Kurtz's popular Deryni series looks at first like any other quasi-medieval hokum involving such ""arcane arts"" as telepathy and weather-changing. What sets it apart is the bond that links the arcanely gifted Deryni and their often resentful human neighbors: the Roman Catholic faith. Saint Camber explores the aftermath of evil Deryni king Imre's deposition by an alliance of Deryni and humans. Imre's human successor, a former monk who bitterly regrets the abrogation of his vows, is on the point of breaking with his wisest adviser, the Deryni Earl Camber of Culdi. To retain his influential position, Camber changes shapes with a more trusted advisor who died in the recent battles--Father Alister Cullen. As a priest (and later a bishop), Camber must not only wrestle with his conscience as a layman performing unauthorized priestly functions; he also must witness the alarming spectacle of a movement to canonize the ""dead"" Camber. It's a pity that this ingeniously developed situation is hampered by such plodding characterizations and uncertain prose. Nonetheless, the Deryni chronicles have more to them than most of the ilk.