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Literature / The Spellmonger Series

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Spellmonger is the first book in the aptly named Spellmonger series, written by Terry Mancour. However, it was only published digitally in the catalogue of the Amazon Kindle store.

After Minalan finished serving his drafted time as a Warmage in the army of the duchies, He just wants to quietly settle into the life of a village spellmonger (one who sells his magic to help with ordinary tasks) in the remote mountain valley of Boval. It was a peaceful, beautiful little fief, far from the dangerous feudal petty squabbles of the Five Duchies, on the world of Callidore. Things were going very well: business was booming, he is on good terms with the local lord, the village folk loved him, he found a sharp young apprentice, and best yet, he met a beautiful young widow with the prettiest eyes . . .

Then one night Minalan is forced to pick up his mageblade again to defend his adopted home from the vanguard of an army of goblins – gurvani, they call themselves – bent on a genocidal crusade against all mankind. On top of that, the goblin shamans were armed with immense magical power; more than has been seen since the days of the ancient Imperial Magocracy – and their leader, a mysterious, vengeful force of hate and dark magic, is headed directly to Boval valley. The good people of Boval and their spellmonger have only one choice, to hole up in the over-sized Boval Castle and hope they can endure a siege against hundreds of thousands.

The rest of the series follows this smart-alecky narrator on his quest to save the world of men from the new goblin scourge, all the while dealing with the ridiculously inefficient and corrupt feudal government, the inherent distrust/ignorance of magic in his culture, his own struggle with his ambitions and social class as he grows in both magical and political power... and his transition from horndog bachelor to faithful husband and father.

Currently there are 15 full books with two supplemental books, with the 16th on its way:

  • Spellmonger
  • Warmage
  • Magelord
  • Knights Magi
  • High Mage
  • Journeymage
  • Enchanter
  • Court Wizard
  • Shadowmage
  • Necromancer
  • Thaumaturge
  • Arcanist
  • The Wizards of Sevendor
  • Footwizard
  • Hedgewitch
  • The Mad Mage of Sevendor
  • Marshall Arcane

There is also a young adult companion line call the Spellmonger Cadet Series:

  • Hawkmaiden
  • Hawklady
  • Sky Rider

In addition, he has also published a number of short stories which can be found in the anthology The Road to Sevendor

This series provides examples of:

  • A God Am I: The dead god has declared himself the living god-emperor of the gurvani
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Irionite/Witchstone is an incredibly rare form of amber has the power to amplify magical energy by a ridiculous degree. Just owning a piece makes you more powerful than every non-irionite owning mage on the planet.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: The Royal Censorate of Magic has shades of this, except instead of banning all magic, they only ban all magic except for a few specific fields of study. Then they hunt down and execute anyone studying illegal magic, or any magic user not registered in their extremely expensive accreditation system.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: In Magelord, Duke Rard IV has one when he becomes King Rard I. The clergy come together with the magi, including the Censer General Hartarian, and essentially beg him to be a king. When he is crowned, doves take flight. Of course, this is all contrived and has been planned for weeks to seem spontaneous.
  • Berserk Button: Kidnap Turleman's lover. See how well that works out for you. Hint: He'll provoke a civil war if he has to.
  • Blood Knight: Many of the knights magi could be said to fall in to this category, especially Wenek, Azar, and Tyndal shows this on occasion.
  • Character Filibuster and Author Filibuster: Pentandra is the biggest culprit, but other characters involved in government like Isily get in on this on occasion. Pentandra constantly lectures Minalin about economics, politics, feudal hierarchy... The list goes on and on. Sometimes these lectures go on for pages.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The entirety of Korbal's leadership seems to constantly be bickering and infighting, competing for Korbal's favor, to the point where they're willing to sabotage each other's plans to take over the kingdom just to prevent the other person from looking good.
  • Colonel Badass: Bold Asgus, Commander of the Orohan's band. He oozes command and confidence. Proficient with almost all weapons, he is a one man wave of death on the field of battle. The man launched himself onto a troll, and killed it with one hit. Then he dismounted into a double decapitation of nearby Mooks.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Minalin's battle staff Blizzard and its successor, Avalanche. Minalin has loaded them with pockets that hold everything from field dressings, to magical equipment, to string. Useful stuff, string.
  • Deus Sex Machina: The ending of the first book; Minalan, in his own words:
    Minalan:[I] ended up saving almost everyone using a powerful spell through a mystical tear in the fabric of the universes fueled by a four hour long session of magically powerful sex. With my Ex-Girlfriend.
  • Doomed Hometown: Boval Vale. Though it is not where Minalan is born, he was living there when it became the first village destroyed by the gurvani hordes
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom:
    • In Warmage, it is used to describe the spymaster "Mother"s rose garden, in which every flower represents an assassination
    Minalan: for my afternoon "walk" with Mother through the Rose Garden of Doom.
    • Again in Magelord, this time it is evoked by the greenwarden Olmeg, who is describing a magical grove of unpleasant, mosquito attracting, difficult to attack from plants.
    Minalan: What... is that? I saw it yesterday. Kind of a strange place to plant an orchard.
    Olmeg: Magelord, that is intended to be an Orchard...of Doom.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Subverted in enchanter when Isily rapes Min so she can get pregnant again because she is obsessed with him. though he keeps it secret and still functions throughout the book, this event traumatizes him and slowly begins to alienate him from his allies and affect his good judgment throughout the story
  • Drunk with Power: Dunselen gradualy becomes this over the course of Magelord. By the time of High Mage, he's got full blown Acquired Situational Narcissism, and is conquering nearby lands and setting himself up as a god, complete with a harem of local women taken against their will.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The Aronin of Amadia and Co. They actually manage to hold off the big bad of the series, who is a Reality Warper, while simultaneously teleporting the main characters miles away from the fight. Minalan even stays behind for a second because "It didn't seem right to let the Aronin's heroic last stand go unwitnessed". Horka gets a special mention for being the first high mage to wound a dragon, even though it cost him his life.
  • First-Person Smartass: The narrator, Minalan the Spellmonger, is this in spades.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Played straight. Gods have the powers that believers associate with them, and can only act within their spheres of influence
  • Green Thumb: Olmeg the Green. the green mage
  • Hammerspace: In High Mage, Minalan gets a gem that can open portals to this, essentially allowing him to turn anything into a Bag of Holding.
  • Handsome Lech: Minalan has been this for his whole life, and the tendency to keep being this starts to cause him problems after book 1 when he gets engaged.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Azar.
    Azar: I warned him! He mentioned the bans again and I warned him. You all heard me. I can't be held responsible for that- if I tell a man I'll kill him if he does something, I have to back it up, don't I?
  • The Horde: The goblin armies fit this exactly, with Minalan even referring to them as this in universe.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: All of the goblins in the dead god's hordes eat human flesh.
  • Hungry Jungle: The Farisian peninsula has been described this way. Minalin and other veterans of the Farisian war never fail to mention how miserable the jungle was.
  • Killed Off for Real: Horka, Hesia, Lenguin, Hamlan
  • Large Ham: Azar and Caswallon. Any time either one has more than one sentence to say, you can guarantee it's going to be self-aggrandizing.
    I am Azar, the Scion of Death,” the grim warmage said, fixing her with his gaze. “I was born twixt the bloody thighs of Conquest, sired by the loins of Battle, itself! My midwife was Destruction, my wet nurse, Lamentation!” he said, in the tone he apparently used to impress clients, back when he was an itinerant warmage, Pentandra figured. She was glad he could still use the line. “Oh,” the baroness replied, unsure of what to say. “They must be very proud,” she finally decided.
  • Living Lie Detector: Lesana from "the Road to Sevendor" is a magical sport whose powers compel those around her to tell the entire truth, against their will. To say she is Blessed with Suck is an understatement, in fact her desire to have her "curse" removed is the motivator for her short story.
  • Lost Colony: Originally, the planet was solely populated by the various Alka species (Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, etc). At some point between 500 and 1000 years, humanity was "spawned from the void", and split into two groups— the Magocracy, which formed an alliance with the Elves and eventually gained magic from exposure to a certain native tree and crystallized forms of its sap, and the barbarians, which moved into deforested and barren steppes without the native trees and thus never gained magic until they conquered and moved into the duchies.
