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Camber of Culdi, Volume 1: In the Legends of Camber of Culdi Mass Market Paperback – August 12, 1987
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he greatest of the Deryni who wanted to retire. But it was not to be. The kingdom of Gwynedd groaned under the tyranny of Imre and his sister and mistress, Ariella. And when Camber learned that Cinhil Haldane, a descendant of the previous kings, still lived, he was determined to set him on the throne in place of the evil ones....
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Since the books have been in print for a long time, I can now read them in chronological order and fully appreciate the medieval fantasy world of both magic and religion that Ms. Kurtz developed so fully.
Camber and his family are wealthy and powerful yet have a finely honed sense of justice. The magic system is well developed and the social constricts of Gwynedd honed to a very sharp point.
This is not to say that Camber and his Deryni are moral in our sense of the word. In this day of social media, AR, and VR, it's easy to see what happens when people are allowed to mess with the minds of others.
I have decided to continue reading the Deryni novels as I can afford to buy the e-book versions. I'm reading them for world-building and characterization, not for any sense of allegory. They are fictional and enjoyable escapism for me.
Camber MacRorie is the Earl of Culdi, and masterful member of the magical Deryni race that has ruled in Gwynedd since a coup toppled the old human royal line 80 years earlier. After a lifetime of royal service, Camber has retired to his estates to a life of scholarship. But that life is interrupted when his younger son and his son-in-law come to him with an astounding story: a single member of the old human ruling dynasty had survived the coup (and had only just died) and that man's grandson is still alive. With the new young Deryni king, Imre, being unpopular and a narcissist at very least, what should the MacRorie's do? Support a king they can't stand just because he's of their race? Or break racial lines and launch a coup to restore the old human monarchy despite what that candidate might want?