A Twist of Fate - a fantasy novel by Mark W. Johnson

     "Pardon me, sir."  The gnarled old man hunched over, hiding his six-foot frame, his voice surprisingly strong.  Dressed all in black, Jovy, the priest of Adannac, frightened almost as many adults as children.  "What gods do you and the lady worship?"

     "Why are you asking?  What do you want?"  A young man with dark hair and receding hairline was aghast at the questions.  Standing in his doorway, Mlaer's face grew red.

     "Well, we all know the lady may not be long for this world, and I just thought you might like for me to say a few nice words for her.  You know, when the time comes."  An attempt at a smile simply made Jovy's hideous face even more frightening.

     "She will recover!"  With that, Mlaer slammed the door.

 

     Mlaer refused to accept the impending death of his wife from this mysterious illness.  A magician who had settled down to a quiet life was now facing the realization that his beloved had only one chance – and that would involve the adventure of his life.  Accompanied by his best friend Eromit, the blacksmith's apprentice, he set out with little more than a general direction and a couple of names to find someone who could heal his wife. 

     Woefully unprepared for their task, the two find that the world is full of twists and turns and double-dealers.  Joined by a drunken bard and a member of a race of ancient frog men, they must battle goblins, find a lost city, overcome a golem sent to punish them for a crime they did not commit, and defeat a tiger god.  Pulled one way and another by forces either trying to help or trying to hinder, they never quite figure out who is on their side and who is not.  All in all, Mlaer just wants his wife healed so he can resume his quiet life, but others see great things in his future, and indicate that his destiny will be anything but quiet and peaceful.

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