Cinhil is still uneasily settling into his new role; Camber & his friends & children are still trying to keep the kingdom from running off the rails; and Ariella, sister of the deposed Imre, has fled, with her & her brother's incestuous infant son, to more friendly climes. The closest things to an antagonist are either Cinhil (who is kind of desperately unhappy in his new role as king, and not above spreading some of that around), the folks behind the drive for Camber's sainthood (who are only responding to events as they perceive them), and maybe Camber's own conscience, especially in a situation like this where there are no easy answers.
While this trilogy allows for the fact that Cambers just a man, were clearly still supposed to see him as always on the side of good and right. It wouldnt all be so troublesome if it werent for the fact that were clearly meant to see all these decisions as amply justified, because Camber is on the side of Right. Camber and crew are bound to discover it just in time.
At the finish of this one, I find I don't have a lot more to say than a comment I made on the reread post for Chapters 20 and 21 of this book.
The first book tells the story of a Deryni...Camber MacRorie...and the fight of his family and Deryni friends to oust a Deryni pretender king (Imre) from the throne of Gwynedd. It is Camber...with the help of family and friends...who do oust Imre and his sister (Ariella) from the throne of Gwynedd. On to Saint Camber, which starts in the capital city of Valoret after King Imre has been killed and his sister Ariella (pregnant with her brother's child) has been driven from Gwynedd into neighboring Torenth. King Cinhil and his advisers...Earl Camber of Culdi, his son, Father Joram MacRorie of the Michaeline Order of warrior priests (similar to the Knights Templar??), Rhys Thuryn, a young Deryni healer (and son-in-law of Camber), Jebediah of Alcara, the Deryni Grand Master of the militant Knights of St. Michael, Alister Cullen, the Deryni Vicar General of the Michaeline Order, and Guaire of Arliss, a young, non-Deryni and one of a very few men of the last regime to retain a position in the court...are considering their options for war against Ariella and her new allies. More troubling is the fact that she is pregnant with her brother's child who, when born, could have a potential claim on the throne of Gwynedd if King Cinhil should have no legitimate heir. So the first part of the book deals with bringing the armies of Gwynedd together to finally end any claim Ariella and her family might have on the throne. Father Alistair Cullen, the only Deryni that King Cinhil even marginally trusts...is killed in a "duel arcane" between himself and Ariella. Thus it became that Camber of Culdi dies and Alistair Cullen, Vicar General and good friend of the king, lives. The rest of the book, as you might surmise, is about Camber's life as Alistair Cullen, coming to grips with the fact that Camber, having only been invested as a deacon in the Church, has taken on the life of a bishop of the Church and the Vicar General of the Knights of St. Michael.
As religion played such an important role during the time that these novels were set, it only makes sense on one hand, but on the other, this is a fantasy world, and the author could take great liberty and have taken all, and any of this story, in any direction. Mrs. Kurtz has kept the religious aspects of her story for this time period true to the facts that described the corruption and power struggle between church and state.