Royal Exile (Valisar Trilogy Series #1)

Royal Exile (Valisar Trilogy Series #1)

by Fiona McIntosh

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From out of the East they came riding like a merciless plague—destroying kingdom after kingdom and the sovereigns who had previously mocked the warlord Loethar and his barbarian horde. Now only one land remains unconquered—the largest, richest, and most powerful realm of the Denova Set . . .


The Valisar royals of Penraven face certain death, for the savage tyrant Loethar covets what they alone possess: the fabled Valisar Enchantment, an irresistible power to coerce, which will belong to Loethar once every Valisar has been slain. But the last hope of the besieged kingdom is being sent in secret from his doomed home, in the company of a single warrior. The future of Penraven now rests on the shoulders of the young Crown Prince Leonel who, though untried and untested in the ways of war, must survive brutality and treachery in order to claim the Valisar throne.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061582684
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/30/2008
Series: Valisar Series , #1
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Fiona McIntosh was raised in the U.K. but left London to explore the world and found herself in Australia, where she fell in love with the country and one person in particular. She has since roamed the planet for her work in the travel industry but now writes full-time and continues to draw inspiration from her travels. McIntosh lives with her husband and teenage sons, splitting her time between city life in South Australia and the wilderness of Tasmania.

Read an Excerpt

Royal Exile
Book One of The Valisar Trilogy

Chapter One

"Could he do this?" he wondered, as yet another wail began. He knew he had no choice if the Valisars were to survive.

Two great oak doors, carved with the family coat of arms, separated King Brennus from his wife's groans and shrieks, but despite the sound being muffled, her agonized cries injured him nonetheless. He knew his beautiful and beloved Iselda would never have to forgive him because she would never know of his ruthlessness at what he planned for his own flesh and blood. He looked to his trusted legate and dropped his gaze, shaking his head. They were all servants to the crown—king included—and serve he must by presenting the infant corpse in order to protect the realm.

"It never gets any easier, De Vis," he lamented.

De Vis nodded knowingly; he had lost his own wife soon after childbirth. "I can remember Eril's screams as though they were yesterday." He hurried to add: "Of course, once the queen holds her child, majesty, her pain will disappear."

They were both talking around the real issues—the murder of a newborn and the threat that their kingdom was facing its demise.

Brennus's face drooped even further. "In this you are right, although I fear for all our children, De Vis. My wife brings into this world a new son who may never see his first anni."

"Which is why your plan is inspired, highness. We cannot risk Loethar having access to the power."

"If it is accessible at all in this generation. Leo shows no sign at this stage . . . and Piven . . ." The king trailed off as anotheragonized shriek cut through their murmurs.

De Vis held his tongue but when silence returned and stretched between them, he said softly: "We can't know for sure. Leo is still young—it may yet come to him—and the next prince may be bristling with it. We can't risk either child falling into the wrong hands. And as for Piven, your highness, he is not of your flesh. We know he hardly possesses his faculties, majesty, let alone any power."

The king's grave face told his legate that Brennus agreed, that his mind was made up. Nevertheless he confirmed it aloud as though needing to justify his terrifying plan. "It is my duty to protect the Valisar inheritance. It cannot be tarnished by those not of the blood. I hope history proves me to be anything but the murderer I will appear if the truth ever outs. Is everything in place?"

"Precisely to your specifications," De Vis answered.

Brennus could see the legate's jaw working. De Vis was feeling the despair of what they were about to do as deeply as he was. "Your boys . . ." the king muttered, his words petering out.

De Vis didn't flinch. "Are completely loyal and will do their duty. You know that." "Of course I know it, De Vis—they might as well be my own I know them so well—but they are too young for such grim tasks. I ask myself: could you do it? Could I? Can they?"

De Vis's expression remained stoic. "They have to. You have said as much yourself. My sons will not let Penraven down."

Brennus scowled. "Have you said anything yet?"

De Vis shook his head. "Until the moment is upon us, the fewer who know the better. The brief will also be better coming directly from you, majesty."

