Another series that I've foisted upon the teenage boy in the house is one that I liked fairly well in high school, and my friends (who were real book snobs) liked more: Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" series. The original trilogy consists of "Deryni Rising", "Deryni Checkmate" and "High Deryni". There have been about a dozen more books (including two more trilogies) since this first trilogy was published long ago.
The setting is a typical sword-and-sorcery fantasy world (Gwynedd) with more parallels to medieval Europe than most fantasies. In this world, there are some people, known as Deryni, who are capable of magic, and they have to practice their magic in secret. Despite their spirituality and good nature, the Deryni are, of course, despised and persecuted by the church, which has great power and influence (and they are mostly pretty crappy people). The young 14-year-old set to be king after the assassination of his father is, of course, secretly Deryni, and so is his regent (and so are some of his enemies), so there is naturally some great conflict to read about.
The plot has more intrigue and surprises than, say, anything by David Eddings, but it isn't up to the level of Steven Brust either. It is a natural evolutionary step to read something like "The Belgariad", followed by a couple of trilogies from this set. The magic in this series is very different, much more of a ritual nature (like witchcraft in Brust's world of Dragaera), and at first, it is interesting to see it all described. After about the tenth time I saw the whole counting-in-Latin sequence, it felt a lot like filler, though.
I liked the "Camber" trilogy which is a prequel to "Deryni" but not so much the "King Kelson" sequel trilogy (is there such a thing as a "sequel trilogy"?). I didn't read any of the others in this series, but I haven't heard good things.Posted by Observer at December 1, 2004 09:51 PM
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