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Author Topic: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...  (Read 6811 times)

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Offline Raksha the Demon

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Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« on: September 27, 2014, 05:28:42 pm »
Kelson Haldane has always been my favorite character of the Deryni series.  I was just a few years older than he was in Deryni Rising when I read the book, and the situation of this brave boy-prince suddenly thrust into the kingship by his father's murder, combined with Morgan and McLain's determination to help, guide, and save him, and the fascinating aspects of the deryni arts, really grabbed onto my heart. 

I happily followed Kelson's struggles through the first three books, then had to wait years before reading the heart-wrenching Histories of King Kelson, where a strong but sensitive boy king has to become far more ruthless.

So I have been waiting a long time to see Kelson 'settled', as it were, or at least able to rest from some of the more agonizing aspects of his kingship.  This was the book that I hoped would take him to maturity, give him a queen and the stability he needed. 

I think I browsed the book several years ago, but was not extremely impressed, and not only did not buy the hardback, but didn't buy the paperback either.

A chance buy of The Bastard Prince last year at a thrift store re-ignited my interest in the Deryni saga.  So I finally bought it last week as the first purchase for my new Kindle.

I just wish I could say that the book was worth the long wait.

It's not terrible by any means, but King Kelson's Bride lacks the sense of urgency that made many of the earlier Deryni books so compelling.  Remember how our introduction to Kelson, in Deryni Rising, coincides with Brion's hunt, and the Shadowed One's nefarious and secret actions quickly causing Brion's murder?  King Kelson's Bride begins with Morag discussing Kelson's marriage choices with the Arjenol Brothers (with a pause for the brothers to express their appreciation for the Hort of Orsal's eldest daughter, who plays no role in the story) and then the Mearan Question (or fallout from the Mearan Question, which I thought had been settled in the last trilogy).  Then the Mearan Question and King Kelson's Marriage are both discussed by the Camberian Council somewhere far away...and my eyes begin to glaze over as I wonder when the real action is going to start, or are they going to spend the entire book talking?

Then, thankfully, we at least get to see one wedding.  It's very lovely, and Kelson gives away the bride, Janniver from the previous trilogy.  But already the flaws in the book are emerging:  there is a lot of talking, and wonderful atmosphere and description, but not much of a sense of urgency. 

Which isn't to say that there isn't violence, and intrigue galore.  But Kelson is never really at risk; and Morgan and McLain are mostly content to be in the background, and much of the intrigue is accomplished by the Haldane Ladies' Brigade (Meraude, Rothana, Jehana, and Araxie) who run around fixing things such as weddings and family problems. And as a reader, I was never sufficiently emotionally invested in Liam-Lajos to really find the plots against him interesting as a central plot.  (ooh, ooh, those evil Arjenol Brothers!)  And I didn't care for the use of our old friend Derry in this book - rather than riding around Gwynedd on missions for Morgan, he's reduced to being the resident nanny/bodyguard for Morgan's cute children (which is a nice bit at first, but Derry is capable of more than that, he was a capable spy and warrior).  Then he becomes the Torenthi Magic-Pawn for the second time!  I think that KK was trying to deal with the aftermath of poor Derry's misuse in High Deryni, but I think there would have been more interesting ways to do it.  (we are told that Derry has been understandably reluctant to have any Deryni touch his mind since then, is that why he doesn't run around as Morgan's secret agent any more?  It would have been nice to have more of that from Derry's point of view - he seems to have been far more scarred than anyone realized.  I personally think Wencit might have violated Derry sexually as well as psychically, but that's only one interpretation, and it may not be the author's intent...)

I think the biggest problem in the book is that there are too many loose ends to tie them up as neatly in one book as KK seems to intend, at least if that book was to include the dramatic tension and high level of angst that have enlivened the earlier Deryni novels.  I wonder whether KK just wanted to deal with the aftermath of The Histories of King Kelson and marry him off and settle the Torenthi Problem and be done with Kelson's reign.  The book really would have done better as two or three books, complete with at least one military campaign and some high-powered Deryni duels.  I was almost disappointed that Teymuraz did not kidnap the Demoiselles Haldane, just because it would have upped the excitement/angst level quite a bit. 

