The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz

The Deryni Series => The Histories of King Kelson => Topic started by: morgan on February 16, 2008, 08:19:02 am

Title: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: morgan on February 16, 2008, 08:19:02 am
Yeah, I know that these are "the histories of King Kelson", but I'm a little disappointed that "my" Morgan "disappeares" from page 144 to 224.
Well, I'm joking  ;D
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: morgan on February 26, 2008, 11:16:50 am
I'm not at the end of the book yet, so I don't know if I'm "premature" to ask this question but...why Morgan hasn't tried to heal Nigel when he and Duncan came in Rhemut after the news that Kelson and Dhugal were apparently dead?
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Braniana on February 27, 2008, 03:51:18 pm
Had to go back and check to be sure.  The damage wasn't just physical, it was also psychic.  Morgan and Duncan didn't see the latter because they didn't know to look for it.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: grayblob on February 29, 2008, 11:40:34 am
IIRC, Alaric and Duncan received only sporadic training on the "normal" Deryni abilities so there are some definite holes in their knowledge. It has been a while since I read this book, but I seem to recall that it took a very directed search to find the actual cause of the damage.  (wasn't Nigel essentially locked into his own mind?)   
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: morgan on March 01, 2008, 08:08:16 am
Nigel hadn't any physical injuries, so maybe it's for this reason Morgan and Duncan didn't try..
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Shiral on March 01, 2008, 06:52:38 pm
They didn't know to look for the psychic damage, I think. And they only knew after they'd put all the pieces together later on.

Melissa
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: morgan on March 04, 2008, 10:54:20 am
It's a pity, I don't like Conall at all!! >:(
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Elkhound on March 05, 2008, 09:36:41 am
It's a pity, I don't like Conall at all!! >:(

For most of the book, I wanted to reach right through the pages and slap him. 
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Shiral on March 05, 2008, 12:42:27 pm
It's a pity, I don't like Conall at all!! >:(

For most of the book, I wanted to reach right through the pages and slap him. 

Slap him? How mild.  ;) I thought Kelson ought to have executed him sometime back in The King's Justice.  At very least, he ought to have gone over the cliff too and bashed his head in on a nice big rock. If Nigel had to lose his eldest son, that would have been a lesser grief.

Melissa
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Elkhound on March 05, 2008, 03:13:07 pm
No, in The King's Justice he was just a nasty, overprivilidged brat; in retrospect, after the events in Quest we see the early signs of his going bad, but only in retrospect.  I do think, though, that he might have been saved if he had been given some substantive responsibility earlier on. 

I'm trying to be as charitable as I can here.  A villain who is just plain bad from the beginning and that is that isn't nearly so interesting a character as someone who had potential to have been good.

Look at it from Connal's position.  He was Kelson's first cousin and the nearest in the royal family in age.  It would have been natural if the two boys had developed a Bo-and-Luke type relationship.  When Dhugal came in and took the position of the young king's best friend, Connal probably felt that this border-brat was an interloper, usurping his rightful place; perhaps he didn't even put it that way even to himself, but although those feelings weren't very nice, they were perfectly natural.  If Kelson had made some gesture to say, "In spite of Dhugal's and my special relationship, you are my very dear cousin and you have a place in my heart and my life that nobody else can fill," Connal might not have turned into a nice young man all of a sudden, but I think that he wouldn't have done half the things that he got up to.  His going along with the scheme to activate his Haldane potentials, for example, would have been less likely to have happened had he felt his place in the family dynamics a secure one.  Granted, Kelson was a very young man himself and had a lot on his plate that probably got in the way of his seeing that his cousin needed a little boost to his self-esteem, but he had advisors who should have prompted him.  Duncan was a clergyman, for crying out loud; don't Gwynnedian seminary curricula include pastoral theology?

Granted, that it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting a story that way, but I find that the "might-have-beens" makes Connal's downfall more poignant than just writing him off as having been a bad seed from the beginning.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Braniana on March 05, 2008, 04:42:09 pm
The way I see it, the situation was a catch-22.  Kelson didn't give Conall responsibilities because he didn't feel his cousin was mature enough to handle them; Conall lacked maturity partly because he had nothing to develop it.
While Kelson could have ideally been more sensitive to Conall's feelings, Conall could have been too.  He had a shared heritage with Kelson that Dhugal didn't.  Rather than accept a friendship that was a blessing to his cousin/king, Conall was threatened by it.  And his increasingly obvious resentment may have contributed to him being pushed further aside than he might have been otherwise.
Sometimes it's the situations closest to us that we have the hardest time seeing clearly.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: derynifanatic64 on March 05, 2008, 07:01:07 pm
I personally would have shoved Conall down the same staircase where he killed Tiercel.  Or let a member of Tiercel's family do the shoving.  Since he was a Royal, Conall always seemed to have his nose continually raised upward.  He always seemed to feel that he should always be treated as a Royal.  When he visited Transha in The Bishop's Heir, he felt nothing but disdain for highland customs.  He thought the amenities offered in Transha were beneath his station--Most likely another reason Kelson didn't give Conall the amount of responsibility that a Royal would normally receive.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Elkhound on March 06, 2008, 11:32:10 am
DF64 and Briyana are both correct.  I certainly didn't mean to imply that C.'s going bad was K.'s fault!  But I do think that a little more attention to C.'s development might have saved a lot of heartache for all involved; C. might have still gone bad, but not as badly bad.

