When we first met Kelson (in Kurtz's debut novel, Deryni Rising ), he was fourteen and about to ascend to the throne of Gwynedd, the medieval realm that never was, where a small minority of the populace, the Deryni, have magical abilities.
Many novels later, King Kelson--in whom the Deryni blood flows strong--has come fully into his power and it is time to marry and begin the serious business of begetting heirs. Aficionados of The Deryni Chronicles will know that marriage and Kelson don't mix: his first betrothed was murdered on their wedding day and his second was tricked into marrying another. Now the young heir of Torenth, a rival kingdom, is about to be crowned, and securing Kelson's succession has become a matter of urgency--and intrigue. Kelson's mother, his friends, his ex-fiancee, the mysterious Camberian Council, rival powers, and friendly allies all have their own candidates and agendas. With the future of Gwynedd at stake, Kelson has to learn to trust his enemies, use all his magic and might, and find a middle path between his duty as king and his feelings as a man. The king, like the author, succeeds admirably. --Luc Duplessis