And then there's Jehana.  I really, really enjoyed her finding friendship and affection with Barrett de Laney of all people, and her long-overdue conversion from anti-Deryni fanaticism and self-hatred.  But it should have been chronicled with a bit more care, it felt rushed.  We still don't know what, or who, instilled such terror and suspicion of Deryni arts and people in the young Jehana.  Jehana goes from weary misery that her son is a Deryni and consorts with Eevil Deryni magic-users and it's her fault because she's a Deryni to acceptance that the priest Nivard is a Deryni and the nervous determination to explore some of that Eevil Deryni magic herself when she stumbles on it.  I've always liked Jehana as a character, found her emotional struggles convincing and poignant (even when wanting to slap her), and I felt there was more material that needed to be written about her.  (according to the Codex, she marries Barrett - can you imagine Kelson and Morgan getting happily drunk when they hear the news?  I would have loved to see Kelson at that wedding - probably couldn't push Mom into her new bridegroom's arms fast enough.  And I would have loved to hear the Camberian Council Busybodies' reaction too; especially after Jehana got pregnant by the 80-year-old Barrett - he would have had definite cause for some smugness)  We really should have seen a scene where Jehana confronts McLain and Morgan and at least tries to apologize for her past hatred against them. 

The scene I think I most enjoyed was when Kelson teeters on the edge of tyranny and threatens to take little Albin from Rothana so the boy could have freedom of his own destiny as an adult.  It's a very raw and real moment; where Kelson's emotional attachment to Albin, who he sees as the son he should have had with Rothana, is most visible.  And Morgan's quiet reply, bringing Kelson back into sanity, was a wonderful reminder of the love and trust between the two. 

I actually didn't mind Kelson's long 'whining' angst about Rothana.  Yes, it's immature, especially for Kelson.  But I found it real enough.  Remember, Kelson had always been a good, responsible boy, who was too quickly hurled from his childhood into a very dangerous and burdensome adulthood.  He never really had a chance to be a bratty kid, or a bratty teenager; too much depended on his being the controlled and mature King of a land divided by political and religious schisms.  Now that those schisms have been healed, the wars ended, it did not surprise me that Kelson's emotional control might slip a bit, and he would unleash his inner Angry Teen now and then.  The one thing that King Kelson's Bride did absolutely right was finally grow Kelson up into a man as well as a king. 



Offline Aerlys

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2014, 11:58:37 pm »
I have to agree, KKB did seem to lack the same urgency as its predecessors. When I first read it, it seemed like KK was tired of the whole series and wanted to tie it all up in a neat little package. Not one of my favorites.
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Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 12:56:50 am »
She might have been able to tie it all up in a fairly neat package if she had spun the tale out in three books instead of one and added more excitement that was Gwynedd-centric instead of Torenth-centric.  KK did leave a major loose end dangling in the person of Teymuraz - does anyone really think he would just settle down to semi-royal obscurity in Byzantyoun and not try to take vengeance on either his nephew or his brother or any of the people who ever opposed him?

Offline Laurna

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 02:22:24 am »
Quote
The one thing that King Kelson's Bride did absolutely right was finally grow Kelson up into a man as well as a king.

I can agree with some of your points, such as the quote above. and I greatly disliked the abuse of Derry placed in a bad position a second time. I can see why it happened, but I did not like it. I almost wished it had been another character that was tormented into being a traitor, and then it was Derry who recognized the symptoms and warned Morgan about it. Even if, by then, it was nearly too late. Would have given Derry more confidence about surviving his own ordeal.

Personally, I am glad KKB wraps up some loss ends. I enjoyed the book very much having read it several times. It is true that the lives in this book are not in as dire straights as in earlier books, but often times real life strife is not about life and death situations, but about making choices that may seem small yet they led us in the direction of our futures. Such as who will we befriend and trust, who will we choose to marry to spend the rest of our lives with.

I find KKB a comfortable story that could easily be told while sitting around the hearth and sipping wine with old friends.

