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.
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High Deryni is a historical fantasy novel by American -born author Katherine Kurtz. It was first published by Ballantine Books as the sixty-first volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in September, , and has been reprinted a number of times since. A revised and updated edition of the novel was released in by Ace Books. High Deryni was the third of Kurtz' Deryni novels to be published, and the final book in the Chronicles of the Deryni Trilogy.
The next Deryni book to be published was Camber of Culdi , which details events that occur two centuries before High Deryni. However, the internal literary chronology of events in the Deryni series is continued in The Bishop's Heir. The novel is set in the land of Gwynedd, one of the fictional Eleven Kingdoms. Gwynedd itself is a medieval kingdom similar to the British Isles of the 12th century, with a powerful Holy Church based on the Roman Catholic Church , and a feudal government ruled by a hereditary monarchy.
The population of Gwynedd includes both humans and Deryni , a race of people with inherent physic and magical abilities who have been shunned and persecuted for centuries.
The novel begins three months after the events of Deryni Checkmate , as young King Kelson Haldane struggles to resolve an internal ecclesiastical schism on the eve of an invasion by a powerful Deryni sorcerer. The novel takes place in June and July , less than a year after the coronation of fourteen-year-old King Kelson Haldane. At the beginning of the book, Kelson is leading an army into the Duchy of Corwyn to put down the rebellion of an anti-Deryni zealot named Warin de Grey.
Morgan and Duncan decide to go to Dhassa and seek to reconcile with the six bishops who have refused to follow Loris' anti-Deryni crusade. After hearing their explanations for their previous actions, the two bishops agree to forgive them. Coris has decided to betray Kelson and immediately turns Derry over Wencit, who begins to torture Derry both physically and mentally.
Morgan senses Derry's pain when he attempts to contact him, but his use of his powers is detected by Bishop Arilan, who reveals that he is also Deryni. Kelson's army then marches to Coroth, where the young king confronts the rebellious archbishop. Once inside, they confront Warin and force him to re-evaluate his beliefs by comparing his mysterious healing ability to Morgan's. Having acquired Warin's aid, Kelson confronts Loris the following morning and takes the archbishop into custody.
With the internal ecclesiastical schism now resolved, Kelson's army prepares to face the invading Torenthi army. Kelson learns of Bran Coris' treason, but is nonetheless determined to win the war. The Gwyneddan army arrives at the border shortly thereafter and is greeted by grisly evidence of Bran Coris' betrayal. During a parley session with the Torenthi invaders, Morgan manages to rescue Derry, but the army is unable to prevent the murder of fifty Gwyneddan soldiers, including Duncan's father.
Wencit challenges Kelson to a Duel Arcane, a form of ritualized magical combat in which each king will be accompanied by three companions. Before Kelson can agree, Arilan suddenly requests a brief period to consider the challenge. A short time later, Arilan reveals that he is not only Deryni, but also a member of the Camberian Council , a secretive group of highly trained Deryni who oversee and regulate such duels. In issuing his challenge, Wencit claims that he has secured the cooperation of the Council, but Arilan has heard nothing of such a request.
He establishes a Transfer Portal in Kelson's tent and travels to the Council's chambers, demanding an explanation from his comrades. They soon realize that Wencit has attempted to trick Kelson by bringing four imposters to the duel. Though initially reluctant to arbitrate the duel, the Council finally agrees after Arilan brings Kelson, Morgan, and Duncan to confront them.
Although furious when the real Council arrives, Wencit eventually concedes to their presence. The Duel Arcane begins, but it is suddenly interrupted before the first spell can be summoned.
One of Wencit's allies reveals himself to be another member of the Camberian Council, one who has been working to bring down Wencit for years for his own personal reasons. He provided poisoned wine for Wencit and his other allies, and all four are soon dying from its effects. Unwilling to let his enemies suffer needlessly, Kelson uses his powers to kill each of them.
With Wencit's death, the Duel Arcane is ended and Kelson emerges victorious. Lester del Rey found the novel disappointing, saying that "the menaces have all turned into paper dragons" because the author has arbitrarily resolved the story's conflicts rather than working them out. He concluded that "In one novel the author has ruined everything [she] built up in the previous two. High Deryni was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for outstanding work in the field of fantasy literature.
Kurtz and Anderson had also been finalists the previous year, but Anderson would eventually win the award in for A Midsummer Tempest. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Deryni series by Katherine Kurtz. King Kelson's Bride Categories : novels Deryni novels Fiction set in the s Novels set in the 12th century Ballantine Books books.
With young King Kelson on the throne of Gwynedd, the priesthood of the Eleven Kingdoms felt its control deeply threatened. For Kelson was half Deryni — part of that race of humans gifted with extrasensory powers…a race that had ruled two centuries earlier, but was dethroned and driven underground. Now, the final battle for ultimate power was about to break into open conflict, led by the Church which equated the supernatural powers of the Deryni with witchcraft and heresy! Category: Epic Fantasy. Available from:.