Brennus winced as another scream came from behind the door, followed by a low groan that penetrated to the sunlit corridor where he and De Vis talked. He turned from the stone balustrade against which he had been leaning, looking out into the atrium that serviced the private royal apartments. Breathing deeply, he drank in the fragrance of daphne that the queen had personally planted in boxes hanging from the archways and took a long, sorrowful look at the light drenched gardens below she had tended and made so beautiful. Trying for an heir had taken them on a torrid journey of miscarriages and disappointments. And then Leo had come along and, miraculously, had survived and flourished. But both Brennus and Iselda knew that a single heir was not enough, however, and so they had endured another three heartbreaking deaths in the womb.

It was as though Regor De Vis could read Brennus's thoughts. "Do not fret over Piven, your highness. If the barbarian breaches our walls I doubt he will even glance at your adopted son."

Brennus hoped his legate was right. Brennus was aware that Piven had made it quietly into the world and had remained mostly silent since then. These days odd noises, heartbreaking smiles and endless affection told everyone that Piven heard sound, though he could not communicate in any traditional way.

And now there was a new child who'd managed to somehow cling on to life, his heartbeat strong and fierce like the winged lion his family's history sprang from. There had been so much excitement, so much to look forward to as little as six moons ago. And now everything had changed.

The ill-wind had blown in from the east, where one ambitious, creative warlord had united the rabble that made up the tribes who eked out an existence on the infertile plains. It had been almost laughable when Dregon sent news that it was under attack from the barbarians. It had sounded even more implausible when Vorgaven sent a similar missive.

De Vis could clearly read his mind. "How something we considered a skirmish could come to this is beyond me."

"I trusted everyone to hold their own against a mere tribal warlord!"

"Our trust was a mistake, majesty . . . and so was our confidence in the Set's strength. It should never have come to this. And, worse, we haven't prepared our people. It's only because word is coming through from relatives or traders from the other realms that they know Vorgaven has fallen, Dregon is crushed and cowardly Cremond simply handed over rule without so much as a squeak. I'm sure very few know how dire the situation is in Barronel."

Royal Exile
Book One of The Valisar Trilogy
. Copyright © by Fiona McIntosh. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Royal Exile (Valisar Trilogy Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Gavriel More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I have ever read my Fiona McIntosh and I am totally blown away! She is an amazing author, tying things into each other so well that you feel as if you can only get a hint of what her plans are and that you are in on the information just as much as the characters, left there to guess just like they have to. She does such a good job in detailing her characters that even at times, I felt a little sympathy for the barbarian Loethar. But then you feel the hatred from Gav and Leo you feel pulled in to directions. I highly recommend this to any adventure/fantasy/medieval reader nervous to find a really good new book. I anxiously await the next book to see what happens to everyone.
Grandpa More than 1 year ago
Wow, Fiona McIntosh has done it again, another page turner you can't put down. Rich in depth characters, action, magic, intrigue and a maddening cliff hanger at the end. I love it!! The Royal Valisar family faces a hoard of barbarians coming to destroy everything, but especialy to obtain the Valisar "Secret". Young prince Leonel in starting on a dangerous, magic filled journey of winning back the crown. McIntosh is one of the best when it comes to make a story real, the kind you wish would go on forever. Buy this book,I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
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ML1371 More than 1 year ago
Fiona has a real gift for coming up with great plots. I am never disappointed in her books. It's too bad that she is a relative unknown in the US.
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Agragg More than 1 year ago
I agree with the other reviewers. This book left me on the edge of my chair wondering what would happen next. It is an amazing tale of events that shape a great king, of ancient forces that surround him, a friendship forged by horrific events and characters who keep you guessing as to what could possibly happen next. I have read other books by Fiona McIntosh and was always surprised. It is very graphic but well worth the read.
marcescens More than 1 year ago
This is a good story and I am looking forward to the next book. Because it was very graphic with lots of very well described death and killing, I found I needed to take breaks from reading it. Not so heavy on the romance and sexuality as fantasy can often be. That was rather refreshing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, but this author's books are never a let-down. I'm looking forward to the next!
Angelle More than 1 year ago
When you hear the name Fiona McIntosh, you know you are in for one awesome ride and in Royal Exile (Book One in the Valisar Trilogy, she didn't disappoint. From the first line of the prologue to the promise of another book at the end, this new trilogy opens with a great battle that inspires hatred and sympathy. Like all good stories, we are weaved into the fabric of the lives of a lost king in search of his kingdom, his love interest, and a cast of other characters that you not only love to have, but also hate to love.

