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Legend of Ethshar Books In Order

Publication Order of Legend of Ethshar Books

The Misenchanted Sword (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
With a Single Spell (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Unwilling Warlord (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Blood of a Dragon (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Taking Flight (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spell of the Black Dagger (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Night of Madness (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ithanalin's Restoration (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spriggan Mirror (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Vondish Ambassador (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Unwelcome Warlock (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sorcerer's Widow (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Relics of War (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stone Unturned (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Nightmare People (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tales of Ethshar (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Legend of Ethshar Series by Lawrence Watt-Evans is a set of science fiction novels that have been compared to the JRR Tolkien novels. Watt-Evans was the fourth of six children born in Arlington Massachusetts, where he first developed his love for writing. He went to Bedford High School before attending and dropping out of Princeton. It was after he had dropped out of Princeton that he thought he would try his hand at writing. He published his first novel “The Lure of the Basilisk” in 1980 and has been a full time author ever since. He initially submitted his novels under a pseudonym because he did not want to be confused with Lawrence Evans the fiction author, but decided to hyphenate his name to differentiate it. As one of the most eminent fantasy and science fiction authors, he has served as the treasurer and Eastern Regional Director of Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of America, and president of the Horror Writers Association. He has dabbled in online serials with “The Spriggan Mirror” of the Ethshar series, one of the most notable of his novels to be released in the format. He has also published the “Annals of the Chosen Trilogy,” “The Fall of the Sorcerers” Series and the Ethshar Short Stories.

The Ethshar series grew from the role playing game world of Ethshar created by Lawrence Watt-Evans. These are fantastic free standing novels that do not have to be read in any particular order as they have different characters and story lines. Moreover, the scope of the novels is personal as opposed to cosmic. The series is loosely modeled on the economic and political aspects of the Roman Empire of the 2nd century AD. Ethshar itself refers to the three largest cities that control the social, political and economic life in the worlds. The three cities are the Ethshar of the Rocks, Ethshar of the Sands and Ethshar of the Spices that together make the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars. Old Ethshar is found in the southeast of the three Ethshars. The old city had been involved in a generations old war with the Northern Empire and had been Balkanized into hundreds of statelets as the Great War came to an end. Aside from humans, the world has other intelligent beings including vampires, warlocks, and dragons, among other races. The world does not seem to be located on any planet but is on a cylindrical plane surrounded by a noxious yellow glass. As compared to other worlds, the world has different varieties of magic most of which come with their own laws. Some of the wizardry is strong enough to create other worlds, while the telekinesis of the warlocks is more of science fiction than fantasy.

“The Misenchanted Sword” the first novel of the Ethshar series is about Valder, a scout of Ethshar that has been trapped behind enemy lines after an offensive by the Northern Alliance. He is now being hunted by the enemy column that may possibly include a demon warrior, a shatra, and a wizard, which is probably more than any man could handle. He takes refuge with a hermit but the enemy destroys the hermit’s abode and all his supplies. But the hermit is a wizard who has powerful magic that protects their lives from the vindictive Northern alliance patrol. While he is thankful to be alive, Valder is still tens of miles behind enemy lines and he has only a sling and sword to defend himself with. The wizard comes to his rescue by casting an enchantment over his sword giving it the name Wirikidor. It is now up to Valder to discover the nature of the enchantment as he sets out. It is a blade that is both misenchanted and cursed and he learns that once he unsheathes it, it is impossible for it to come back without having drawn blood and killed. It is powerful enough to enhance his swordsmanship, that he is powerful enough to defeat dragons and demons once it has drawn their blood. The power of his enchanted sword is what helps him traverse enemy lines and back home to safety. However, the Wizards have learned of the power of his sword and want to take it away from him if they can, which just makes his life more complicated.

“With a Single Spell” the second novel of the Ethshar series is about Tobas, a country wizard who travels to Ethshar. None of the wizards in Ethshar want to work with him and he decides to go on a dragon killing mission for the reward of a princess and 1000 pieces of gold. But some of the adventurers are not willing to go on a quest as they believe the reward is too paltry or the dragons too difficult. They think they can loot the castle treasury and just get the reward instead. But they soon learn that the castle of the Small Kingdom of Dwomor is quite drafty and dreary. Meanwhile, Tobas is finding out that the dragon may not be that easy to kill and when most of his party leave, it is left to him to the albino warrior to continue the mission. Looting an abandoned castle, they stumble upon a tapestry that transports them to another dimension. There Tobas finds a love interest and tons of spells to practice on once his tapestry spell malfunctions leaving him stranded in the new world. He finally comes back and defeats the dragon, which means he is owed a reward. But the problem is Tobas already has a wife and insists that he just wants the money and not the princess he was promised if he finished the quest.

“The Unwilling Warlord”, the third novel of the series is about Sterren who is bad at almost everything except for dice. But even his exceptional gambling skills are due to the fact that he is a warlock. With nothing of significance in his life, he is tempted to join a band of foreigners that declare him their long lost warlord. They believe that he was heir to a powerful warlord and want him to come back and lead them in battle. Going away seems like it would a good and interesting adventure but he needs time to think about it. His new benefactors do not have time to wait and kidnap him forcing him to learn a new language, take on an incompetent and bitter king, make do with insufficient resources and overcome bad odds at war. As a noble, he has a masochistic sense of duty and a morbid sense of curiosity, which are the only things that prevent him from sneaking away and going back home to what is more familiar. Moreover, he had grown to love being a Warlord and if the country was lost so was his title and new life. If he wins he would shape Ethshar forever, and for this reason he never gives up.

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