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Authors: Katherine Kurtz

Deryni Checkmate

BOOK: Deryni Checkmate
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Table of Contents
“Kurtz has created a fascinating idealization of the Middle Ages and infused it with a kind of magic one can truly believe in.”
—Fantasy Review
“An excellent read for fans of sword and sorcery . . . wonderful.” —
Yet Another Book Review Site
“Great read. Action, characterization, and smooth storytelling combine for a real page-turner.”

Yet Another Book Review Site
“[This gem is] a fast, fun read.”—
Yet Another Book Review Site
“The revision of the original Deryni trilogy is a solid ending to a fine rewrite.”—
Alternative Worlds
“Kurtz’s strengths lie in her patient accumulation of telling detail, well-articulated plots, and believable magics. Should bring the fans flocking and attract newcomers, too.”

Kirkus Reviews
“Kurtz’s triumphant return to the magical medieval realm of Gwynedd . . . exciting and intriguing.”—
SF Site
“The author remains just as polished and expert as ever . . . Kurtz, one of the founders of modern historical fantasy, after nearly thirty years continues to be one of its most accomplished practitioners.”—
Publishers Weekly
“Ms. Kurtz creates compelling characters, a Byzantine plot, and magical wonder for a beguiling reading experience.”

Romantic Times
“A good choice for most fantasy collections.”

Library Journal
“This Deryni yarn should satisfy all the fans the series has accumulated during its thirty-year run.”—
“One of the happiest . . . books in this series.”—
“Avid Deryni readers will rush to this book, and novices to the series will not be disappointed.”—
“A rich and romantic tale sure to please lovers of fantasy, romance, intrigue, and the Middle Ages.”—
Realms of Fantasy
“Excellent book. Deryni fans, enjoy.”—
Billings (MT) Gazette
“Kurtz is one of the best of those fantasy writers who use medieval-like settings for their novels, and this is one of her better books.”—
“Kurtz’s fidelity to the customs and mores of medieval Europe gives a richness of detail to her alternate medieval world.”—
Library Journal
“Exquisitely detailed . . . The scenes of daily life at court, plus the usual Church-versus-magic conflict, will keep fans turning the pages.”—
Publishers Weekly
“A vital continuation to the saga.”—
“Katherine Kurtz still reigns as the queen of historical fantasies.”—
Midwest Book Review
“The novel sparkles with Kurtz’s attention to detail . . . can be enjoyed by fans and newcomers alike.”

Romantic Times
(Top Pick)
“A subtle novel, relying on well-written characters and intrigue. That is not to say there is not action, but it stems out of the politics of nations and kings.”—
“Kurtz practically invented alternate-world fantasy with her tales of the magically gifted Deryni.”

The Weekly Press
“Terrific medieval realism.”—
Publishers Weekly
“Kurtz’s fans will celebrate this continuation of
In the King’s Service
“Interesting . . . a fascinating character.”

Midwest Book Review
“Devoted fans of the Deryni will enjoy seeing this fleshedout version of the original trilogy’s backstory.”—
“The author’s meticulous re-creation of a medieval world provides a sumptuous background for her characters’ struggles to remain true to their honor and to their beliefs.”

Library Journal
“Fans of the series will appreciate . . . when the Deryni use their magic.”—
Midwest Book Review
Deryni books available from Ace
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
An Ace Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright © 1972, 2005 by Katherine Kurtz.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form
without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in
violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-440-64019-3
Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
ACE and the “A” design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

For Kim Christine Bergman-Warriner
A Deryni fan of indomitable spirit,
who savored every moment life gave her with grace and humor,
and never lost hope, even in the face of death.
May choirs of angels receive her ...
THE coronation of the fourteen-year-old Kelson King of Gwynedd was to send disturbing ripples throughout the Eleven Kingdoms. It would take many weeks and even months for accounts to reach the most far-flung regions—and details would be sparse, even then, for even eyewitnesses could not be certain just
had happened in Rhemuth Cathedral besides the eventual crowning of Gwynedd’s boy-king.
All were in agreement that a mysterious woman had presented herself to challenge Kelson’s right to the throne, and that there had been at least one exchange of arms between her champion and that of the king—won by Kelson’s champion, the redoubtable Duke Alaric Morgan, who was known of old to possess the forbidden powers of the magical Deryni race. But the contest had been rendered inconclusive through the treachery of Kelson’s fair challenger, who had given her champion the coup de grâce and then renewed her challenge.
After that, there had been a second duel between the challenger and the king himself, employing powers incomprehensible to most of those present. Subsequent iterations varied, but all agreed that something frightening and magical had occurred—and that, somehow, King Kelson had managed to emerge victorious.
Only a few of those present understood more fully what had happened, and not all of them were friends of Gwynedd.
“FIRST reports will have reached you already, my lord,” said the Moorish emir Yousef, touching brow and breast in salute as he inclined his head to the man who was overlord both to himself and to the woman he had served. “I fear it cannot have been an easy ending for her. I bring you the gauntlet that she cast at the Haldane’s feet. Alas, I am unable to bring you the lady herself, or even account for her remains.”
BOOK: Deryni Checkmate
11.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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