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An Exercise in Futility is a 2010 book written by Steve Thomas. The story follows the adventures of a young man named Ezekiel as he discovers a hidden talent that doesn't involve singlehandedly fighting off a far more experienced army.
This story contains examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Kalharians have made-up fantasy names like Kathelm and Meunig, while the Gurdur have Herbrew names such as Ethan and Joseph. One Gurdur tribe names women after virtues, such as Charity.
- Chekhov's Gun: Spurrig's knife.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Kalharians have a bit in common with the Romans.
- Functional Magic: Magic is tied to a natural resource and requires special training.
- Happily Ever After: Subverted.
- The Empire
- Thanatos Gambit: Ezekiel in Chapter 1-18.
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