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I remember reading many fantasy adventure books in the early '80s. Would have been a book checked out of the library (either public or school). And this might have been part of a trilogy or set of books.

The boy who would be the hero ends up in a forest and discovers a finger bone hidden in a tree. The finger turns out to belong to the bad guy - probably a wizard - who has hidden his soul or life force in the finger. (Yes, very much like the Horcrux idea from Harry Potter.) The bad guy thinks he is invincible, but the boy discovers the connection and defeats the bad guy.

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It is possibly Taran Wanderer from the The Chronicles of Prydain

From Wikipedia

Taran Wanderer (1967) is a high fantasy novel by American writer Lloyd Alexander, the fourth of five volumes in The Chronicles of Prydain. The series follows Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper, as he nears manhood while helping to resist the forces of Arawn Death-Lord.

The story follows Taran as he "wanders" with Gurgi, but without most of his former companions from the other Chronicles. He searches for his noble or common lineage in the eastern regions of Prydain, far from both the realm and forces of Arawn and the demesne of the High King.[a] Along the way, he meets many people, learns new skills and crafts, and confronts some rough characters.

In the story Taran encounters the magician Morda who claims to be immortal since he had put his life into a fingerbone and hidden it.

Morda turns Fflewddur and Gurgi into a hare and a mouse, but fails to transform Taran. Taran deduces that the bone splinter Kaw found is Morda's little finger, in which he has stored his own life force to attain immortality and then cut off of his hand to keep it safe. As he and Morda struggle over the bone, Morda inadvertently snaps it, causing his own death and ending the spell which transformed the companions.

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    Yes, this is it. Somehow disconnected that Taran was the boy. Being a young teen at the time reading these, I was subjected to book availability from the libraries. Throw in the (then new) David Eddings books and the (then new) Westmark trilogy and they all begin to melt together. Thank you for reminding me. Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 19:28

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