King Kelson's Bride
by: Katherine Kurtz
by Ciara Grey
In this installment, I will be taking a look at Katherine
Kurtz's King Kelson's Bride. Ms. Kurtz has had a
major influence on my writing. She creates characters
that endear themselves to the reader and then she kills
them off. Yet I always come back for more. I still grieve
for the loss of my favorite character, Rhys. *Sniff*
I reluctantly picked up this book. It has been several
years since she has dealt with these characters. I don't
like to have to wait for the next book in the series to
be released. What I found in this novel was much more
distressing than waiting for another book.
This is a good example for characterization. As I
mentioned before Ms. Kurtz creates wonderfully full and
vibrant characters. I opened to the first page expecting
to see my old favorites and some new characters to love
and hate. I anticipated a well paced plot complete with
sudden left turns, traitors left and right.
I did not find this.
My favorite characters seemed to be shadows of their
former selves. King Kelson was weepy and pining for a
woman he could never have in every other chapter. The
quest for another bride to be his queen ensued. A weak
assassination attempt left me wondering if things would pick
At the end he suddenly gets over his forbidden love and
decides that his new bride isn't so bad after all. No
real heavy choices were put in his path. No kingly
Duke Alaric Morgan had little in the way any serious part
in the plot. He just sort of was hanging around because
his character goes with Kelson's. He has been the King's
Champion in the past novels and played crucial parts in
the action. He had no personal conflicts of his own in
Bishop Duncan was non-existent. He is Morgan's kinsman
and long time friend. Apparently his problems of guilt
over being a priest while secretly being a Deryni are
resolved since he was promoted to bishop in the church
and Deryniness is no longer fatal.
The new characters from Torenth had potential to really
punch up the plot but they ended up being very ordinary
people. The Torenthi King Liam begins as a fourteen year
boy coming of age and in a few short weeks he is a mature
adult. There are no explanations as to what he went
through to change so much in a short time.
Kurtz is known for her treatment of magic. The magic in
this novel wasn't even close to being a main element in
this story. Missing trademarks and weak conflicts hurt the
story. Has Ms. Kurtz grown tired of these characters? Or
was she pressured to write something? If I didn't know
these characters I wouldn't remember them.
I give this book a rating of * * * 1/2
* * * * = Un-put-downable, excellent reading!
* * * = Good value, interesting reading.
* * = Had potential, but could have been better.
* = Slow, difficult to read, could have been
* = Imminently