Sunday, February 28, 2016

High Deryni (1973)

Well written but emotionally pointless, High Deryni (1973) completes Katherine Kurtz's original Chronicles of the Deryni. In this work, the country and the church is torn asunder by civil war over the issue of a half-Deryni upon the throne, and the half-Deryni who serves the throne. Meanwhile, a neighboring King, a trained Deryni sorcerer, seeks to subjugation of King Kelson's realm.

On paper, that looks pretty good. In practice, I just have no idea what sort of novel this was supposed to be, where it was supposed to go, or why it went the way that it went. Despite plotting along in a coherent manner, the work never found its narrative, never quite decided which story it was telling and why. The novel itself details events, including all the inconsequential things that can be skimmed over, while skimming over the events that seem consequential. As a result, skimming over the novel produces a satisfactory gloss of events.

If you felt distant about the previous novels in this series, this one won't redeem itself. If you enjoy what and how Ms. Kurtz writes, I think that you will find this the best of the series. Don't let my dissatisfaction stop you from your own enjoyment.