When the Saintsby Dave Duncan
When we left the Brothers Magnus, they had assembled in Cardice to help Anton Magnus defend the castle from attack by a neighboring state with a significant military advantage and several officers who at any moment could request help from saints-or, depending on your perspective, from the devil.
But Cardice has a secret weapon in the form of young Wulfgang/p>
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The death of Brother Marek, a monk at the Benedictine Monastery in Koupel, angers his Magnus siblings. Baron Ottokar of Dobkov, Knight Vladislav, Count Anton of Cardice, and Wulfgang the Speaker come together to defend their family castle in Cardice from the assault of the militarily superior forces of Count of Pelrelm Havel "Hound of the Hills" Vranov, his Speaker ties and allegedly his Wends ally Pomerania Duke Warislaw. The Magnus clan cannot win unless Wulfgang uses the magic banned by the Church except under their control. If Wulf deploys the otherworldly talent he possesses, the Church in the guise of Bishop Ugne of Cardice will most likely proclaim the youngest Magnus a heretic, using demon saints without prior sanctioning. The family knows their enemy will use the chaotic supernatural wild cards to ensure victory and ask then humbly to forgive them after their victory. If he does not use his skill, he risks more than just his life and soul, and his family; as also at stake is the safety of his beloved Madlenka Bukovany, hand-fasted to his brother the count of Cardice. The excellent Renaissance Era paranormal thriller follow-up to Speak to the Devil is a superb tale that focuses on the division caused by magic with some insisting it is blessed by the saintly sources; while others claim its evil sin derived from Satan. Well written, readers will feel they are inside Cardice in the Duncan realm observing the dilemmas facing Wulf and his family if he uses his Speaker skills. When the Saints is a strong, exciting, and enthralling historical fantasy. Harriet Klausner