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In the Eye of Heaven

(Tales of Durand #1)

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3.19  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  50 reviews
From a strong new voice in epic fantasy comes the tale of Durand, a good squire trying to become a good knight in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Set to inherit the lordship of a small village in his father's duchy because the knight of that village has been bereaved of his own son, Durand must leave when the son unexpectedly turns up alive.

First he falls in with a band of
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Paperback, 446 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Tor Fantasy (first published April 2006)
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3.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  50 reviews


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Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
DNF at 40%

I tried. I really tried, but the prose is just too dense and decorative for me. I made it to 40% in and feel like only 1 truly notable event has happened to direct the plot. I'm certain that there's a cool story with really great world building buried somewhere in here. I would catch glimpses of it from time to time, but then whatever had briefly caught my attention would slip away. What I read of this seemed less like a true narrative of events, and more like random mini-episodes of D
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The Captain
May 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

I really wanted to like this debut fantasy novel. It was compared to Glen Cook and the adjectives "gritty" and "medieval" were used. One of me favourite author's, Tamora Pierce, gave it a four-star review on Goodreads and read it twice. Hence its appeal. But this one just did not float me boat. Instead I had to abandon ship and watch it sink to the watery depths n
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Tamora Pierce
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adult
Durand is a second son, condemned to the life of a wandering sellsword unless he can get lands of his own. His first chance is ruined when the heir, thought to have drowned, returns on the eve of Durand's knighting. Set on the road by a god called the Traveller, Durand enters the service of a cruel knight who drowns his wife's lover and sets Durand as one of the guards when he walls the lady and her baby in a tower room. Durand leaves, to enter the service of the lady's brother.

He too is lookin
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Bookwraiths
I DNF-d this one a little over halfway through. It isn't a bad book, but it never captured my interest and retained it, which is sad since I really liked the main character and wanted to read about him.
Shane Jardine
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In The Eye of Heaven is something that has been on my reading list for a few years now that I’ve never seem to found the time to actually read. So when I found out that the last book in the trilogy was going to be releasing later this year and that the first two books were getting reissued in trade paperback I knew it was the perfect time to finally read it. It honestly took me a little while to actually get into the book but once I did I loved almost everything about it and spent my entire day ...more
David Fuller
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
IN David Keck's tale of a knight-errant, the knight isn't the only thing that wanders. Sometimes the plot does, too.

Keck, who grew up in Winnipeg, puts his degrees in history and literature to good use in crafting a detailed fantasy that smacks of Arthurian romance.

The main character, Durand, is left without title or holdings when a long-lost son returns to claim land that would have become Durand's by default. Without waiting for pity or advice, Durand charges off to seek his fortune as a man-a
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Arseni Kritchever
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is what I like to call a "heartbreak" book. It's what I call books that I really really wanted to like but in the end just couldn't. This book tells a tale of a young knight-to-be Durand, as he travels across an Arthurian fantasy kingdom gone bad, first in search of employment and then in search of redemption. This is dark fantasy with a lot of violence, gritty details, mature language and situations, and bleak choices with a lot of intriguing details. It is clear that the author has put a ...more
April
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Went for an author I had never heard of this time around since I don't have access to my own library... interesting start... different writing style, have not decided if I like it yet... but I'm fascinated with the setting and story, so onward we go!

So! Very good book. I found the mythos and the pantheon of this world very fascinating and was distracted at first by the writing style... felt I was missing something or really wanted to know more about the gods and the history... but... as I went a
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Russell Anderson
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great story, with characters that you can really get behind. The protagonist doesn't always act as I would act, but he is completely supported by the development preceding his decisions.

The Arthur-Gueniveur-Lancelot love triangle is a little trite, but you can't argue too much with a theme that has had that much success.

The characters have you yelling at them in your head as you read, and only afterward do you realize how invested you have become in their story.

Well written, well developed, go
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Chernz
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I knew going into this that I was reading a pretty divisive novel and that people who disliked it *really* disliked it. The multiple one star and DNF'ed reviews almost put me off this thing but it had been a bit since I read some fantasy and I figured I might as well give this thing a shot. I can honestly say it surprised me, both in tone and narrative style, and that I found myself increasingly fascinated during my read-through. I almost never dog-ear or note mark pages but I got so caught up i ...more
Jasmine
One sentence review: A realistic portrayal of the Middle Ages that meanders a bit too much for my taste.

I have decided to forego the "quick summary" section. The story travels so many paths, I cannot provide an adequate or meaningful summary. 

In the Eye of Heaven is a gritty novel which shows Keck's outstanding wealth of knowledge regarding the Middle Ages. The glamour of sleep arrangements filled with nits and fleas and in the impossibilities of upward socio-economic movement for a second son,
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Kend
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
Well ... this was fine. I finished it. I also found myself wondering why, in an age of such audacious, fresh, invigorating storytelling celebrating diverse authors and #OwnVoices narratives, a publisher would re-release this specific book. It's not bad ... it's just ... not really where fantasy readers live anymore, what with its prototypically white, Western-European, Medieval world and its prototypically white, cisgender, heterosexual young man who needs to come of age. And sleep with some pre ...more
Anh
Dec 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, boring, given-up
I can't say with good conscience this book is bad. There's definitely something there. But apart from glimpses from time to time, I never quite caught what that is. It is most of the time buried under strange names and strange plots.

