The Jack of Souls – Stephen Merlino

Harric is an outcast rogue who must break a curse laid on his fate, or die on his nineteenth birthday. To survive, he’ll need more than his usual tricks. He’ll need help—and a lot of it—but on the kingdom’s lawless frontier, his only allies are other outcasts. One of these outcasts is Caris, a mysterious, horse-whispering runaway, intent upon becoming one of the Queen’s first female knights. The other is Sir Willard—ex-immortal, ex-champion, now addicted to pain-killing herbs and banished from the court.

With their help, Harric might keep his curse at bay. But for how long?

And both companions bring perils and secrets of their own: Caris bears the scars of a troubled past that still hunts her; Willard is at war with the Old Ones, an order of insane immortal knights who once enslaved the kingdom. The Old Ones have returned to murder Willard and seize the throne from his queen. Willard is both on the run from them, and on one final, desperate quest to save her.

Together, Harric and his companions must overcome fanatical armies, murderous sorcerers, and powerful supernatural foes.

Alone, Harric must face the temptation of a forbidden magic that could break his curse, but cost him the only woman he’s ever loved.

* A tale of mischief, magic, and the triumph of tricksters. *

“Stephen Merlino is a complete storyteller–a writer with wonderful ideas, surprising twists, a complex and enviable style, all of which culminates with a powerful emotional climax. It really doesn’t get better!”
—David Farland, New York Times Bestselling fantasy author

“…The Jack of Souls is a terrific read from beginning to end and clearly establishes Merlino as a master of the fantasy action/adventure genre. Highly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections…”
—Midwest Book Review

“…a tribute to the Trickster, an exhilarating and funny and larger-than-life paen to the ones who might not be the strongest or bravest, but can out-think, outlast, or outplay their musclebound foes. It’s a lightning-paced rollercoaster world built of humor, bravery, brains, and excellent writing. The villains are unequivocally evil. The heroes are flawed, hexed, unlucky, or just plain old. And sometimes they smell really bad.”
—Barb Taub, Author of the Null City series