Perhaps if C. had been fostered away from the capital, in one of the great ducal households, or even at some foreign court (say, the Hortic Court, or one of the Forcinn States, or with Aunt J.'s people in Bremagne), things might have been different.  Or if he had shown any sign of a vocation; having a Haldane bishop would have been useful.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: morgan on March 06, 2008, 11:34:15 am
I agree with DF64: everyone is threated the same way you threat another. If you give them respect, they'll give you.
Conall remained a spoilt child!
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Braniana on March 06, 2008, 06:42:47 pm
Elk, I didn't think you were meaning it was all Kelson's fault.  Whatever he did or didn't do, the ultimate responsibility was Conall's.  While the initial jealousy toward Dhugal might have been understandable, Conall chose to let it grow and fester, and culminate in attempted murder.  And in the case of Tiercel, Conall chose to be a part of something he knew to be illegal (not caring because of his jealously of Kelson), which lead to his involvement in Tiercel's death (whether you call it murder or not).  He further chose to be a coward and hide what he'd done, rather than be a man and admit it, and tried to kill his own father.  Any way you cut it, Conall bears ultimate responsibility for what he did.
In some ways, I think Conall takes after his grandfather Donal, another royal who did whatever he wanted regardless of how others might feel or be affected.  Both, I feel, were selfish (can you tell I don't quite buy the 'for the good of the kingdom' excuse?).
About the fostering, could have been a good idea, but would it have been one they'd have seriously considered?  After all, Conall was a ducal heir, a prince who could be expected to become a royal advisor like his father.  And Nigel was certainly considered one of the best men to learn from in the 11 Kingdoms, so why send his own son away to learn from someone else?  As a thought, did Nigel spend less time than he should have with Conall?  And another: would Conall's jealousy have become what it did if his Uncle Brion had lived longer?  If Kelson had been older when he inherited?  I guess it couldn't have been easy to be a technical adult (like Kelson), but to not be listened to or have his opinions valued (unlike Kelson).
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Elkhound on March 07, 2008, 06:45:30 pm
Braniana:

"About the fostering, could have been a good idea, but would it have been one they'd have seriously considered?  After all, Conall was a ducal heir, a prince who could be expected to become a royal advisor like his father.  And Nigel was certainly considered one of the best men to learn from in the 11 Kingdoms, so why send his own son away to learn from someone else?  As a thought, did Nigel spend less time than he should have with Conall?  And another: would Conall's jealousy have become what it did if his Uncle Brion had lived longer?  If Kelson had been older when he inherited?  I guess it couldn't have been easy to be a technical adult (like Kelson), but to not be listened to or have his opinions valued (unlike Kelson)."

Why would Nigel consider sending his son away to learn from someone else?  Possibly because as a father he might have too close to be objective about Connall's needs, much as a doctor shouldn't treat members of his own family. 

If he had been sent to a foreign court, Connall would have been one noble page among many, rather than the Grand Duke's Heir and King's Cousin.

Another thing that might have made Conall less vulnerable to the temptations to which he succumbed would have been if Kelson had siblings.  Do we know why Biron and Jehanna never had any other children after Kelson?  Did Jehanna have such a difficult confinement that she didn't want to go through it again?  Was she damaged in some way by the birthing that she couldn't even if she had wanted to?  Or was it just the way things worked out?
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: derynifanatic64 on March 07, 2008, 08:29:18 pm
Jehana did have a daughter a couple of years after Kelson, according to the Codex, but the child died after only a few days.  When Jehana married Barrett de Laney after "King Kelson's Bride", she gave birth to a daughter--according to her Codex entry.  After her 1st girl died, she and Brion probably stopped trying. 
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Braniana on March 07, 2008, 10:36:02 pm
Good point about the potential for things having been different if Kelson hadn't been an only child.  If Conall hadn't been 2nd-3rd in line for most of his life, the throne might not have seemed to be so temptingly close.

Quote
Why would Nigel consider sending his son away to learn from someone else?  Possibly because as a father he might have too close to be objective about Connall's needs, much as a doctor shouldn't treat members of his own family. 
If he had been sent to a foreign court, Connall would have been one noble page among many, rather than the Grand Duke's Heir and King's Cousin.