    • This is maintained fairly meticulously: almost everything edible in the setting is an "imported" plant or animal such as cows and barley, while "nativia" plants and animals are more useful in magic/alchemy. Native species are of little nutritional value to the imported ones, though sometimes edible, but the natives can chow down on the invaders pretty easily.
    • For bonus points, the magocracy was initially given an island to colonize by the elves, as one would experimentally introduce an invasive species in a controlled environment before allowing it onto the main-land, and they sink it by over-engineering it using foreign and arcane engineering principles that don't match the local geology.
  • Loved I Not Honor More: Minalin's relationship with his wife falls in to this frequently. It is clear that he does not want to leave his wife, but he frequently finds himself separated from her as he deals with the various issues he attends to. This is, in fact, made most notable by the one time she DID accompany him for an entire book to a dangerous land, and he STILL found himself going off by himself without his wife to attend to various things. This is only slightly averted by him putting the duchies at risk to repair her enneagram when it was fractured.
  • Magic Knight: By the fourth book, knights magi are becoming more and more common, with a whole order devoted to them. These are in varying flavors and degrees, some are mages who are knighted, some are knights who display magical talent to varying degrees.
  • Medieval Stasis: Textbook example. Nobles who live in castles and have feudal vassal system? check. Battles fought using cavalry, swords, plate armor and siege engines? check. Peasant class treated like crap? check.
  • Miraculous Malfunction: During the birth of his fist child, something goes wrong with his son's pregnancy, Minalan tries to solve the problem by hurling magic at it. This resulted a healthy child, and freak magical accident that transformed all stone inside of a 3 mile radius into a unique magical substance.
  • Mounted Combat: The noblemen of the 5 duchies are very fond of this, to the point where almost all heavy cavalry units are composed exclusively of nobles.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The unbinding spell from the first book: he basically just put a God-like amount of power into the cantrip he uses to untie his shoes. As a result, the horde of hundreds of thousands takes heavy casualties as weapons fall apart, catapults and siege engines backfire, and siege towers and ladders fall apart, crushing the soldiers in and under them.
  • No Social Skills: Carmela has this to varying degrees. She is not adept at social encounters, and she herself has noted that if it weren't for her friendship with Pentandra, she likely would have no friends at one point. It is also implied that Hesia was the same way.
  • Oh, My Gods!: They swear by the genitalia of their gods. and they are not shy about it
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Pretty much standard dragons, other then the fact that they are incredibly resistant to magic.
  • Our Dwarves Are Different: They are referred to as "the iron folk". they are short, stout, and magnificent smiths. However, they have not been seen in Callidore for centuries, since they taught the original goblins metalworking, which they promptly used to start a war which drove the dwarves deep into their mountain fortresses.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The Alka Alon (or "the tree folk" to the humans) are incredibly long lived, and as a race, and they are thousands of times better at magic then any other race in the world. They're pretty much Elves, except that they're nice, short, and don't have pointy ears
    • Until book three that is, then several do a spell that transforms their bodies too the form they'd have if their souls had human bodies. Then they look exactly like classic Elves. It's implied to be an old spell.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: "the River folk" sometimes called "puds". They are short, fat humanoids. They are almost entirely. pacifists, and they have supernatural gardening skills (they can grow more, higher quality vegetables, fruits, or any non-grain crop than any human farmer). They are also AMAZINGLY good chefs, and brewers.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: The Gurvani. Humans call them either the "the mountain folk" or "scrugs". They are either the genetically engineered work force of the ancient Alka-Alon empire, or they are the descendants of a faction of Alka-Alon that lost a battle and were forced to live in the mountains. it was left very unclear between books 1 and 2.
    • They're actually called goblins by most humans, but it's pejorative and the narrator finds it sounds rude and uneducated, so he actively cajoles other characters to use the "proper" name even though they're pretty much standard D&D goblins down to their vital statistics block.
    • Actually something of an in-joke for D&D players: every time Minalan discusses the taller, more muscular, disciplined warrior variant of the gurvani race with no spell-casters, he struggles to find an academic, refined-sounding phrase for them. Everyone else refers to them as Hobgoblins, another D&D staple.
  • Physical God: The Dead god. A decapitated skull, magically resurrected by goblin shamans when they encased the head in globe of irionite the size of a large pumpkin. This gives him so much magical power that his presence makes a dent in the fabric of reality.
  • The Power of Love: Pentandra's main avenue of study, more specifically, the magic of sex. However she maintains that true love allows her sex magic to become far more potent. She has even referred to herself as "the love mage"
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Basically every warmagi from the first book. They are all relatively fresh out of the War College and most of them are some level of jerk-ass. Best of all? The only reason any of them even answer the call for help is to get irionite
  • Sex Magic: The first book ends with a literal bang, as the main character and his Ex have sex to power a giant spell to forcibly bridge two location in the fabric of space and time, in order to save the population of the valley from a horde of genocidal goblins.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Rard and Queen Grendine of Castalshar. Rard was the only duke to take the threat of the Gurvani seriously very quickly, and actually led an army to Alshar in order to fight. Grendine is known as "Mother," and heads up the ducal (and later royal) intelligence agency.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Even after Minalan becomes an ennobled magelord, He is still known as "The Spellmonger"
    • Sire Cei is "The Dragonslayer"
    • Minalan's apprentice Dara becomes "The Hawkmaiden"
  • The Spymaster: Duchess Grendine's sinister alter ego as "Mother", the head of the Castali intelligence apparatus known as "the Family"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Minalan in all the books.
    • In the first book, the level comes just from acquiring a shard of irionite
    • In the 2nd, he hones his political instincts and learns how to lead men in battle
    • In the 3rd, he uses all of his previous skills to prove himself a true leader of men, as he consolidates and grows both his magical and political power immensely
    • this is the whole point of Knights Magi for Tyndal and Rondal
  • War Is Glorious: This is the general attitude of the upper classes of the 5 duchies, but more specifically, Cavalry Charges are Glorious.