Violette Malan was the first fantasy author I met when I was working at the bookstore. She came in to tell us about her forthcoming debut, The Mirror Prince. I've read and enjoyed everything she's written. She's published 5 more novels since then but remains surprisingly unknown. While her first and most recent books are portal fantasy, her Dhulyn and Parno novels are traditional style fantasy, following a pair of mercenaries. The 4 books in that series have just been rereleased as omnibus editions. So if you've never heard of her and like episodic fantasy, now's a great time to give her books a try. The synopsis below is for the first book in the series, The Sleeping God.
Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane are members of the Mercenary Guild, veterans of numerous battles and missions, and masters of martial arts. But more than that, Dhulyn and Parno are Partners, a Mercenary bond that can only be broken by death. And though one’s past is supposed to be irrelevant to a Mercenary Brother, who they’d been might make the difference between success and failure in their missions.
As far as she knows, Dhulyn is the last of her tribe, the sole survivor of a terrible massacre when she was a young child. Sold into slavery and rescued by a pirate, Dhulyn has learned the hardest lessons life has to teach. What she has not learned is to master her Visions, glimpses of the future.
Parno never mentions his past. Yet his manners and speech give him away. Parno has been raised in more civilized lands, and obviously comes from a family of some importance. Why he’s abandoned them or been cast out, neither Dhulyn nor any Mercenary Brother would ask.
After saving one of the Marked—those gifted with such powers as the ability to Find, to Mend, to Heal, to See—the two Mercenaries realize that those bent on the Marked’s destruction appear to be under the influence of a priest of the Sleeping God.
Soon not even Dhulyn’s Visions can prepare them for the fate that awaits them, as they become tangled in wars against invaders, royal surrenders, and enemy prison camps.