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Soldier of Arete

Latro: Book 2

Gene Wolfe

Of all mortals Latro was the least favoured - or the most. The wound that had destroyed his memory had given him the ability to see the unseen: the world of the gods, the demi-gods and the fabulous.

The Children of Llyr

Mabinogi: Book 2

Evangeline Walton

In stark, gaunt prose, it chronicles the years of Bran the Blessed - he who was so vast a man that no house could hold him nor ship bear his bulk - and of the tale of his beloved sister Branwen, his brother Manawyddan, and of his half-brothers Nissyen and the ghastly Evnissten. It is a tale of change and storm, of love beyond death, of high courage, of the end of an era - and the beginning of another. It is epic fantasy in its purest form - marvellous in its compass and power.

The Sword in the Stone

The Once and Future King: Book 1

T. H. White

Growing up in a colorful world peopled by knights in armor and fair damsels, foul monsters and evil witches, young Arthur slowly learns the code of being a gentleman. Under the wise guidance of Merlin, the all-powerful magician for whom life progresses backwards, the king-to-be is trained in the gusty pursuits of falconry, jousting, hunting and sword play. He is even transformed by his remarkable old tutor into various animals, so that he may experience life from all points of view. In every conceivable and exciting way he is readied for the day when he, and he alone of all Englishmen, is destined to draw forth the marvelous sword from the magic stone and become the rightful King of England.

Hrolf Kraki's Saga

Poul Anderson

Born of a treacherous love union, Hrolf Kraki rose to wild Norseland power in a storm of sorcery, blood... and glory!

Hrolf Kraki's magnificent saga is the story of an age of runes and ravishments, of blades and omens... and of a man who ruled and was ruled by an inescapable destiny.

The Song of Rhiannon

Mabinogi: Book 3

Evangeline Walton

A retelling of "The Mabinogion" in novel form. Manawydon finally unites with Rhiannon - an aspect of the Goddess - but his happiness is shaken by the appearance of the Gray Man, who seeks vengeance against the living and especially against one who would claim the Goddess.

The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

The Paladin

C. J. Cherryh

The Lord Saukendar, Imperial sword master and stalwart supporter of the Emperor is betrayed, falsely accused of an affair with his childhood sweetheart Lady Meiya, now the Emperor's wife. Meiya is dead, and hostile forces have command of the Emperor's regency. Wounded, desperate and cut off from his supporters, Saukendar runs for the border.

In a homemade cabin high in the hills Saukendar survives crippled and alone, his warhorse Jiro and his regrets his only company, while the empire is bled by the rapacious warlords that are regent to the Emperor. Only occasional assassins dispatched by the Regent disturb his morose existence.

Taizu, a country girl from Hua locates him, demands he teach her sufficient swordsmanship to extract her revenge for her people's suffering. Despite his better judgment and strenuous efforts to discourage her, she forces him to take her on as apprentice swordswoman. Shoka, as he prefers to be known to his friends, becomes fond of the girl.

In the process of teaching her and supporting her cause, they become embroiled in the affairs of empire, becoming the spearhead of a revolt that rescues the Emperor from his Regent and his people from the clutches of the warlords.

The Penelopiad

Canongate Myth: Book 2

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, "I've chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesn't hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I've always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself." One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.