Forgotten Bookfilter Yet Again
June 15, 2018 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Another book long forgotten. I've been trying to remember this one for years to no avail, and have been meaning to make this ask since I first saw it done. Also, I have my suspicions that it might be a little skeevy or problematic, I was 14 when I read it so my memory isn't great though.

So here's what I remember:
- empire or vast kingdom
-epic fantasy, I believe, although magic seemed subtle
- one of a series that may have gotten a lot more magical,
- the magic was something the protagonists mate did, at the end to do with a blood sacrifice of many soldiers
- at the beginning, the protagonist went to cavalry school I think, maybe on a commission bought by his father's old war friend
- the protagonist goes on a journey to some smaller country to be a guard or military attache or something to the ambassador, who is the magician from before I think
- something goes wrong and the embassy evacuates and many die in the the cold and raids as they trudge back to their country
- something about a great circle of life perhaps, with people being born and reborn
- a duel happens at some point
- the magician becomes some sort of advisor to or member of a ruling council of I believe 9? Or just a factional leader?
- there's massive riots and revolution of some kind, the cavalry officer protagonist sides somehow with magician/ambassador/politician
- those riots may well propel the politician to power although I think maybe provisional power at that stage
- towards the very end of the novel, the cavalry officer must climb a crack in the cliff of a very difficult to take fortress and open the gates or something from inside? Possibly instead leave a magic thingy that kills everyone inside?
- the crack was made by concerted efforts by magicians with lightning storms to break the fortress, or was the crack all they were trying for all along?
- an air of mystery all the time, all though due to my youth it may have been far less subtle than I think. The magician guy is implicated in lots of things but they don't outright say it, it's implied I think that he's engineering an awful lot of what goes on
- I believe the book was setting up the Magician man to be Emperor in the future/future books and the cavalry officer protagonist to be one of his generals

I think that's everything I remember. Unfortunately it's been like 5 years of trying to remember this book, so those memories may have been reshaped slightly over time. Details may well be wrong, but I hope there's enough regardless.
I would appreciate it if anyone happened to know what this book is.
posted by AnhydrousLove to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds a lot like Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy.
posted by Etrigan at 8:47 PM on June 15, 2018

Harry Turtledove's Videssos books, starting with a Roman legion and a Celt war leader being sent to a magical land?
posted by Jacen at 8:48 PM on June 15, 2018

An even better bet is Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trillogy, where a cavalry officer with divided loyalties fights the more nature loving "Specks"'s_Crossing
posted by Jacen at 8:58 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've read First Law and it definitely isn't Videssos or Robin Hobb. Ta though.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 10:11 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is most definitely the Seer King, by Chris Bunch. I quite like trilogy, for what it's worth, and think it's refreshingly free of the usual "only this poor peasant child and collection of motley misfits can save the world" angst and has some decent politicking and world building.
posted by ninazer0 at 11:06 PM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: That's the one! Thanks very much, I've been trying to remember it for so long. :)
posted by AnhydrousLove at 6:24 AM on June 16, 2018

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