The Wizard Lord: Volume One of the Annals of the Chosen
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Review by Paul Haggerty
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0765310260
Date: 07 March, 2006 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
From official release/information:
The Wizard Lord by Lawrence Watt-Evans has an interesting twist on the sword and sorcery genre. Magic exists and is very powerful. But it resides in only a small handful of people. And since power corrupts, a system is needed to keep the mages from either conquering the world, or destroying it during their inevitable squabbles. A single mage, the Wizard Lord, is selected and given so much power that he can easily destroy any other wizard (or group of wizards) that get delusions, and at the same time use his powers to make life comfortable for all the people. But since absolute power is even more nifty than just regular power, another check is needed to keep the Wizard Lord in line. These are "The Chosen"; eight men and women imbued with the same elemental magics that empower the Wizard Lord. If the Wizard Lord goes bad, it is their job to take him down. And if any of the Chosen go bad? Well, then it's up to the wizards to deal with them. It's a vicious circle, but one that seems to have worked well for centuries. So when Breaker is offered the position as The Swordsman, by definition the greatest swordsman in the world, he figures that it would be a good deal. There hasn't been a renegade Wizard Lord in over century, so it's not like he'll actually be called on to kill anyone. If he'd read any fantasy, he'd have known better than to give fate such an opportunity.
(Source: Tor Books)