I read this a few years ago, I think it was written in the '90s or later. The style is Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth (well, to me). The name of the author might be similar, too.

The story revolves around the prince of a medieval-type kingdom, one of over ten in an area of fragile peace. The people (of all the kingdoms) are waiting for a warrior(?) to reveal himself as some sort of 'Chosen One' with a special name. There are hints that the protagonist might be him, but it later seems he does not have one of the foretold requisites (something to do with his birth?). At the end of the first book, after a huge battle, the prince's father dies but the prince loses his kingdom because the majority of the warlords saw his battlefield behaviour (incorrectly) as unbecoming.

The second book tells of how the prince, in the company of a small band of followers, including his wine-loving friend, Marat (or Marad) travels looking for that ‘leader’ or something.

I only got partway through the second book but am curious to read the rest. Could someone identify the series for me, please?

  • If you return, please accept Dai's answer, since you said it was the correct one in the comments. – FuzzyBoots Nov 29 '16 at 13:37

This could be David Zindell's Ea Cycle series, been a while since I read it but everything you asked in your question ticks a box if my memory is right

1. The Lightstone: The Ninth Kingdom (2001)

The world of Ea is an ancient world settled in eons past by the Star People. However, their ancestors floundered, in their purpose to create a great stellar civilisation on the new planet: they fell into moral decay. Now a champion has been born who will lead them back to greatness, by means of a spiritual -- and adventurous -- quest for Ea's Grail: the Lightstone. His name is Valashu Elahad, and he is destined to become King. Blessed (or cursed?) with an empathy for all living things, he will lead his people into the lands of Morjin, into the heart of darkness, wielding a magical sword called Alkadadur, there to recover the mythical Lightstone and return in triumph with his prize. But Morjin is not to be vanquished so easily...

2. The Silver Sword (2002)

3. The Lord of Lies (2003)

4. Black Jade (2005)

5. The Diamond Warriors (2007)

There is a character named Maram as per the Goodreads summary.

.... Valashu Elahad, the seventh and youngest Valeri prince of Mesh takes faithful Maram on a quest and discovers truths about friendship, courage, and love.

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    Do we have a character called Marat or Marad? – Valorum Mar 9 '15 at 6:59
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    Character called Maram, though I had to look it up...as I said been years since I read the series – Dai Mar 10 '15 at 4:15
  • Don't forget to add that to the answer! – Valorum Mar 10 '15 at 11:44
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    OMG! That's IT!! That IT!!! Thanks a lot, guys! 8 months and I thought I was never gonna find out. I tried all sorts of queries on Google, but 'Marad' instead of 'Maram' meant I never got anywhere. I just tried a simple search with 'Maram drinking wine castle' and there it is... Thanks so much again! :D – user29072 Mar 17 '15 at 14:50

This is maybe a bit of a stretch, but it could be Glen Cook's Dread Empire series, specifically the 4th and 5th books, The Fire in his Hands and With Mercy Toward None, which are prequels to the earlier books. They have a major character called 'El Murid' who is initially a young boy who you think is going to be the chosen one, but it later turns out to be someone else.

They have a sort of middle-eastern setting with lots of deserts and nomads and the like.

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