Offline Shiral

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 02:28:37 am »
(Quoting) And then there's Jehana.  I really, really enjoyed her finding friendship and affection with Barrett de Laney of all people, and her long-overdue conversion from anti-Deryni fanaticism and self-hatred.  But it should have been chronicled with a bit more care, it felt rushed.  We still don't know what, or who, instilled such terror and suspicion of Deryni arts and people in the young Jehana.  Jehana goes from weary misery that her son is a Deryni and consorts with Eevil Deryni magic-users and it's her fault because she's a Deryni to acceptance that the priest Nivard is a Deryni and the nervous determination to explore some of that Eevil Deryni magic herself when she stumbles on it.  I've always liked Jehana as a character, found her emotional struggles convincing and poignant (even when wanting to slap her), and I felt there was more material that needed to be written about her.  (according to the Codex, she marries Barrett - can you imagine Kelson and Morgan getting happily drunk when they hear the news?  I would have loved to see Kelson at that wedding - probably couldn't push Mom into her new bridegroom's arms fast enough.  And I would have loved to hear the Camberian Council Busybodies' reaction too; especially after Jehana got pregnant by the 80-year-old Barrett - he would have had definite cause for some smugness)  We really should have seen a scene where Jehana confronts McLain and Morgan and at least tries to apologize for her past hatred against them.  (End Quote)

Yes, after a lifetime of being conscience-stricken and filled with self-hatred over her Deryni blood, I felt Jehana's attitude change was....rather swift, and rather too easily accomplished.   Evidently Brion tried to reason with her a number of times during their marriage, and then Kelson took over after his death, but  Jehana wouldn't  listen to or heed them or have a gradual softening of her attitude. But in two weeks, Barrett achieves something Brion couldn't during almost 20 years of marriage? To the point where she's ready to MARRY Barrett 3 months after they meet?  Jehana definitely should have had at least a scene with Morgan, apologizing what she'd put him through, after the fact. 

As for drunken scenes, I imagine this scene in the Winter after both Kelson's and Jehana's weddings.
Rhemuth Castle, late one night. Kelson and Alaric are having a night cap over a cup of Fianna wine
Kelson: Araxie is expecting in the Spring.
Alaric: Felicitations, my Prince! Well done! (Salutes Kelson with his goblet and takes a deep swallow of wine)
Kelson: (Watches, waiting for his moment.) "My wife is pregnant....And so is my mother!"
Alaric: Sprays table with his mouthful of wine
 
"WHAT did you just say??? Your MOTHER is pregnant too!!!?"

You also refer to a problem I had with KKB and also with Childe Morgan. Characters talk a lot about a specific event or their worries over another person's safety at considerable length in more than one scene in the book. (The Demoiselles Haldane in KKB and Alaric in Childe Morgan)Yet the plot payoff never truly arrives. The Chekhovian rifle over the door is never fired. I never feel any anxiety for the Haldane Princesses, since there is no stealthy scene of Teymuraz infiltrating their family quarters at the Ile d'Orsal and tip-toeing down the hall approaching their bedroom. There's no scene of urgency or narrow escape, or daring rescue.  In KKB, deNore is certainly up to anti-Deryni activiites, but when it comes to Alaric specifically, he barely even farts in Alaric's general direction. There's never so much as a verbal confrontation that frightens Alaric. The result is not to make me feel anxious about Alaric, but to make his parents look like they get far too worried over not very much.

Melissa
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Offline revanne

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2014, 02:28:36 pm »
"And I didn't care for the use of our old friend Derry in this book - rather than riding around Gwynedd on missions for Morgan, he's reduced to being the resident nanny/bodyguard for Morgan's cute children (which is a nice bit at first, but Derry is capable of more than that, he was a capable spy and warrior).  Then he becomes the Torenthi Magic-Pawn for the second time!"

I don't like what happens to Derry either although it works as part of the plot. Kelson and Morgan's treatment of Derry is ham-fisted - and they are roundly rebuked by Azim for it - but, at least in theory, the choice of whether or not to go to Torenth is Derry's own. I wonder if part of the problem is Kelson and M's guilt at what happened to Derry and that Morgan is too proud to admit that he doesn't really know how to resolve it.