I am not a big epic fantasy reader, though I have read many of the big names in the genre including Jordan and Goodkind. The reason I recommend this book is that it has all the elements of an epic, without the enormous page length that a lot of those books tend to be. For me, with kids and life getting in the way, I love a good rich story that can be read and enjoyed within a few days. This is one of those wonderful books.

I would definitley recommend this book to epic fans and fantasy readers alike. It had good adventure, great action, and a twisting plot that left you salivating for the next. Royal Exile is a book great for a long winter's night spent indoors by a fire. So, step into the land of where a lost king sets out to find his kingdom and begins an adventure that will change his life and the world around him forever.
Darbys_Closet More than 1 year ago
Fiona¿s first book in the Valisar Trilogy is ¿Royal Exile¿. Just as the title states, the Royal is exiled. In the beginning of the book we meet Loethar who is a tribal warlord with such a hatred towards the Valisar¿s that in order to ensure all are wiped out he moves across the Denova Set killing and conquering each state until he reaches his desired destination of Penraven.. He has conquered all of the previous states so that not one of them could rise to save Penraven. Penraven expects his coming yet is still taken by surprise. With many surprising and often gut wrenching effects Loethar is sitting as the reigning superior to Penraven. The King and Queen are no longer with us, the Queens still born baby girl¿s ashes have been thrown to the wind, young Prince Leonel is assumed to be dead and their mentally challenged adopted son Piven, has been taken as a ¿pet¿ to Loethar. That is until Loather¿s lover Valya states that she spied Prince Leonel running from the Kingdoms grounds with a companion.
Loethar with the help of his blood thirsty older brother Stracker, command the help of locals gifted with special powers to hunt down and kill all of the boys age 11 in the surrounding states until they locate the missing young Valisar, Leonel.
Leonel is the next king in a long line of Valisar Kings, yet he is to young to over take Loethar and regain all that the Valisar¿s have lost. The meat of the book is made up of Loethar and Gavriel¿s travels north in order to find an ally in Kilt Faris and his men, who previously were outlaws of the Valisar kingdom. Through their travels we find that Leonel¿s father had foreseen much of what is currently happening and had made preparations ahead of time, thus helping Leonel in his plight. Each of the Valisar individuals seem to have a mystical element to them, even as far as Loethar¿s raven.
Fiona¿s book has great detail concerning the surrounding¿s young Leonel finds himself in during his journey. Many important details were shared as the book closed, which left me with more questions than answers, which of course leaves me wanting to read the second book in the Valisar Trilogy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Using strategy that makes no military sense, tribal warlord Loethar and his deadly barbaric horde easily conquered Dregon and Voragan while Cremond capitulated without a fight. He now invades the final land in the Denova Set, the Kingdom of Penraven with once again little successful opposition. The flesh eaters easily slice their way to conquest defeating everyone who dares to face them. King Brennus is frustrated and worried, but will soon be dead as Loethar fearing nothing has every member of the renowned ruling family the Valisars killed although the king and queen go willingly so that one member of the royals can escape and insure Loethar fails to have access to their power.
The Champion of the Cohort Gavriel De Vis escorts away from the castle the first born son of the Valisars, young Prince Leo, whose special skills unlike that of his father and forefathers back eight generations has failed to surface. He seeks allies, but few sign up to join his noble but seemingly helpless cause. Not only has his talent remains dormant, but Loethar is too powerful and malevolent to fight against anymore; evil has won as the side of good allowed complacency and egotism to leave them unprepared leading them to defeat.
The first book of the Valisar trilogy occurs in the same world as the Percheron Saga, but is a different age and place. Readers will relish the return to Fiona McIntosh¿s fantasy realm as the opening act proves to be a worthy successor. The story line is fast-paced from the onset as the kings wonder how they could fall so fast to the blitzkrieg of Loethar. Leo is a wonderful wannabe hero, but his coming of age has a long way to go (two more novels) while Loethar is a fascinating in a macabre way villain who we meet early on after he has drank blood and looks forward to sharing a drink with King Ormond of Barronel. Ms. McIntosh opens her latest fantasy with a terrific thriller.
Harriet Klausner