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May 28th, 2010, 09:35 PM
I don't remember too much. This was fantasy, not sci fi.
boys that reached a certain age (or were chosen, I don't recall) go to a certain school for many years to learn swordsmanship. The best were chosen as personal guards for the king. In a special ceremony of swearing in to the king, the king would stab them thru the heart with his sword. The magic of the ceremony would protect them from injury.
I seem to recall a character named Durandil, or some such.

May 29th, 2010, 08:48 AM
This would be The Gilded Chain (a Tale of the King's Blades) by Dave Duncan.

May 29th, 2010, 09:43 AM
Yep, that's it.