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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Katherine Kurtz has written fantasy for more than 25 years, and her enchantingly complex Deryni series continues to be a bestseller. A resident of southern Ireland, she undertakes a different sort of adventure in a wondrously magic-hued Dublin for the setting of her new novel, St. Patrick's Gargoyle.
The gargoyle nicknamed Paddy has guarded St. Patrick's Cathedral for centuries. All the gargoyles of Dublin's churches meet monthly, at the dark of the moon, to discuss the preservation of Christian relics and ruins. Among these matters are the recent, bizarre thefts of the heads of mummified Crusaders from crypts around Europe. The gargoyles were once God's avenging angels, and Paddy often waxes nostalgic over the days when he could do battle against Viking marauders.
Then some silver alms basins are stolen from St. Patrick's. Paddy swings into action against the "hooligans and lager louts" who offer much less satisfaction than Vikings. Through a curious sequence of events, he befriends an eccentric octogenarian, Francis Templeton, who drives a black Rolls-Royce. Templeton willingly drives Paddy around for the day, and with the aid of a strange magical device they successfully recover the stolen silver. Unfortunately, Templeton spies Paddy's reflection on the polished car and sees the gargoyle's True Self, a vision that has dire consequences for any mortal.
Events become alarming with the appearance of a seraph from Heaven, accompanied by the gargoyle from Notre Dame de Paris. They have frightening news: The magic that King Solomon used to bind an ancient Demon of Darkness in a long-hidden receptacle is weakening. If the demon Baphomet escapes its prison, the world will be cast into grave jeopardy. Paddy and the other gargoyles launch a dangerous endeavor to protect all they hold dear, and in a curious twist of events, Francis Templeton himself will have a crucial part to play...
Kurtz has written a charming and very funny book that can serve as a guide book to Dublin, both ancient and modern. Lovers of Ireland should allow themselves the temptation to tour Dublin with this novel in hand, for fair Eire's architecture will never seem the same again. You may find yourself glancing at statues in your own town and wondering if they are secret "Watchers" against the forces of Dark. St. Patrick's Gargoyle is a fast-paced delight, full of the rollicking accents of Dublin and a deeply moving portrayal of Heaven and Earth conjoined in a battle between Good and Evil. (Fiona Kelleghan)
Fiona Kelleghan is a librarian at the University of Miami. Book reviews editor for Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, she has written reviews and articles for Science-Fiction Studies; Extrapolation; The New York Review of Science Fiction; Science Fiction Research Association Review; Nova Express; St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers; Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature; Neil Barron's Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide; Contemporary Novelists, 7th Edition; and American Women Writers. Her book Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work was published by Alexander Books in 2000.