I remember that the protagonist (who may be a king) is rallying his people for a war between the magic users and other people, I think.
At one point he meets some will-o-the-wisps and another time he's following where the attacking army has invaded and come up on a town filled with dead bodies. The army that they are trying to stall/fight has a sport they play, which is like football meets death. The king is captured but the antagonist doesn't realise it's him and he is forced to play the sport. He actually is really good at it and rises in the ranks, becoming champion maybe.
I can't remember much more but I really want to finish the books to see how it ends as I only read half of the series.