I read the first third of a book around 2010. It is my opinion however that it was not a newly-published book at the time, rather something slightly older, maybe from the early 2000s or 1990s.

The book is a fantasy book and one of the few things I can remember is that the main character uses a rapier as a weapon. Some of the story parts I remember are that very near the beginning of the book (maybe even the first thing) the character escapes from a woman's chambers. Later in the book the main character fights in some sort of gladiatorial arena and the last part of the book that I remember is after that he is auctioned off to a rich woman. I also remember one rather strange scene where this woman tells him that witches use menstrual blood for certain magic spells and potions (love potions, I believe).

Also one thing of note is that I read the book in German so it might be that this is a book by a German-speaking author.

Since this book seems to be very unknown, I have tried to think of some more details from the book and decided to write them here.

  • The arena I mentioned is in a rather large city of some sort, not out in the wild as I would imagine from Conan.
  • The auction is held directly after a fight in the arena, and I remember it was related with the fight that had just taken place, although I don't remember the exact reason for the auction.
  • There was another character in the book that I remember, a young woman. It was implied that she and the main character maybe knew each other, maybe even that they had been lovers before. She also tries to buy him at the auction (i.e buy his freedom) but she fails to win the auction. The women also had some sort of magical powers.

The part in the arena is a relatively small part of the book; it is just the part I remember the most so I am going with that.

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    I have read there was a fantasy novel by L. Sprague de Camp (1907-2000) in which the protagonist used a rapier to kill armored knights by stabbing them through the slits in their helmets. Thus it is possible the book is 50 years older than you think and translated into English. – M. A. Golding Feb 9 '18 at 14:38
  • And the "auctioned to a rich woman" sounds like Conan ;o) are you sure it was a rapier? – Will Crawford Feb 10 '18 at 18:35
  • Thanks for the suggestions. From what I member stabbing people through the helmets is never mentioned. Also I am pretty sure it was not Conan. From what I remember the main character was quite civilized in the beginning i.e. there is not mention of barbaric tribes or other things I would associate with Conan. – Retrus Feb 12 '18 at 13:59
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    I remember this. The viewpoint character is his sidekick. I think the guy with the rapier is named Elak. I think I read the first part of this in a Lin Carter edited fantasy anthology back in the '80's. Lemme see if I can find it. ETA: It looks like Elak of Atlantis was by Henry Kuttner. – zeta-band Feb 16 '18 at 17:33
  • With the rapier and "quite civilized" character, sounds like it could be a "mannerpunk" novel. – eshier Apr 15 '18 at 19:32

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