The Master of Whitestorm by Janny Wurts
I love the characters that Janny Wurts builds because they are always flawed. The obsession and drive that Korendir feels are tangible, and as you come to know his past, it makes more and more sense.
The Master of Whitestorm is exciting and has plenty of adventure. Ms Wurts deftly walks the line between spending too much time in trivial details and giving you a clear understanding of how the magic system works. Great read, and if you are a Janny Wurts fan, The Master of Whitestorm is a must!
The Master of Whitestorm — (1992) Publisher: After escaping from the slave-galleys of the bloodthirsty Murghai, Korendir, a man whose past is shrouded in mystery, sets off on a series of extraordinary quests: to battle the sorceress Anthei; to challenge the elemental Cyondide and win the lost hoard of the dragon Sharkash; to free the people of Northengard from the wereleopards that are decimating their population… Always Korendir’s goal is treasure: but never for its own sake. A driven man, Korendir determines to build a fortress at Whitestorm, impregnable against all comers, be they human or supernatural, to protect himself — its Master — from the dark secret of his ancestry.