The Unwilling Warlord

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The Unwilling Warlord
Cover of 1st US edition
Author Lawrence Watt-Evans
Cover artist Darrell K. Sweet
Country U.S.
Language English
Series Ethshar
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Del Rey Books (Ballantine)
Publication date
1 October 1989 (1st edition)
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 311 pp (Paperback 1st edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-345-35413-3 (Paperback 1st edition)
OCLC 20601662
Preceded by With A Single Spell


The Unwilling Warlord is a fantasy novel by Lawrence Watt-Evans. It details the story of hereditary warlord Sterren of Semma taking over, unwillingly, the position of warlord for one of Ethshar's Small Kingdoms.

Plot introduction[edit]

The Kingdom of Semma is on the verge of war but the VIII Hereditary Warlord has died. The King sent out a search party to the Hegemony of Ethshar where with the aid of magic they track down the heir to the title, the Unwilling IX Warlord Sterren.

The story evolves as Sterren, along with assorted others hired to help in the war, is hauled off from his career as a low stakes gambler to Semma. One of his companions is Vond, a master Warlock who is feeling the Calling and who is seeking to get as far away from Aldagmor as he can because once a Warlock gives in to the Calling they are drawn to Aldagmor and are never seen again. Vond takes a liking to Sterren who was actually apprenticed as a Warlock for three days before being dismissed as unable to perform. Of course it is against the Guild law for any magician to practice in more than one field so Sterren was disqualified to take up any of the other studies. Not long after arriving in Semma, Vond discovers a second source of power for Warlockry and quickly becomes the most powerful magician in the Small Kingdoms.

Characters in "The Unwilling Warlord"[edit]

  • Sterren- The Ninth Warlord of Semma
  • Vond- Warlock who becomes the Emperor of Vond

References to actual history, geography and current science[edit]

Evans details how a history of England and a hereditary title inspired the novel. Though not explicitly mentioned, the career of Vond as a conqueror and self-created Emperor bears some resemblance to that of Napoleon Bonaparte


Publication history[edit]

Sources, references, external links, quotations[edit]

The Unwilling Warlord at Ethshar.com [1]