"interesting Deryni tale"
In the kingdom of Gwynedd, King Donal Haldane grieves the
loss of his out of wedlock offspring Kelson, whom he
thought would make a suitable companion to his heir,
fourteen years old Prince Brion. Still the monarch feels
good that four years old half-breed Deryni Alaric Morgan
has been pledged by his parents to use his magic like they
do to keep the rulers safe though the vow must be kept
secret even as the king keeps the Deryni safe from
fanatical religious tyranny.
King Donal knows he walks a dangerous line as he protects
the Deryni because his Bishops especially Bishop Oliver de
Nore, whose brother was executed by order of the king for
having Kelson killed, would excommunicate him without a
second thought. Besides the troubles with the religious
leaders, neighboring nation Torenth threatens to invade.
However, though feeling his age and his concerns, Donal
receives good news that gives him hope for the future; he
learns that Torenth Prince Nimur is dead and his younger
brother Torval is insane because they played with dangerous
taboo magic. Still Prince Hogan has his mage Zachris
Pomeroy preparing to cause havoc as he wants the throne
with Alaric being the key to preventing a hostile takeover.
This is an interesting Deryni tale though the action is
somewhat limited as much of what occurs is off screen
mostly from an introspective King Donal. The monarch is a
fascinating character as he struggles with the Bishops, his
neighbors, and betrayals to insure his son inherits the
throne and has the Deryni protection to keep him safe yet
is feeling weary and worn out. This is more of a character
study of a tired medieval ruler than a fantasy but fans of
the series still will appreciate his plight but more so
when the Deryni use their magic.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 25, 2007