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The Honourable Barbarian

L. Sprague deCamp

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Fiction, Fantasy

From a winner of the Hugo, World Fantasy and SFWA Grand Master awards

The Whims of Destiny

Jorian, the one-time unbeheaded king, was now safely retired from a long career of getting into trouble. But his younger brother Kerin lacked such wisdom. The outraged father of Adeliza had caught him in compromising circumstances with the maiden. So Kerin had to be sent at once on a mission by sea to the Far East.

But Kerin's talent for trouble was not to be denied. First came Belinka, a sprite sent by Adeliza to bring him back safe for her. The ship captain believed Kerin was seducing his mistress. Though innocent this time, Kerin left hastily in a rowboat. That got him to a hermit-wizard's island - and a voyage on a pirate ship, where the kidnapped princess Nogiri was held captive. Kerin was unable to save her - until he gained the help of the hermit-wizard, who then betrayed him by seizing the girl and fleeing with her to be used as a human sacrifice.

From then on, events became hectic as Kerin managed to save Nogiri again, helped by a wizard who was the enemy of the first one. Belinka was much distressed by what happened then between Kerin and Nogiri - with cause - as they set out again, this time to the Emperor of the Farthest East.

There Kerin discovered more magic, and the Emperor learned that no man should be absentminded when using a powerful spell. But it was later that Kerin discovered the limitations of roller skates.

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L. Sprague deCamp

Lyon Sprague de Camp was born in 1907 and died in 2000. During a writing career that spanned seven decades, he wrote over a hundred books in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. Although arguably best known for his continuation of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, de Camp was an important figure in the formative period of modern SF, alongside the likes of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, and was a winner of the Hugo, World Fantasy Life Achievement and SFWA Grand Master awards.

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