I read a trilogy in the mid-1980s that I would like to read again but cannot remember much about. It is a science fiction/fantasy trilogy by a female author.

About all I really remember is that the last book was about a young man who lost his arm as a child. I can't remember why, but I want to say it was cut off during a raid on his village. I can't remember his name but it started with the letter K, maybe Kel? He had an older brother who was part of some kind of traveling troupe.

I was 14 when I read this and that is about all I remember of it other than that I really liked it and would like to read it again.

  • Science Fiction? Fantasy?
    – Spencer
    Sep 28, 2022 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


I believe you are looking for some of the books in the Riftwar cycle (Specifically the Conclave of Shadows trilogy) by Raymond E. Feist. The books are Talon of the Silver Hawk, King of Foxes, and Exiles Return.

The main protagonist is a young man of the Orisini tribe named Kieli, who sees his village burned and his people slaughtered while he is out on his coming of age naming ritual. During the series he has his lower arm cut off as a punishment (I believe in King of Foxes), but to reveal more would be major spoilers throughout the series.

There are quite a few books both before and after this series, and the final books are still yet to be published. Although I am a bit confused on your timeline, as this trilogy wasn't published until 2004. The original Riftwar books (Magician:Apprentice, Magician:Master, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon) were the mid 80's.

  • 2
    And the OP mentions a female author. Now Raymond E. Feist is not a female himself, but some of the books in this universe were co-written by Janny Wurts.
    – Mr Lister
    Sep 19, 2013 at 20:02
  • 1
    True. I missed that (the female author) the first time around. The Empire series is the one that he co-authored IIRC.
    – JohnP
    Sep 20, 2013 at 4:07

So, not a lot of hits here in terms of the extra details, but this is nearly a decade old without an accepted answer.

Paradox, by John Meaney.

The main protagonist is Tom Corcorigan, his arm is cut off as punishment early in the first book and over the course of the trilogy he has it replaced and removed a couple of times. The overall background is Sci-Fi/Fantasy. It's a feudal society, that appears to be an isolated remnant of a space faring civilization where "pilots" are the stuff of legend.

There's no older brother, but if I recall correctly Tom spends some time passing himself off as a travelling performer.

It was originally published 2001, so a bit outside the timeframe specified.

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