Cover image for In the king's service
In the king's service
Kurtz, Katherine.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ace Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
359 pages : map ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



In this first book of an all-new Deryni trilogy, New York Timesbestselling author Katherine Kurtz takes readers back in time-before King Kelson's bride...before King Kelson's birth...when the magical Deryni blood was sought by the most powerful men and women in the kingdom of Gwynedd. Back when a man named Donal ruled over all...

Author Notes

Katherine Kurtz was born in Coral Gables, Florida on October 18, 1944. She received a four-year science scholarship to the University of Miami where she graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry. She completed an M.A. in medieval English history at UCLA while writing her first two novels, and working as an instructional designer for the Los Angeles Police Academy. She is also a professionally trained hypnotist, a student of comparative religion, and somewhat of an authority on heraldry and chivalry

She has also joined with Deborah Turner Harris, and together they have written five books in an adept series of occult detective thrillers set in modern Scotland. Her first editing foray, Tales of The Knights Templar, appeared from Warner Books in 1995, which wa followed by a second volume, On Crusade: More Tales of The Knights Templar.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In her first Deryni novel since King Kelson's Bride 0 (2000), Kurtz reverts to the time of Kelson's grandfather, King Donal Haldane, who was of necessity a ruthless lord. Donal's mother was the Mearan princess whose marriage led to periodic uprisings that weren't settled until Kelson's day. Donal wasn't at open war with Torenth, but Gwynned suffered periodic raids. Donal's first marriage was childless. His second was anything but, yet he knew he might not survive to see his successor's maturity. Despite the hostility of the church toward Deryni, King Donal needed trusted men and women of that magical race to protect his kingdom and his heirs. In relating all this ancient history, the book also shows the workings of the Camberian Counsel of an earlier era, revealing to faithful Deryni readers as well as newcomers the reasons the counsel is so hostile toward Alaric Morgan. A vital continuation of the saga. --Frieda Murray Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this exquisitely detailed Deryni fantasy, her first since King Kelson's Bride (2000), veteran Kurtz lays out the history of the Deryni before the time of King Kelson, focusing on the characters whose heirs will become important players in the Kingdom of Gwynedd, modeled on medieval Wales. Donal Haldane, the king who appears fair and just, has hidden agendas and sometimes uses his power to insure his own dynastic needs regardless of other's feelings. Lady Alyce de Corwyn, the daughter of one of the last Deryni gentry, must master the art of court intrigue. Lady Jessamy, a co-conspirator with the king, helps fulfill his wish for a protector for his son. The Camberian Council-the group of secretive Deryni who rule over their magical brethren-instigate their own secret plans regarding both Deryni and humans. Everyone follows paths strewn with danger, difficulties, misjudgments-and the agonizing possibility of death. Despite a somewhat static plot, the scenes of daily life at court, plus the usual church versus magic conflict, will keep fans turning the pages. (Nov. 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In the time before religious and secular persecution drove the Deryni into hiding, these powerful mentalists served as counselors and advisers to the human rulers of Gwynedd. The rise of Donal Haldane to the throne, however, signals a new era, in which the king expects the strong-willed Deryni sorcerers to obey his demands. The author of the popular, multivolume Deryni series (King Nelson's Bride) explores the early history of the realm of Gwynedd and uncovers the roots of conflict as human and Deryni try with varying degrees of success to coexist. Kurtz's fidelity to the customs and mores of medieval Europe gives a richness of detail to her alternate medieval world. For most fantasy collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.