I don't really see Derry's role as a demotion though - or at least it is one which I think owes little to the events of HD. Being Morgan's Lieutenant in Coroth is no sinecure, given the tension with Torenth and the difficult personalities at Morgan's court which we glimpse in DC. Morgan clearly still trusts Derry utterly - he gives him the care of his young wife with whom he is partially emotionally estranged without a qualm, and this, despite Derry's reputation as a womaniser.

I think that Morgan and Derry have finally grown up. Although Morgan comes early into his responsibilities in Corwyn he doesn't really play his proper role in the kingdom as a whole until after the death of Wencit. You get the feeling that the unmarried Morgan and Derry have been thrown out of more than a few pubs in Gwynedd and might well have been ejected from many more were it not for their rank.  As Morgan's aide  in DR and DC Derry punches above his weight - as a young impoverished minor earl he would not normally have expected to have been on the king's Council. By KKB things have normalised and Derry is fulfilling much more of an expected role, albeit with a privileged relationship with the King and Morgan. There are also others around to play their role within the kingdom, notably Dhugal and Rory.

I also wonder how much Morgan's developing relationship with Duncan impacts on Derry. In DR Duncan is a young priest, careful to toe the line and concerned above all to hide his Deryni identity ( for very good reason.) The events of DC and HD must have brought the cousins much closer, they have the sort of adventures you might imagine Morgan and Derry previously having, and by KKB Duncan although a bishop is also a fully acknowledged Deryni Duke. Morgan is much less isolated and it would be inevitable, if sad, that he and Derry no longer maintain their previous relationship
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2014, 08:58:57 am »
I often thought that it was a shame that Kelson didn't convince Rothana to marry him.  There was so much potential there for further intrigue at court.  Would Albin turn out to be a future Morgan - type protector for Kelson's later children, or would he follow in his father's footsteps?  Would he become an adversary of the Camberian Council in some way?  Would Rothana's life as queen be difficult, much like Richenda's was at Coroth before Kelric was born?  But I agree, KK seemed to want to end the Kelson story and not continue on.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 10:11:09 am »
I don't know.  I like Rothana, but I don't know if she and Kelson were all that well suited for one another.  It would certainly have been a tempestuous marriage at times, since I very much doubt that they would see eye to eye on everything, and Rothana has enough of a temper that I think things could get pretty stormy between the two at times, at least in private.  Araxie, on the other hand, I think has Rothana's level of inner strength, but perhaps a gentler touch when it comes to dealing with conflict.  I suspect Araxie will be more adept at being able to steer Kelson into considering her points of view in matters where they disagree, without butting heads as much over those issues.

As for Albin, he may still end up becoming a major asset to Kelson at Court.  (Or possibly a big thorn in the flesh, though I think there's less chance of that happening, if Rothana and Kelson are both careful to nurture his loyalties rather than allowing him to become discontent with his role at Court like Conall was.  I would think that Albin would know that the son of a traitor is quite lucky to even have a place at Court, much less be treated lovingly by his royal cousin the King, so I don't envision him growing discontent with his lot as Conall did, who had a sense of entitlement greater than was warranted for someone in his place in the royal succession.)  I think Rothana would have had an even harder time shaking off opponents' suspicion of her as Queen than Richenda did, although the birth of a heir for Kelson might have eased those suspicions somewhat.  But there'd still be those wondering if she might favor her firstborn son to become the next King rather than the rightful heir, whereas Brendan Coris at least had his own lands to inherit, so Kelric's birth put Richenda under a lot less suspicion.
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 12:59:53 pm »

As for drunken scenes, I imagine this scene in the Winter after both Kelson's and Jehana's weddings.
Rhemuth Castle, late one night. Kelson and Alaric are having a night cap over a cup of Fianna wine
Kelson: Araxie is expecting in the Spring.
Alaric: Felicitations, my Prince! Well done! (Salutes Kelson with his goblet and takes a deep swallow of wine)
Kelson: (Watches, waiting for his moment.) "My wife is pregnant....And so is my mother!"
Alaric: Sprays table with his mouthful of wine
 
"WHAT did you just say??? Your MOTHER is pregnant too!!!?"

