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I'm struggling to remember/identify a fantasy story I read, probably 10+ years ago.

From memory, it was written in first person narrative and/or memoir style. The protagonist went through various stages, at one stage he was in an army (commander and/or conscript, maybe both at different times). At other stages he retreats from the world until events drag him back. I recall the stories spanning multiple kingdoms, there is a period where he is travelling with an army on horseback.

There were some adult themes (violence, sex etc). It may have been a stand-alone novel but I seem to recall it being a trilogy. I may be confused due to the various stages, or periods, of the book.

IIRC the last chapter or two was written from another characters point of view - the main character was going into a final battle and it gave the story added tension as it was unclear whether he was going to survive or not.

  • Any more details? – Dima Sep 18 '12 at 13:24
  • This wouldn't be Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga, would it? – Mr Lister Sep 19 '12 at 6:45
  • Dima - no specific other details that I can recall. This is why I am finding it so hard to find the book/series! – Glyn Sep 22 '12 at 9:27
  • Mr Lister - it's not the Riftwar Saga, at least not the first three. Maybe it was one of the later ones, I'll have a look. That reminds me that I am due to read the Riftwar Saga again, and catch up on the new novels R. E. Feist has written - it has been a few years. – Glyn Sep 22 '12 at 9:29
  • is there magic and if so do you recall any of how it worked? – Kate Gregory Jun 2 '13 at 14:47
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The description made me think of Chris Bunch's "Seer King" trilogy (THE SEER KING is the first part in a major new fantasy trilogy in the vein of Raymond Feist and David Gemmell. It begins the epic drama of a wizard-emperor, the kingdom he rises to lead and then almost destroy, and the men who served him and the women who loved him. The wizard is Laish Tenedos, a man who despises the fragmented kingdom of Numantia, and is determined to bring it back to its former glory - with himself on the throne. His best friend, and the teller of this tale, is Damastes a Cimabue, his bravest officer and most skilled cavalryman. Together they will fight magic and demon-led conspiracy in their struggle to bring peace to Numantia and Damastes will not only rise to the highest ranks of command, but will find the heights - and depths - of love.)- quote from Amazon.

  • Olaf, I think that is it. Read some reviews online and it rings bells. Not sure the stories are as good as I member them, but I'll find a copy and see. Thanks! – Glyn Jun 29 '13 at 1:52
  • You're welcome. They're not brilliant books, but have a few good bits. The first person and adult themes parts are what convinced me that I may have sent you on the right track. Enjoy! – Olaf Meys Jun 30 '13 at 9:39
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What you describe could refer to The First Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny (The Corwin cycle).

Corwin, the main character, leads an army at one point, and he travels through different parallel worlds (shadows of the First World called Amber). When you begin reading the books, Corwin is not sure of who he is and he spends some time discovering his name and his nature. He also spends time imprisoned in a dungeon by his brother Eric. Wikipedia

From your description I don't think it's likely to be Amber, but it just might be :)

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It sounds a bit like Michael Moorcock's Hawkmoon books - at the start of the first series (The History of the Runestaff), Hawkmoon is captured by his enemies and has a device implanted in his skill, with which they intend to force him to work for them; subsequently, he becomes one of the commanders of their enemies.

At the start of the second series (the Chronicles of Castle Brass) he has withdrawn from the world; however, events serve to draw him back in, leading to an eventual conclusion to Moorcock's Eternal Champion cycle.

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