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The Bishop's Heir (Histories of King Kelson, Vol 1) Mass Market Paperback – August 12, 1987
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he Kingdom of Gwynedd under young King Kelson found itself facing the horror of war between the Church and the Deryni. As the Pretender Queen plotted to free Meara from Gwynedd's control, and the ex-Archbishop hatched a devious plan, it looked like the peace of Gwynedd was to be a thing of the past....
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After several years of peace following the chaos of his coronation, Warin's rebellion, and the invasion by Wencit of Torenth, King Kelson of Gwynedd, now a young man of 17, has a new crisis on the horizon. The elderly Bishop of Meara has just died and the church episcopate is meeting to choose his replacement. A leading candidate, a priest named Judhael, cannot be considered politically, because his aunt Caitrin has spent her life trying to stake a claim to the throne of Meara that has been held by Kelson's family for almost 100 years (Caitrin's grandmother Annalind was the daughter of the last independent Prince of Meara, and the twin sister of Kelson's great-grandmother Roisian). But not giving Judhael a fair consideration could anger dissident Mearans enough to spark a new rebellion.
And as if that wasn't enough to deal with, Kelson get hit with the escape of the fanatically anti-Deryni ex-Archbishop Loris, a political marriage, and more. About the only bright spot in Kelson's life is his reunion with a childhood friend, the Bishop's heir of the book's title.
This is one of my favorite books out of the entire series.