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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In the King's Service is the first book in an exciting Deryni trilogy by Katherine Kurtz that takes place decades before the events in Kurtz's bestselling King Kelson novels (The Bishop's Heir, The King's Justice, etc.).
A major character her is King Donal Blaine Haldane, Kelson's enigmatic grandfather. Both hero and villain, protector and tyrant, Donal ruled over Gwynedd at a time when those with Deryni blood weren't killed on sight. Several Deryni sat in the king's court, and a few acted as faithful advisers. In fact, Donal wanted so much to protect his young heir from harm that he covertly impregnated Lady Jessamy, a powerful Deryni with an infamous father, so that she could give birth to a boy who could be raised as a friend and protector to Donal's firstborn son, Brion.
But in a brutal world where rebellion, insurrection, and treachery are commonplace and the Church is increasingly frightened of the Deryni and what they represent, the king's well-intentioned plan goes terribly awry.
Kurtz, a medieval English history scholar, is an absolute master when it comes to creating a complex and convincing magical world into which readers can totally immerse themselves. Fans of historical based fantasy -- like Stephen R. Lawhead's Celtic Crusade novels (The Iron Lance, The Black Rood, etc.) and Marie Jakober's The Black Chalice -- should give this intriguing saga a try. Paul Goat Allen