LOL!  Remember "Uncle Benny" in the Moffat Books?  (Born an uncle.)

Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2014, 01:51:05 am »
(Quoting) And then there's Jehana.  I really, really enjoyed her finding friendship and affection with Barrett de Laney of all people, and her long-overdue conversion from anti-Deryni fanaticism and self-hatred.  But it should have been chronicled with a bit more care, it felt rushed.  We still don't know what, or who, instilled such terror and suspicion of Deryni arts and people in the young Jehana.  Jehana goes from weary misery that her son is a Deryni and consorts with Eevil Deryni magic-users and it's her fault because she's a Deryni to acceptance that the priest Nivard is a Deryni and the nervous determination to explore some of that Eevil Deryni magic herself when she stumbles on it.  I've always liked Jehana as a character, found her emotional struggles convincing and poignant (even when wanting to slap her), and I felt there was more material that needed to be written about her.  (according to the Codex, she marries Barrett - can you imagine Kelson and Morgan getting happily drunk when they hear the news?  I would have loved to see Kelson at that wedding - probably couldn't push Mom into her new bridegroom's arms fast enough.  And I would have loved to hear the Camberian Council Busybodies' reaction too; especially after Jehana got pregnant by the 80-year-old Barrett - he would have had definite cause for some smugness)  We really should have seen a scene where Jehana confronts McLain and Morgan and at least tries to apologize for her past hatred against them.  (End Quote)

Yes, after a lifetime of being conscience-stricken and filled with self-hatred over her Deryni blood, I felt Jehana's attitude change was....rather swift, and rather too easily accomplished.   Evidently Brion tried to reason with her a number of times during their marriage, and then Kelson took over after his death, but  Jehana wouldn't  listen to or heed them or have a gradual softening of her attitude. But in two weeks, Barrett achieves something Brion couldn't during almost 20 years of marriage? To the point where she's ready to MARRY Barrett 3 months after they meet?  Jehana definitely should have had at least a scene with Morgan, apologizing what she'd put him through, after the fact. 

As for drunken scenes, I imagine this scene in the Winter after both Kelson's and Jehana's weddings.
Rhemuth Castle, late one night. Kelson and Alaric are having a night cap over a cup of Fianna wine
Kelson: Araxie is expecting in the Spring.
Alaric: Felicitations, my Prince! Well done! (Salutes Kelson with his goblet and takes a deep swallow of wine)
Kelson: (Watches, waiting for his moment.) "My wife is pregnant....And so is my mother!"
Alaric: Sprays table with his mouthful of wine
 
"WHAT did you just say??? Your MOTHER is pregnant too!!!?"

You also refer to a problem I had with KKB and also with Childe Morgan. Characters talk a lot about a specific event or their worries over another person's safety at considerable length in more than one scene in the book. (The Demoiselles Haldane in KKB and Alaric in Childe Morgan)Yet the plot payoff never truly arrives. The Chekhovian rifle over the door is never fired. I never feel any anxiety for the Haldane Princesses, since there is no stealthy scene of Teymuraz infiltrating their family quarters at the Ile d'Orsal and tip-toeing down the hall approaching their bedroom. There's no scene of urgency or narrow escape, or daring rescue.  In KKB, deNore is certainly up to anti-Deryni activiites, but when it comes to Alaric specifically, he barely even farts in Alaric's general direction. There's never so much as a verbal confrontation that frightens Alaric. The result is not to make me feel anxious about Alaric, but to make his parents look like they get far too worried over not very much.

Melissa

Now you've got me imagining Teymuraz tip-toeing loudly through the halls of the Hort's family quarters, to a chorus of "With Catlike Tread.." from The Pirates of Penzance, leaping upon the Demoiselles Haldane and their several half-siblings, followed by Kelson, Dhugal, Matyas, Alaric and Derry and the Haldane and Hortish troops bringing up the rear.

But your imagined scene with poor flabbergasted Morgan is hilarious! 

