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Sir Durwin must overcome a cloak-and-dagger plot to usurp the king in the final novel of the Enchanter General, a historical fantasy trilogy set in twelfth century England. King Henry is dead; Richard the Lionheart now rules England. The new king does not believe in magic, and is interested only in a crusade to recapture Jerusalem. But his crusade soon stalls, and while he is away, his brother, John, and his supposed ally, Philip of France, are conspiring to steal his kingdom. Richard’s mother, Queen Eleanor, sends Sir Durwin, Enchanter General of England, out to Palestine, where he must convince the skeptical king that a loyal magician can be a valuable aide. Meanwhile, King Philip has turned all of Europe into a trap for Richard. The moment the Lionheart sets foot there, he will be arrested and imprisoned for life. It is up to Durwin, aided by his old friend William Legier, to see Richard safely home again and to save the kingdom from falling into the hands of the sadistic and treacherous Prince John . . .
Duncan's disappointing third and final Enchanter General novel minimizes the magic but boosts the historical content for a primarily academic endeavor. In 1189, 20 years after the events of Trial by Treason, disabled master magician Durwin, Enchanter General to kings and now Baron of Pipewell, discovers a sixth-century Welsh spell called Myrddin Wyllt, or Merlin the Wilde, which gives him the ability to fall into a trance and see visions of the future. But use of such a spell, considered black magic, could lead to a charge of treason. After predicting the death of his patron, King Henry II of England, Durwin becomes a favorite of Henry's widow, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. She calls him Merlin Redux and charges him with bringing her son, Richard the Lionheart, back from his crusade in the Holy Land. During his travels, Durwin foresees attacks by Saladin and provides healing spells to Richard's knights. Distrustful of magic, Richard must decide whether to continue his crusade or return home to defend England from the treachery of his usurping brother, Prince John, and King Philip of France. Readers of historical fiction will appreciate the period detail, but fans of fantasy will long for more intricate magical escapades.