I have no problem with strange names and strange plots, but they should be reasonable. Names are good, if they have background stories. Plots are good if they waive into something coherent. Neither happen in this book, and so I feel lost all the time, like who is thi
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Aria Nocturne
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Garske
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While some of the prose can be clunky - the story, characters, and world are fascinating and immersive.
Edward Silverman
Feb 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This should have been in my wheelhouse but I found it disjointed and hard to get into. It certainly had good moments though so perhaps others will enjoy it more.
Brianne Reeves
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
This falls prey to many pacing issues. Too many subplots, not enough substance. Oh well.
DaMaar
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-knight
Very Good

This book was written with a foundation similar to most fantasy novels - You have the erstwhile squire - coming of age via his trek of errantry. What makes this book different is a land itself and the special mysteries surrounding it. The MC quest is not cut and dry everything is shrouded - you can’t tell if something is really happening until another character mentions it a chapter later. I can see why some people would find it frustrating but I found it interesting and kept me on my t
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
In the Eye of Heaven is a readable book, but on further reflection, it's pretty bad. Probably the one thing the author did best was creating a realistic (sometimes meaning gross--flea-ridden beds and so forth) medieval setting. And I found the plot easy enough to follow: sure, unexplained supernatural things happen, but it's reasonable (one would assume) for the supernatural to be a little bizarre.

At any rate, most of the plot involves a young man named Durand attaching himself to lords' retinu
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Ambrosia
Mar 27, 2009 rated it liked it
When I first picked this book up, I found it distressingly uneven. I liked the Dark-Ages aesthetic (here's a book where the protagonist thinks nothing of sleeping on flea-infested mattresses and regularly cowers in terror from threats both human and supernatural), and certain bits definitely left an impression - a rather agonizing description of a medieval trip to the dentist especially has stuck with me. But the main character never grabbed my attention; frankly, he reminded me of a heroine in ...more
Dev Null
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, fantasy
I really enjoyed this.

I'll say this; at times it's a bit disjointed. I took this to be, however, not a failing of the writing, but an attempt by the author to portray the confusion and bewilderment of the main character. It feels a bit like some of the traditional Celtic stories I've read; the characters are spun about by powers beyond their control for quite a bit before they find the one moment that they can act. Maybe that's me being charitable, but it worked for me anyways.

The world has a ni
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Rachelle
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommend this book to anyone who loves medieval war fantasies. This dashing book differs from most in that it has a Dark Ages flair, and the author expects the reader to leap into its world with both feet and make the journey to enlightenment along with the protaganist, Durand of Col. Religion and mysticism guide daily life, with might stiving to put right. There's plenty of action for the martial readers, and the plot never lets up, not for a moment.

I'll leave the synopsis to the booksellers:
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Brant Satala
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. The language was like a heady potion. The characters felt like gritty ghosts from a distant medieval past. There are so many aspects of the senses to these books that you can smell the churned grass and earth while the mock-battles play out on the battle fields. I read these two books back when they came out and they still haunt me today.
I can’t wait to read the third book to be published on July 24, 2018!
Highly recommend this series. Give it a chance, it really tak
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Sara
Oct 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not particularly like this book. The story was alright overall, although our main character is hardly inspirational. My biggest complaint was the preposterously confusing writing. I would have to go back and reread sentences multiple times to try to figure out what Keck was trying to say - sometimes I just plain didn't bother because it could easily be multiple sentences in a row.

I'd suggest finding something else to read.
Rachel
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I gave up on this book at a certain point. I really wanted to like it because it had come highly recommended from a friend who's taste I usually agree with. Parts were ok but it just drifted along and started to sit down to it with a sense of obligation. I'm reading for fun, no one is grading me on this so it's not going to be finished.
Baker St Shelves
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Ever play a video game that has a great plot, but it easily detracts because of the endless side missions? If you do, then you know what I mean. This book has great characters and a nice plot, that is to say when it eventually gets to the plot. In my opinion, this would be better if it was more focused.
Christian Rowley
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it
this is an alright book i haven't really read many books from David Keck but i know that this one is so so you'd have to read it to understand what im talking about. I can say that this book did contain many interesting words that i used on a bookmark for school. Overall i give the book "in the eye of heaven" 3 out of 5 stars
Ann
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
I've been almost-done with this book for a few days now. It started out promising, but now that I'm 3/4 of the way through, I'm bored. I'll finish it eventually, or at least skip to the last chapter or two. In the Eye of Heaven is an Arthurian-style saga with knights and (married) damsels in distress. It is fairly repetitive and could definitely use some Monty Python (or at least a pun or two).
Liviu
Jun 08, 2009 rated it liked it
I liked the writing in this one - it worked for me as it happens - but the content is fairly conventional and I read very fast the novel without truly getting into it; still i was up for the sequel which was similar for me and I am interested to see where it goes
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David Keck is a New York based writer and teacher who grew up in Winnipeg, Canada.

His novels are published by Tor.

On long winter evenings, he filled pads of newsprint with drawings, cartoons, and stories. His mother made him write on both sides.

After completing degrees in English Literature/History and Education in Winnipeg, he traveled to Britain’s University of Sussex where he earned an MA in c
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Other books in the series

Tales of Durand (3 books)
  • In a Time of Treason (Tales of Durand, #2)
  • A King in Cobwebs (Tales of Durand #3)