The Stolen Throne  
Author Harry Turtledove
Cover artist Steve Youll
Series The Time of Troubles
Genre(s) Fantasy
Publisher Del Rey
Publication date 1995
Preceded by Krispos the Emperor (Publication); Bridge of the Separator (Chronologically)
Followed by Hammer and Anvil

The Stolen Throne is the first volume of The Time of Troubles series set in the larger Videssos Series. It was first published by Del Rey in 1995, and republished with Hammer and Anvil in one volume called The Time of Troubles I by Baen in 2005. The first six chapters can be read at Baen's website.

Peroz, King of Kings of Makuran, enraged at the Khamorth at attacking Makuran with the help of the Empire of Videssos, sends a war-party to deal with the Khamorth,[1] west of the Ved Ruk River.

Abivard, son of Godarz, with his father and three siblings went along with the rest of the country's warriors to fight and annihilate the Khamorth.[2] What no one expected was that the Khamorth would have their own tricks.

Just as a prophecy told Abivard[3] his fate was made on a narrow field. That narrow field was the battlefield between the Makuraners and the Khamorth. As the Makuraners charged at the Khamorth across the narrow field, their horses fell into a pit the Steppe nomads had cunningly concealed.[4] The whole Makuraner army fell into chaos, leading to the nomads surrounding and destroying them.

Abivard, due a twist of fate survived, while his father and brothers didn't. If that wasn't enough grief, he soon discovered that the Peroz has died on the battlefield. When he thinks that Peroz's son, Sharbaraz, has ascended the throne, he is informed that a power-hungry relative of Peroz, Smerdis, has taken the throne instead.[5]

He soon learnt that Sharbaraz had been imprisoned at the stronghold (every clan/family in Makuran has its own fort-like stronghold) of his brother-in-law, Pradtak, at Nalgis Crag. He learnt through his sister that Sharbaraz was drugged and forced to sign a parchment that said he would hand over the throne to Smerdis at the pain of death.[6] He decided to take back his allegiance to Smerdis and do everything he could to free Sharbaraz with the help of his sister Denak, for the sake of his country and his domain.

Soon, in a meeting between Pradtak and her brother, Denak drugged her husband and the guards with a sleeping potion supplied by Tanshar the scryer and freed the rightful heir.[7] Sharbaraz was smuggled to Abivard's stronghold. Along the way it is revealed that the guards who Smerdis assigned to guard Sharbarz raped Denak when she asked to serve the prince in order to free him. Sharbarz immediately promises to marry her in return for her service to him.[8] The next few months are spent accumulating manpower and weapons to get back the throne for Sharbaraz.

As soon as the host moves out on the road to Mashiz, no matter what Smerdis does Sharbaraz's forces keep winning, though there are heavy casualties and the latter are surprised when there is less deserters from Smerdis' army than expected. Abivard keeps saving the prince's life, even against sorcerous attack.[9] But soon, the rebels suffer a devastating defeat west of Mashiz.[10] By the time desertions and battlefield casualties take a toll, only an estimated two-thirds is left of the army.

But Abivard's wife, Roshnani, has an idea: the army can retreat to Videssos, Makuran's dreaded enemy, in hope of support.[11] Sharabaz agrees and the army travels to Videssos via Serrhes, a Videssian town, and met with the junior Avtokrator Hosios, Avtokrator Likinios' eldest son. Soon, Likinios agrees to give aid to the rightful King of Kings in exchange for the mines of Vaspurakan, once Sharbaraz is back on the throne.[12] The rebels set out with Videssian infantry, cavalry and supplies with noticeably better organization. Together with the Videssian soldiers, they defeat Smerdis' men and take Mashiz.

By the end of the novel, Sharbaraz is installed as King of Kings of Makuran and Smerdis is beheaded outside of Nalgis Crag where he had fled to. However, news comes from Videssos that Likinios and his sons have been murdered in a coup, and an insane murderous warlord named Genesios has usurped the Videssian throne, setting the stage for volume 2 Hammer and Anvil.


  1. pg.5, The Stolen Throne
  2. pg.24, Ibid
  3. pg.14,Ibid.
  4. pg.41, Ibid.
  5. pg.60, Ibid.
  6. pg.118,Ibid.
  7. pg.136,Ibid.
  8. pg.143,Ibid.
  9. pg.210,Ibid.
  10. pg.226,Ibid.
  11. pg.234-236,Ibid.
  12. pg.256,Ibid.