I really do wish that there had been a serious scene where Jehana had at least tried to address the way she'd treated Alaric over the years, first grappling with it herself and then trying to make some kind of apologetic gesture to him.  As for the speed in which Jehana thaws personally towards Barrett de Laney and then the Deryni race in general, it was a bit much.  KK could have made her show more signs of a breakthrough in the last trilogy and then have the meeting with Barrett and her interaction with the priest Nivard be the last straw.  I did feel that Jehana's anti-Deryni stance was softening in the last trilogy, she had moved towards active hatred to unhappy tolerance of Kelson's association with Deryni - possibly through the revelation that some of the Deryni that Kelson hung around with - Richenda, Arilan and Duncan, were pious priests and had done nothing (aside from being Deryni) but support Kelson.  Also, I think Meraude's matter-of-fact tolerance towards Deryni, or at least lack of any animosity towards the Haldanes' Deryni friends and allies, was a huge factor in Jehana's acceptance of her and Kelson's Deryni heritage.  Also, I seem to remember a flashback in Deryni Rising or Deryni Checkmate (can't find my copies at the moment) that Brion had forced a sexual reconcialiation with Jehana after she fled on learning that her husband consorted with Deryni and killed the Marluk with the help of one(Morgan).  Perhaps Jehana had carried hidden feelings of resentment toward Brion; which would account for there being only one post-Kelson pregnancy.  And perhaps she found Barrett to be a safe figure to turn to, a wise and charismatic male, but also someone old enough to be her father (and grandfather!) and also someone who might need her more than Brion ever did and who would not force her to do anything against her will.  I really wish that KK had written more about the development of the Jehana/Barrett relationship.

Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 02:13:41 am »
I don't know.  I like Rothana, but I don't know if she and Kelson were all that well suited for one another.  It would certainly have been a tempestuous marriage at times, since I very much doubt that they would see eye to eye on everything, and Rothana has enough of a temper that I think things could get pretty stormy between the two at times, at least in private.  Araxie, on the other hand, I think has Rothana's level of inner strength, but perhaps a gentler touch when it comes to dealing with conflict.  I suspect Araxie will be more adept at being able to steer Kelson into considering her points of view in matters where they disagree, without butting heads as much over those issues.

As for Albin, he may still end up becoming a major asset to Kelson at Court.  (Or possibly a big thorn in the flesh, though I think there's less chance of that happening, if Rothana and Kelson are both careful to nurture his loyalties rather than allowing him to become discontent with his role at Court like Conall was.  I would think that Albin would know that the son of a traitor is quite lucky to even have a place at Court, much less be treated lovingly by his royal cousin the King, so I don't envision him growing discontent with his lot as Conall did, who had a sense of entitlement greater than was warranted for someone in his place in the royal succession.)  I think Rothana would have had an even harder time shaking off opponents' suspicion of her as Queen than Richenda did, although the birth of a heir for Kelson might have eased those suspicions somewhat.  But there'd still be those wondering if she might favor her firstborn son to become the next King rather than the rightful heir, whereas Brendan Coris at least had his own lands to inherit, so Kelric's birth put Richenda under a lot less suspicion.


As passionate as Kelson and Rothana's relationship had the potential to be, and I do believe they loved each other deeply, I agree that their marriage could have been a difficult one.  Rothana seems to be the sort of person who finds it very difficult to bend, and if she were to marry Kelson; she would often have to, due to his being her King as well as her husband.  Kelson is no shrinking violet either; they might have been at each other's throats as often as in each other's beds.  Araxie strikes me as being Rothana's equal in strength, but a person who would know when to bend, but would never break.  (the scene where she tells Kelson that she has to give up the possibility of marrying for love, possibly of ever knowing the love he and Rothana have shared, to become his Queen, is quietly heartbreaking)

Of course, if Araxie dies during childbirth or in 10-15 years, I could see Kelson and Rothana re-igniting old flames after Rothana, especially if Kelson has more than one son with Araxie.  Whether a post-Araxie Kelson could maintain a romantic relationship with Rothana long-term is another question - having is not always as good as wanting, after all.

