In the 1970s, Katherine Kurtz created the kingdom of Gwynedd and its magical inhabitants, the Deryni. In her first novel set in Gwynedd, the Derynis' psychic and healing abilities have led to centuries' worth of persecution at the hands of their human neighbors. Though a human king from House Haldane sits on the throne, a Deryni usurper has sparked a growing rebellion...
However, it wasn't always this way. Long ago, it was the Deryni who held positions of power—from places within the Holy Church to Gwynedd's ruling monarchy—and the Haldanes were nothing but a weakened, ancient dynasty. Such is the political and social climate presented in the Camber of Culdi, the first installment of Kurtz's prequel series, in which its namesake Deryni hero vies for the restoration of the aforementioned Haldane line.
Camber MacRorie is an intelligent scholar, a wealthy family man, and an occasional practitioner of Deryni magic. For years, he has served as a trusted aide to various Festilli kings—the men who defeated the once-great Haldane dynasty—and has witnessed each successor grow more barbaric. The especially cruel and newly-crowned King Imre is the final straw, inspiring a 50-something Camber to retire to his beloved estate with his children.
But his peace is shattered when Healer Rhys Thuryn and Camber's grown son, Father Jorman, bring him some startling news: One of Rhys’ oldest patients, Daniel Draper, has died—but not before revealing, through Deryni magic, that he's secretly a Haldane prince. His grandson, currently an old monk named Benedictus, is his only living relative—and thus, the only rightful heir to Gwynedd's throne. If Rhys finds Benedictus, as was Daniel's dying wish, they could lead an uprising that would end the Festilli reign once and for all.
This proposition has come not a moment to soon: If King Imre's subjects are not dying due to his negligence, they're being murdered outright. The need for a new king, the three men agree, is greater than ever—and so they launch a search for the elusive Haldane heir.
In the following excerpt of Camber of Culdi, Camber and Rhys have arrived at Saint Foillan’s Abbey, where they suspect Daniel’s grandson lives as a claustral brother. With Rhys’ reputation as a Healer and Camber’s convincing disguise as a monk, they scheme their way into getting an audience with him. The man they find is a quiet and devout holy man—but are the makings of a king inside him, too?
Click here to read an excerpt of Camber of Culdi, and then download the book.
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