The nobles of Aureity have been breeding their children for psychic powers for generations. Women’s powers are mental, including psychic control and mind-reading, making them ideal rulers. Men have superhuman strength and can teleport to any place they have previously visited. Consequently, young noblemen make their fortune by competing in psychic gladiatorial contests to display their powers in the hope of being hired—and married—by women of high rank.

When Quirt, an older man with obvious skill but little known record, first enters the arena, the combat circuit is abuzz wondering who he might be. But his mystery is almost eclipsed by the young cub who has been entering competitions anonymously and winning them all. Barely in his teens, full of raw power but short on training or patience, Humate is so horrified when he’s bested by Quirt that he insists on finding out where he came from.

Unfortunately for Humate, the answer reaches far beyond his birth: back to the terrible wrongs done to Quirt’s mother and his new wife by one of Humate’s relatives, and back to Quirt’s sentencing, a doom which takes away his identity until he can bring the culprit to justice. Humate is in deep denial about this familial scandal generations deep, but Quirt must try to covince him to help, compelled by his doom and by the stirrings of a new love that cannot possibly be realized in his nameless condition.

No one ever said revenge was going to be easy.

Author's Note:Why "A Series of One?" Because at the moment this is a standalone novel, and should properly be listed at the bottom of the page, next to The Cursed (1995) and Daughter of Troy (1998), which were my last books unrelated to any others. You would never find it down there. Moreover, I like this world a lot, so I may revisit it if enough readers agree with my verdict. The story is told in an odd fashion, which I hope will not put you off. When you get to the end you will see why it had to be structured this way.

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Ill Met in the Arena
(A Series of One: Book 1)
by Dave Duncan

Tor Books
August 1, 2008
Available: August 19, 2008
ISBN #0765316870
EAN #9780765316875
288 pages
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Dave Duncan

Speak to the Devil
The Jaguar Knights
Impossible Odds
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