To save his people, he may have to destroy the one thing that protects them . . . his own magic.
Devlin of Duncaer has retrieved the Sword of Light—the legendary weapon of the Chosen One. But while Devlin was fulfilling his sacred quest, dark forces have swarmed the royal court. To defend his country’s borders, the ambitious Jorskain king, Olafur, strikes a demon’s bargain with an ancient adversary. Now, with the Sword of Light in enemy hands, and betrayed by those he loyally served, Devlin is imprisoned, tortured, and rumored dead.
While Devlin’s adopted countrymen mourn his loss, Jorsk comes under full-scale attack. Battling for his life, Devlin must escape his captors and amass his own ragtag army. But the ruthless invaders threatening to overrun Devlin and his allies are only the first wave of attack. And this time Devlin may have to sacrifice everything to save his people from a battle that will make Armageddon itself look like a mere dress rehearsal. . . .
Devlin of Duncaer is the Chosen One, champion of the Kingdom of Jorsk. A simple metalsmith and farmer turned warrior, he has become the most unlikely of heroes to the conquerors of his own people, the Caerfolk. Yet there is a growing faction of Jorskians who believe that if he were truly anointed as Chosen One by the Gods, then the immortals would have given him the Sword of Light as proof of his calling.
Missing for generations, the sword is more myth than reality. But Devlin knows where to find it. Lost in battle after the Jorskians’ brutal massacre of Caerfolk, it has remained in Duncaer, a souvenir of one of the land’s darkest days.
Feeling more than ever a pawn of fate—and a plaything of the Gods who drive him—Devlin must return to the land of his birth, back to the people who have denounced him. For he is bound by an oath he has no choice but to obey…a promise he may have to die to keep.
A desperate man in a dying kingdom is awarded the most coveted—and most deadly—choice of all
The once mighty kingdom of Jorsk is in decline, its borders beset by enemies, both worldly and otherworldly. The king has retreated to the capital, abandoning the far-flung provinces. The only hope of the people lies in their Chosen One, blessed by the gods as defender of the realm. But of late every Chosen One has died, targeted by the harshest of the enemy attacks.
Only the most desperate of men now seek that post. Devlin Stonehand is a desperate man. Overwhelmed by grief at the death of his family, he has lost the will to live. But he has vowed to provide for his brother’s widow and children, and the post of the Chosen One carries with it a substantial reward.
For Devlin, a farmer and metalsmith, it is the answer to his prayers—prayers that include a yearning for the oblivion of death. After he has won the post, though, Devlin discovers that sometimes the hardest goal to achieve is that which had once seemed the simplest. For unlike the other Chosen Ones, he persists in surviving. Are the gods just tormenting him further, or does he have a greater destiny than he imagined? Can a man who courts death ever truly come to embrace life?