have a vague memory of the villain being called a warlock, or a warlord? And something about a bird...either he could he change into a bird, or use a bird to spy on people. Not completely sure about that but that's all I've got!

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    Welcome to the site. You have a good start here. If you could take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit in any more details, that would be great. Every little bit helps us. – amflare Jan 18 '18 at 15:13
  • Is it possible it might be from the Witch World series? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_World – Chris Sunami supports Monica Jan 18 '18 at 17:19
  • Parts of the question made me think immediately of the Fionavar Tapestry - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fionavar_Tapestry, I read these years ago. Perhaps the villains name beginning with K was mixed with the author Guy Gavriel Kay? I think the ending is similar iirc. – Alith Jan 18 '18 at 21:08
  • I don't think it's any of the Witch World books...but something along those same lines. It's for sure not the Fionavar Tapestry. Thanks though! – dsm Jan 18 '18 at 22:24
  • I found myself wondering about Christopher Stasheff's stories about the Gallowglass family, which began with The Warlock in Spite of Himself. That has a certain mixture of "magic" and "science," with many (but not all) of the witches and warlocks in the stories having "psychic" abilities to provide a pseudo-scientific explanation of their incredible powers (telepathy, telekinesis, etc.), but with honest-to-goodness magic popping up from time to time (parallel universes, and all that). Can't swear that I remember one with a boy having visions of a girl riding on a horse, though. – Lorendiac Jan 19 '18 at 2:43

It could be the last book of David Eddings' The Belgariad series, Enchanters End Game - It fills a number of your requirements:

  1. The villain's name is Kal Torak
  2. The main character, an upper teens boy, is trying to confuse the villain (who is trying to enter his mind) with thoughts of his (future) wife - who, in other scenes, is riding a horse.
  3. This is the 5th book out of 5, not the 4th...but close.
  4. One of the other main characters will often shapeshift into the the form of an owl.

Even if it isn't what you were thinking of - I recommend the series, they're fun and easy fantasy reads.

  • It's definitely not Enchanter's End Game... I did a quick read through to be sure. The book I'm thinking of is a sci-fi and fantasy hybrid. Thanks for the suggestion anyway! – dsm Jan 26 '18 at 6:31

In le Guin's Earthsea series the name the wizard Ged uses is Sparrowhawk, in the first book, one of the things they learn is seeing trough the eyes of a bird. In Tombs of Atuan he and the priestess have to hide their thoughts from the "gods" she used to serve. In Furthest shore he has to hide his thoughts from the eldest dragon named Kalessin, and later from Cob, and I'm not sure, but he might have had a flashback of the girl riding on a horse, so maybe your original thought was correct?

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