What does a young man do when you take away all that he has? That is the pivotal question in David Keck's In the Eye of Heaven. Durand believes he will assume the lordship of a small village that lies under his father's authority, but his plan is shattered when the heir to the village, believed dead, turns up very much alive. This event sends Durand on an adventure – through a dark, gritty medieval world.
Keck's strength is that he has crafted an almost tangible world. The reader can easily get lost in this perilous, often creepy place Keck has created. The plot is not your usual and overdone fantasy quest, but is original and engrossing.
The weaknesses of In the Eye of Heaven lie first in the characters, where none, other than Durant, truly pique the reader's interest, and in the development — or lack thereof — of the way in which magic works in the world. It is present, but not explored, at least in this installment of what is sure to be a solid fantasy series.
Keck is one of the best new voices in fantasy and I look forward to his next book.