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This is the next in my series of fantasy novels. The other books (in order) are: Summon Your Dragons The White Fox The Tower of Sheagil Every time I write one of these I think it's the last, this time is no exception, but the ending of this is pretty final. I don't have a clue what I could add after this (but I said that last time).

These books are different from other fantasies I've read. I started out thinking I would write something vaguely like The Lord of the Rings because it's great so why not? But I'm not as interested in Elves and Orcs and even Wizards. I read a Tolkien imitator book (which I won't name) around the time I was thinking of writing the first of mine and decided it was awful, so I wanted to make sure I did something different from that, hopefully better. So what are the differences?

Well, mine are very, very much about people and their thoughts about what is going on. What is going on is definitely fantasy, I get into world building and magic and sword fights. But there are actually almost no sword fights. There is magic, but I like to think it is subtle. Most of the time people don't know it is happening. I do like the huge historical backdrop Tolkien produced so I have maps and histories in appendices. They are never so very important to the story... well they are at times, but you can understand the story without reading them.

A key theme that shows up again and again is the collision between two cultures: Relanese and Vorthenki and how they misunderstand one another. In the first book in particular the Relanese we meet are convinced that the Vorthenki are absolute barbarians... except for the one they know. Racism often works like this. It goes the other way too as, in later books, we see more of the Vorthenki point of view.

I named the overall series The Emperor's Foul Legacy but it would be a spoiler to say exactly why. Sometimes people's actions have repercussions that last a very long time, especially when magic gets involved though whether it was the magic or something else that was the crucial factor there is debatable. Maybe the real lesson is to never choose a con man as your leader.