The Reluctant Swordsman by Dave Duncan download in pdf, ePub, iPad
Basically we have an ancient temple to the Goddess, a military barracks guarding it and a city servicing the religious establishment. Another element that makes the story closer in style to the classic high fantasy epics of Tolkien et Co. He was about to turn away when the man spoke.
Along the sides of the wide nave stood the shrines of lesser gods and goddesses, and above them the fretted windows blazed in hues of ruby, emerald, amethyst, and gold. He had no doubt what it would be, this day as many before it. But She would hear his prayer and one day She would answer. He curled forward as far as he could.
He must know better, and therefore must have good reason for the impropriety. He would begin, Honakura decided, by guiding a few pilgrims himself. Close by, an ancient crone dropped a gold in the bowl and began entreating the Goddess to cure the agony in her bowels. Many regarded it as a special penance, so the practice was not uncommon among pilgrims coming to the temple. It did explain how he had arrived alive.
With forehead covered and wearing only black, like a beggar, anyone could become a Nameless One. For a swordsman of any rank it was almost unthinkable. At once a brown robe was at his side and strong hands assisted him.
This place, before the dais and the idol, was the holy of holies, and while there was no law against conversation or formal saluting here, custom forbade it. The great temple of the Goddess at Hann was not only the richest and oldest building in the World, it was certainly the largest. This was an easy read, fast and engaging with some very well plotted situations highlighting the ethical dillemas arising from the use of violence. But for a lord of the Seventh to reduce his standing in such a way was highly unusual.
Then he recalled this Jannarlu. The story of Wallysmith and of his fellowship is only beginning, and I am looking forward to the next book. He was certainly not the only one of Her servants here to make that prayer each day, yet it was to him that the news had been brought. This was not the Goddess Herself, but merely an image to assist humble mortals in visualizing Her greatness. He strained there for a moment, hearing the quiet chanting of other priests and priestesses nearby as they also made their way through the morning dedication.
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