The Scepter's Return (The Scepter of Mercy, Book 3)

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9780451460257: The Scepter's Return (The Scepter of Mercy, Book 3)
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Two kings, Lanius and Grus, must reclaim the Scepter of Mercy, which is their only protection from the fallen god known as the Banished One, and save the people of Avornis, but their plan is thwarted by the enemy who is watching their every move. Reprint.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Like its predecessors, The Bastard King (2003) and The Chernagor Pirates (2004), the good-natured, leisurely final installment in Chernenko's Scepter of Mercy trilogy subverts the familiar fantasy tropes with its polite, understated swordplay and minimal, often mundane sorcery. In the kingdom of Avornis, an unseen array of Olympian gods and goddesses has ejected a disgruntled god known as the Banished One. He may also be unseen, but the Banished One is a noisy frequenter of the nightmares of his victims, whom he attempts with mixed success to suborn. The author excels at characterization, in particular of the pair of down-to-earth Avornis kings: Grus, the thinking man's head of warfare, and Lanius, the thinking man's thinker. The two rivals must set aside their differences if they are to regain the scepter that will thwart the Banished One's evil machinations. Some readers may be annoyed not to be let in on Lanius's secret plan to do so, though all should be satisfied with the natural, somewhat bittersweet ending that leaves the door open for further wise and humorous adventures.
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From Booklist:

While it helps to have read this book's two predecessors, The Bastard King (2003) and The Chernagor Pirates [BKL Mr 1 04], the third book in the series stands on its own without difficulty. The land of Avornis has suffered the enmity of the banished god for a long time. The only weapon that can withstand him is the scepter of mercy. Now Lanius and Grus, the two kings of Avornis, just may be able to recover the scepter. Lanius has a plan that must remain secret from the banished one. Grus must do battle, for the scepter lies in the lands of the hostile Menteshe peoples. Chernenko's world isn't especially distinctive, but his characterization, dialogue, and plotting keep one involved right up to the twist ending. Good basic fantasy storytelling, especially appealing to readers just beginning to explore the genre. Frieda Murray
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