Much of Albin's future role in Kelson's court might depend on how Kelson treats the boy after Kelson's own heir is born.  If Kelson continues to visibly cherish little Albin and feel as if the boy is the child he and Rothana should have had, and then focuses more on his own boy when that future king is born, young Albin will feel short-changed, feel as if he's lost a father-figure, and grow up resenting Kelson's son, and possibly repeat his true father's mistakes.  If Kelson continues to give Albin fatherly affection after his own child by Araxie is born, so that Albin continues to feel like Kelson is a father-figure as well as King and cousin, Albin could become a very strong bulwark for Kelson's heirs.  And Rothana, of course, will exert a huge influence; if she continues to be somewhat paranoid that Albin is going to usurp the birthright of Kelson's future heir, Albin just might turn her fears into reality.  (interestingly, Richenda never seems to have feared that Brendan would harbor thoughts of resentment towards Alaric or Kelson for Bran Coris' death, and Brendan seems to be growing up as Alaric's devoted stepson)  Given the fears that both Nigel and Rothana have for Albin's future treachery toward Kelson's heirs, it might be better if Albin were raised or at least fostered by Alaric and Richenda, or the Hort of Orsal, or someone a bit farther removed from court.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2014, 09:02:29 am »
Fostering Albin at the Hort or Orsal is an interesting idea.  They always seem to have room for one more, his Deryni training could be looked after, and with all the other children around, he might feel less isolated or "sent away" than if he went to Corwyn.  He could be nurtured as part of the larger royal pack with all the opportunities to grow into future responsibilities.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2014, 10:39:24 am »
Fostering Albin at the Hort or Orsal is an interesting idea.  They always seem to have room for one more, his Deryni training could be looked after, and with all the other children around, he might feel less isolated or "sent away" than if he went to Corwyn.  He could be nurtured as part of the larger royal pack with all the opportunities to grow into future responsibilities.

I have said before that if Conall had been sent off to the Hortic Court or to Auntie Jehanna's people in Bremagne or to somewhere in the Forcinn might have been a good idea.  He would have been one of several noble/royal pages/squires there, and while he might have grown up to be a jerk, he wouldn't have been a murderer and traitor.

But that would have been a much less interesting story, wouldn't it?

Offline revanne

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2014, 03:31:43 pm »
I don't see how Conall could have been fostered away from court. Jehana having failed to provide Brion with the "heir and a spare", there was quite a chance that Conall would one day end up as king.

For me Conall's true colours are seen at the beginning of TBH when he behaves with such embarassing arrogance in Transha, not only personally inappropriate but totally failing to grasp the sensitive political significance of what Kelson is trying to achieve. This is prior to the reintegration of Dhugal into Kelson's life and Conall only has himself to blame if he is personally and politically sidelined by Kelson after this.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Finally read it! My reaction to the book...
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2014, 11:19:15 pm »
I'm not sure, when rereading the last trilogy, what exactly caused Conall to go so wrong?  He's the oldest son of a Royal Duke known to be an outstanding teacher/mentor of young boys; a Royal Duke who has been a fierce supporter of the right of first his older brother and then his nephew to be King; yet Conall veers from being ambitious to treacherous and usurping.  Why did he go wrong and Liam, son of two very vicious people with a huge grudge against Kelson and Gwynnedd, becomes, under Nigel's tutelage, Kelson's friend and ally?   Conall isn't a sociopath, but he hides from responsibility for his mistakes and then goes further into villainy by conspiring against Kelson.  I wonder if Conall had manned up and admitted to accidentally killing Tiercel de Claron, if he could have been saved. I don't think he would have been executed, he might have been exiled or imprisoned, though.  Could Nigel have been unusually hard on Conall as he raised him, believing that his own heir had to be a perfect model of a Haldane prince and supporter of the King?

I do think that Kelson was right; little Albin deserves to have a choice in his own destiny in terms of whether he will join the Church or inherit Carthmoor as Nigel's heir.  Rothana could well have trigger a self-fulfilling prophecy, if she rams her fears about her son's potential as a treacherous usurper of the rights of Kelson's heirs into Albin and forces the boy into the church because of those fears, and he resents being pushed.

 

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