The First Book of Lost Swords: Woundhealer's Story by Fred Saberhagen

By Fred Saberhagen

Prince Mark of Tasavalta embarks on a dangerous trip to discover the Sword Woundhealer to therapy his son of a terminal disease...but an evil wizard has different plans.

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Sample text

Now, years later, it was still widely whispered among the people that a gold coin bearing the likeness of the god Hermes had appeared in the place of the Sword of Chance, within its magically sealed case. Actually there had been no such coin on this occasion of the Sword's vanishing, and efforts had been made to set the story straight, though to no avail. The people knew what they knew. Even some who lived in the Palace accepted what most of the populace outside still believed as a matter of course-that the god Hermes, along with the multitude of his vanished peers, was still alive somewhere and likely someday to return.

A faint gasping noise came from his throat. He had been sitting bolt upright where Elinor had placed him, but now his thin body was starting to topple slowly from the rock. Zoltan turned to see his sister catch the child and lower him into the soft sand. But then just as quickly he turned back the other way. Something was now outside the cave that could shadow the whole entrance. The darkness within had deepened suddenly and evenly. Elinor was curled on the sand, lying there beside the child, and when Zoltan took another quick glance at her he could see that she was frightened.

He was an enormous man, a pale beached whale rolling out from under the silken covers of his luxurious bed. The stout, carven frame supporting the mattress creaked with relief when his enormous weight was lifted from it. Comparatively little of that weight was fat. Once on his feet he cast a quick glance back at the slight figure of his dark-haired wife and noted with a certain relief that she was still asleep. Then he padded into the marble bath adjoining the bedroom. Presently the sounds of water, flowing and splashing in great quantities, came into the bedroom; but they were not heard by the woman in the bed, who slept on.

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