(Found) Fantasy book(s) with a death spell that normally kills the caster

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
Feb 9, 2007
Colorado, U.S.A.
I have a mental itch to re-read this book/series, no idea of author(s);
In a non-mechanical fantasy world (horses swords and spells)...
There may be backstory perhaps even a previous book before the following;
Downtrodden hero (escaped slave?, possibly from a ship) traveling along a road ,
Rich man (possibly old enemy ) shows up (just passing) throws (by mistake) a high value coin (alms) into the mud, Hero takes the coin and fearful that the rich man will send a thug to take it back leaves the road,
Hero finds a dead body in a shed/barn building, also finds a diary with the death spell (which normally kills the caster, so it is only tried by the desperate) the dead guy probably tried to use the spell and was kill by the god/s (misfire).
Hero proceeds to a town where a friend/acquaintance (female) holds a nearby castle/estate, he prevails upon the holder for a job/support., and is made an representative/ambassador/adviser to arrange some important matter (marriage?) with a different family.
Eventually they the castle holder (and possibly her daughter are called to the seat of power for the realm, the hero/adviser comes along.
In desperation (possibly because of a threat to the daughter) the hero crosses from the seat of powe/castle to an abandoned crow inhabited tower and tries the spell, amazingly it works.
There is a lot of story after this point, possibly another book.
There might be several books in the series...Read sometime in the last 20 years or so...

Thanx in advance..
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...Thank you!
... I have been searching my library, book by book for several weeks...


Proceeding to scratch that mental itch now...
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Incidentally, an excellent breakdown of the plot - it really couldn't have been anything else.
Incidentally, an excellent breakdown of the plot - it really couldn't have been anything else.
Since I'm about half through my re-read, of this book, I see how faulty the old memory is... after a decade or more.
Must be old timer's disease rearing its head...

Looking forward to accumulating and perusing the other books & stories in the series; some again, some for the first time...
Thanks again!.

...Now returning the works of; Mercedes Lackey, Sherwood Smith and others back to their shelves...

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