David Drake's Lord of the Isles series is heroic fantasy, following the adventures of four main characters: Garric, his sister Sharinanote , and their loyal friends Cashel the shepherd and Cashel's twin sister Ilna. Garric has a claim to the throne of the Isles, and the ghost of the last true king advising him (though most of the advice is on the order of: "Don't do what I did; it was a disaster.") Cashel and Ilna have unusual magical abilities; and Sharina is tough, smart, and has a talent for making friends who're Badass enough to help with any threats she can't quite handle on her own. Other key characters include Lady Liane, whose merchant father left her with an information network she's turned into Garric's intelligence service, and Tenoctris the wizard.The magical forces wizards draw upon have a thousand-year cycle; currently, they're reaching a peak, so even the weakest wizard can do mighty things. Unfortunately, most wizards don't understand these forces properly, and tend to do a lot of damage with the side effects of their spells. The last time the forces peaked, the Kingdom of the Isles shattered into squabbling successor states. Tenoctris is a survivor from that disaster. She's not a very powerful wizard. But ... she does understand the forces of magic, and her spells do what she intends them to do, no more or less — making her an absolutely vital resource.
I'd intended to use Atlantis as a setting. Tom [Doherty, Tor's publisher] pointed out that none of the series which had done really well had real-world settings; and OK, Atlantis wasn't exactly real, but—
I don't generally argue with a publisher, especially when (as in this case) he's one of the best marketing people in the business. I set my novel in The Isles, which are Not Atlantis.The books are:
This series provides examples of