The Barnes & Noble Review
Magic-filled adventure meets historical fantasy in Childe Morgan, the long-awaited sequel to Katherine Kurtz's In the King's Service (2003). Heartrending tragedy is the crux of the two converging story lines. In one, King Donal Blaine Haldane of Gwynedd still grieves over the death of his second-born son, Blaine, and strives to protect his heir, Prince Brion, from harm; in the other, Bishop Oliver de Nore is obsessed with avenging the murder of his brother, who was executed following the testimony of Lady Alyce de Morgan. The drastic measures each man takes to attain his objectives will have severe repercussions for countless innocents standing in the crossfire. The focal point of both men's machinations is Alaric Morgan, the young half-Deryni son of Lady Alyce and Sir Kenneth Morgan. With magical Deryni blood flowing in his veins, Alaric is being groomed as Brion's protector, but his mixed ancestry makes him an outcast among both groups and puts not only his own life in jeopardy but also the future of the royal Haldane bloodline….
Taking place after the events of the Camber of Culdi and Heirs of Saint Camber trilogies but before the Chronicles of the Deryni, this novel (featuring Donal Haldane, the grandfather of the legendary King Kelson, a primary character featured in numerous Deryni stories) will thrill longtime fans of Kurtz's lengthy fantasy saga. Newcomers to the series, however, are strongly advised to begin their adventures in the extensive Eleven Kingdoms at the very beginning, which chronologically is Camber of Culdi (1976). Paul Goat Allen
In bestseller Kurtz's morbid second tale of her new Deryni trilogy following 2003's In the King's Service and set before the King Kelson novels King Donal Haldane is mourning the loss of his bastard son, Krispin, a boy he thought would be companion and protector to Crown Prince Brion, and hoping that Alyce and Kenneth de Morgan's toddler son, Alaric, heir to Alyce's Deryni magic, can be groomed to take Krispin's place. Bishop Oliver de Nore's brother, Septimus, was put to death by the king after Alyce used her powers to reveal that he orchestrated Krispin's killing; now Oliver is doubly motivated to accelerate the church's campaign to exterminate the Deryni, who are feared by many humans in the land of Gwynedd. Kurtz renders even the most plot-twisting demises more dreary than dramatic, which makes for terrific medieval realism but uninteresting narrative. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Alaric Morgan, the son of King Donal Haldane's advisor Kenneth Morgan and his Deryni wife Alyce, has been destined from birth to be pledged to young Brion Haldane, the heir to the throne. When unexpected circumstances force the acceleration of the four-year-old Alaric's ceremonial pledge, the uneasy coexistence between Deryni and humans is threatened. And stranger things are yet to come. Kurtz's latest entry in her Deryni series (after In the King's Service) opens up a heretofore unexplored time period in the history of the powerful race of psychics known as Deryni and the humans with whom they share the world. The author's meticulous recreation of a medieval world provides a sumptuous background for her characters' struggles to remain true to their honor and to their beliefs. A good addition to most fantasy collections, particularly where Kurtz's books are popular. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Second in a trilogy (following Deryni Rising, not reviewed) and continuation of a longstanding fantasy series set in the medieval, Celtic-flavored kingdom of Gwynedd. Gwynedd's Haldane kings possess powerful magic, as do the Deryni, a human-seeming race whose magic arises from psychic abilities. The tolerant, visionary Haldanes secretly support and protect the Deryni, who are widely feared and reviled, largely because of the church's implacable hatred of both magic and Deryni. Even King Donal, fearing excommunication, dares not openly oppose the bishops. Again, Donal's kingdom seems threatened by neighboring Torenth. Donal is beginning to age, and his heir, Brion, is but 14. But then, encouraging news arrives from Torenth. Through meddling with forbidden magic, the heir, Prince Nimur, lies dead, and his younger brother, Torval, has been driven mad. Elsewhere, however, the mage Zachris Pomeroy is plotting on behalf of his sponsor, Prince Hogan, the Festillic Pretender to Donal's throne. Donal, alarmed at the untimely death of his youngest son, Jathan, decides to prepare the way for Brion. Haldane magic must be activated by somebody with Deryni powers-but Alaric, who was destined to fulfill this role, is only four years old; nevertheless, Donal installs the necessary triggers, and also readies the boy's Deryni mother, Alyce, now far along in pregnancy, as a precaution. Kurtz's appeal lies in her patient accumulation of precise, significant detail, but here matters proceed a little too patiently, and could have used more sparks and less swaddling. Agent: Russell Galen/Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency