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High Deryni (1973)

by Katherine Kurtz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Deryni Novels: publication order (3), The Chronicles of the Deryni (3), Deryni Novels: timeline (June 1121 - July 1121), Deryni Novels: chronological order ((Chronicles of the Deryni 3) 15)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,574811,282 (3.91)14
"Young Kelson Haldane has claimed his birthright and assumed the throne of Gwynedd. For the first time in centuries, a king of Deryni heritage, possessing extraordinary magical abilities, rules the realm." "But the priesthood of the Eleven Kingdoms has held sway over the Crown for generations. They decried the Deryni as witches and heretics, drove them underground, and usurped control of the kingdom. They have no intention of ceding their power to Kelson and his supporters - even if it means inciting civil war." "Supported by the Church, an anti-Deryni leader has risen to prominence, dividing the people of the land. To end the conflict, King Kelson must face his enemies in battle - enemies willing to use the magic they so fear..."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This was the most complex book of the trilogy and I liked it the best. 3 1/2 stars

But I did have a few issues with it

I found the Morgan, Richenda romance story line unbelievable. It just happened way to fast, he helped push her carriage out of a ditch and she fell in love with him. Kurtz does supply the additional fact later that she is also Deryni and somehow knows Morgan's her soulmate, but that just wasn't enough to convince me.

The other thing I had issue with the the Duel Arcane, after all the planning and talk about it I was sorely let down when it was resolved the way it was.

( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |


It turns out that the whole story we've been following is about some supporting characters... not very satisfying ( )
  frfeni | Jan 31, 2021 |
Re-read of an old favorite series and still enjoyed it as much as the first time. Katherine Kurtz knows how to write epic fantasy tales. ( )
  ConalO | Apr 23, 2018 |
What an utterly satisfying end to the trilogy that started with Deryni Rising and continued in Deryni Checkmate. There is no question who is doing evil things or who is doing the right things. Kelson comes into his own, albeit in a harsh situation. My favorite quotation is this one: "Human or Deryni, we share at least one common bond—and it is thicker than blood or oath or any spell that one might bind from the outer darkness. It is the sure and certain knowledge that we side with the Light. And he who would side with Darkness can only be our enemy, no matter what his blood or oath or spell."

Start with Deryni Rising and you will find an author growing in her skills and a powerful story of choices that are made and the consequences thereof. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Mar 18, 2018 |
The Deryni books are great sword and sorcery fantasy. What makes them unique is that they're a blend of historical fantasy and high fantasy. What marks a book out as high fantasy is a completely imaginary world with no links to real history--legend maybe, but the ties are tenuous, even when like Tolkien's Middle Earth, Lackey's Valdemir or Pierce's Tortall, they have a pseudo-medieval feel.

This on, the other hand, is Christian Europe--yet not quite. Gwynedd is recognizably Britain--more so than what you see usually see in high fantasy, even if there aren't any real historical parallels to the Haldane dynasty--or the Deryni for that matter, magically talented people who are persecuted by the Church. But more unusually, their "Holy Church" is quite recognizable as the Roman Catholic Church, and the church's beliefs are important to the characters, particularly Monsignor Duncan McLain, an ordained priest and newly made bishop, one of my favorite characters in the series. Which is why, unlike some reviewers, I can't see these books as anti-Christian, anti-Catholic or at all comparable to Pullman. I loved Pullman's His Dark Materials for it's style and imagination, but there's no question his quasi-Catholic Church, the Magisterium, is just plain evil, and at times Pullman's anti-church clanging anvils got to me. The thrust of the Deryni books is different. It isn't the Church or religion that's meant to be seen as evil, as characters such as Duncan prove. And in this book, two Bishops, Thomas Cardiel and Denis Arilan, are good guys as well. And I felt for Jehana, Kelson's mother, who tries to reconcile her religious convictions with her Deryni heritage. I don't think the messages of these books is anti-religion--just anti-intolerance. But I don't see these as books about a message--but good yarns. Well-plotted and with characters you care about, and this book brings the first trilogy of Deryni books to a satisfying conclusion. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Oct 24, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Kurtzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pukallus, HorstÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stawicki, MattCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For MARGARET FRANCES CARTER:
because every mother
with an offspring who writes
should have a book from her Author-Child.
First words
The name they had given the boy was Royston--Royston Richardson, after his father--and the dagger he clutched to fearfully in the deepening twilight was not his own.
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"Young Kelson Haldane has claimed his birthright and assumed the throne of Gwynedd. For the first time in centuries, a king of Deryni heritage, possessing extraordinary magical abilities, rules the realm." "But the priesthood of the Eleven Kingdoms has held sway over the Crown for generations. They decried the Deryni as witches and heretics, drove them underground, and usurped control of the kingdom. They have no intention of ceding their power to Kelson and his supporters - even if it means inciting civil war." "Supported by the Church, an anti-Deryni leader has risen to prominence, dividing the people of the land. To end the conflict, King Kelson must face his enemies in battle - enemies willing to use the magic they so fear..."--BOOK JACKET.

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