Don't think Conall would have appreciated being 'just another squire', at least at the beginning.  I'm reminded of Melanie Rawn's Dragon books.  Fostering was an important part of that society, and one character had some superficial resemblances to Conall: an only son and royal heir, also a spoiled brat.  He tried to lord his rank over another squire, got a drubbing, but eventually learned where his worth really came from, and ended up a good person as an adult.  Perhaps the same thing would have happened to Conall.
I can see another reason why the family might have been reluctant to consider fostering Conall out of the country.  If one looks at the genealogies, lots of the royal children died young.  In the immediate family, Nigel and Brion saw their other two brothers die young in tragic accidents.  With Brion only having one son of his own, maybe they decided it was best to keep Conall at home, so he could grow up learning the ideals of Haldane kingship, just in case.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: morgan on March 08, 2008, 08:49:44 am
Well, it seems that the Haldane family is more bigger than what I know! I haven't read about the other 2 brothers of Brion and Nigel!
I can't wait the Codex arrives, so I can..update!
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: derynifanatic64 on March 08, 2008, 07:39:35 pm
Well, it seems that the Haldane family is more bigger than what I know! I haven't read about the other 2 brothers of Brion and Nigel!
I can't wait the Codex arrives, so I can..update!
Brion and Nigel also had a sister named Xenia who died in childbirth.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Braniana on March 08, 2008, 08:17:00 pm
The two other brothers were Blaine and Jathan.  Brion was firstborn, Blaine second, Nigel third, and Jathan fourth.  Blaine died aged 10 and Jathan aged 4.
There was also a second sister, Silke, who became a nun.  Xenia was born between Blaine and Nigel, and Silke between Nigel and Jathan.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Elkhound on March 08, 2008, 10:29:14 pm
Don't think Conall would have appreciated being 'just another squire', at least at the beginning.  I'm reminded of Melanie Rawn's Dragon books.  Fostering was an important part of that society, and one character had some superficial resemblances to Conall: an only son and royal heir, also a spoiled brat.  He tried to lord his rank over another squire, got a drubbing, but eventually learned where his worth really came from, and ended up a good person as an adult.  Perhaps the same thing would have happened to Conall.

Exactly.  I can't see the Hort of Orsal putting up with that kind of nonsense, for example. 

Of course, as I said above, it wouldn't have been nearly so interesting a story that way.
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: Shiral on March 09, 2008, 12:51:57 pm
I wouldn't think that Nigel would put up with much nonsense as a parent, either.  He would give his sons the same sort of  tough-love royal discipline he would have experienced in his own childhood.  Rory and Payne seem to have turned out all right. I think it was Conall's own personality that was the problem. Royal parents don't always have a lot of time for hands-on fathering, and since Nigel was responsible for training the future pages, squires, and knights of the Royal Household, Conall had to share him from early on, and may have felt cheated of his father's proper attention.

Growing up as Kelson's cousin can't have been easy, given that Kelson was a good student at both military and academic pursuits early on. I'm sure there must have been a lot of competition between the cousins as they grew up and studied together. But no matter how well Conall did at anything, the whole Court would have put Kelson first, because of his rank.  Conall probably heard the old complaint "Why can't you be more like__" often enough to make him resent Kelson even more.  When Kelson became King at fourteen, we know that Nigel was always there to support him in his Kingship, and having to share Nigel's attention with his cousin even more would have made Conall resent him even more. 

Why Kelson and Conall weren't closer friends from boyhood may have simply owed to their respective personalities, even if Conall had not been a jealous jerk.  Kelson seems to get on perfectly well with Rory and Payne. He enjoys reading, Conall has little interest in it unless it's about military strategy. Kelson is very mindful of the succession, and his kingship left him little time to get into much trouble, anyway. He wasn't all that interested in sex for its own sake--he wanted to care about and have something in common with any woman he got involved with, sexually. He was  genuinely interested in building a good relationship with Sidana and with Araxie, even while he acknowledged the  dynastic necessity of marriage in general.

Conall was quite a libertine. His most pressing interest in a woman is whether or not he found her attractive, and he didn't much care what she felt. His love for Rothana,  while I think it was real enough, was  a pretty selfish and immature variety. 

Kelson doesn't have to insist on the respect given to rank, and his ability to relax about it gains him the personal support of the MacArdry Clan  that is more than just the baseline loyalty subjects owe their king. Conall's fussing  about proper formality just puts everyone off.

Melissa
Title: Re: The Quest for S.Camber
Post by: BalanceTheEnergies on February 10, 2009, 01:02:14 am
Quote
I think it was Conall's own personality that was the problem.

I'm inclined to agree with Shiral. Conall is depicted as lacking in self-discipline when he starts fooling around with Vanissa and Tiercel is able to take him by surprise (in the Prologue). The text indicates this was a life-long trait.