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I'm trying to figure out a fantasy series I read in the early to mid 90's. It wasn't The Belgariad or Eye of the World but it is so similar that I forget its name.

A young simple boy gets caught up in in a quest. He is taught by a sorceress with a badass bodyguard. They are attacked by shadow-like creatures at an inn early on in the story. I remember something about red and white ribbons tied to peoples swords denoting which royal house they supported in one of the towns they travelled through…

Vague, I know. Help?

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That's almost certainly The Eye of the World, despite what you said. In Chapter 35, Rand and Mat reach the city of Caemlyn, which is crowded by people either loyal to the Queen, wearing red ribbons on their sword-hilts, or those loyal to the crown but not the queen, wearing white.

What makes you feel it's not The Eye of the World? The time frame matches, the elements you cite are almost a perfect fit - the colors on the sword-hilts, the sorceress and badass bodyguard (Moiraine and Lan) and the attack on Emond's Field, which starts at the inn, even the usage of Shadowspawn to refer to the monsters attacking.

  • Because I'm an idiot! Like I said, I read it a long time ago, but I figured it couldn't have been that series because I thought myself more well versed in it than I actually am. – poisonfox May 19 '13 at 17:16
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    @poisonfox Don't forget to accept the answer if it's correct. – K-H-W May 28 '13 at 2:30
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The book you are describing is clearly Eye of the World, the first book in the Wheel of Time series. The young boy is Rand al'Thor, the sorceress is Moiraine, an Aes Sedai, and the "badass bodyguard" is her Warder, Lan Mandragoran. In Baerlon (chapter 17) they are attacked by a Fade (Myrdraal), Shadowspawn that resembles humans but has no eyes.

Rand and Mat later arrives in Caemlyn (chapter 35) where people wear red or white cloth to show their allegiance. Those loyal to the queen, Morgase Trakand, wear red cloth and those that side with the Whitecloaks (e.g. is against the queen) wear white cloth.

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    I suppose I need to reread the series then...That explains why I thought it was SO much like Eye of the World then! LOL Thanks! – poisonfox May 19 '13 at 17:10

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