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Young Kelson Haldane has claimed his birthright and assumed the throne of Gwynedd. For the first time in centuries, a king of Deryni heritage, possessing extraordinary magical abilities, rules the realm. But the priesthood of the Eleven Kingdoms has held sway over the Crown for generations. They decried the Deryni as witches and heretics, drove them underground, and usurped control of the kingdom. They have no intention of ceding their power to Kelson and his supporters — even if it means inciting civil war. Supported by the Church, an anti-Deryni leader has risen to prominence, dividing the people of the land. To end the conflict, King Kelson must face his enemies in battle — enemies willing to use the magic they so fear....
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The late Lester del Rey had a theory about the biological seat of Deryni power, a theory that he could have related in astonishing specificity. I just remember that he said it must come from somewhere in the nose, something related to the olfactory senses. I always thought that wa snot a very glamourous way to look at an exciting, epic sweep of fantasy. But after all, magic has to come from somewhere.
--Veronica Chapman, Senior EditorFrom the Inside Flap:
With young King Kelson on the throne of Gwynedd, the priesthood of the Eleven Kingdoms felt its control deeply threatened. For Kelson was half Deryni -- part of that race of humans gifted with extrasensory powers...a race that had ruled two centuries earlier, but was dethroned and driven underground.
Now, the final battle for ultimate power was about to break into open conflict, led by the Church which equated the supernatural powers of the Deryni with witchcraft and heresy!
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