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Author Topic: The King's Deryni  (Read 16401 times)

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Offline Alkari

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2014, 02:07:06 pm »
I'll just have to avoid Chat until my copy arrives.     Looked in a couple of local bookshops yesterday in case they had copies and I could sneak a peek at a few pages but they didn't have it in stock.   Not terribly surprised, as they don't have large fantasy/sci fi sections, but I do wish those seagulls would get a move on!

Offline drakensis

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2014, 03:27:07 pm »
I'm debating buying it now or waiting for a paperback copy to fit better onto the shelf next to the rest of the series. (I have to think about this sort of thing - my shelf-space is over-run and dissimilar sized books in a series complicate storage).

Offline snuffybear

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2014, 05:44:34 am »
I was quite happy to get this the day before my birthday...

I am enjoying the book, I just wish it wasn't about Alaric, who is my least favorite character in all of the Deryni books (or rather, my least favorite good guy.) I have to say, this Alaric is not very much like any eight year old boy I've ever met. It's not a very realistic depiction at all.

It was fun to read the scene with Bethane and the broken arm! It was like revisiting an old friend.

Marion

Offline Evie

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2014, 10:59:03 am »
I find it helps to think of both Alaric and young (DR to HD period) Kelson as what we would consider "gifted" today.  Even then, I have to suspend disbelief a tad at times (I have an extremely gifted son to compare their abilities with, though admittedly my son wasn't born in a society that forced him to grow up by the age of 14, much less grow up under constant threat of persecution and death, so even he isn't the best basis for comparison), but I've also met a few eight-year-olds from other cultures who come across as a lot more mature than most eight-year-olds in US (and probably most Western) cultures, where children are allowed to grow up slowly and have fewer (sometimes too few) expectations placed on them.  Children given high expectations to live up to can often rise to the challenge, sometimes to a surprising degree, though granted the challenges little Alaric is expected to rise to are uncommonly high and would be daunting even to an eight-year-old physically-adept genius. 

Just out of curiosity, who is your favorite character in the Deryni books?  Mine is Duncan (as pretty much everyone who has read my forum posts knows!  ;D ), but since the majority of readers tend to favor Alaric, I tend to feel like like the odd one out in that.  I like Alaric, there are just some other characters I happen to like more.
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Offline Evie

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2014, 11:43:08 am »
Yay, my copy of TKD finally arrived!   ;D  I am mildly irked because Amazon's book packaging was a bit slipshod this time around, and my book jacket ended up somewhat damaged along the top edge, but I can live with that.  I bought it for the contents, not the jacket.  I have already finished reading it (thank God for the Kindle version, which arrived promptly the morning of the release date!), but this will make a lovely shelf copy.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline snuffybear

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2014, 07:29:05 pm »
Just out of curiosity, who is your favorite character in the Deryni books?  Mine is Duncan (as pretty much everyone who has read my forum posts knows!  ;D ), but since the majority of readers tend to favor Alaric, I tend to feel like like the odd one out in that.  I like Alaric, there are just some other characters I happen to like more.

In the Kelson years, my favorite is Denis Arilan. He has faults, he makes mistakes, and he is a complex character. I'm afraid I think Alaric Morgan is like a Mary Sue character. (I know, I'm in a definite minority. I always have been...)

In the Camber years, my favorite is Joram.

Marion

Offline tenworld

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2014, 07:47:09 pm »
my favorite is Morgan; as noted before I think of the books as his story, but his character has not developed like others mentioned.
I like Evie's comment about he and Kelson being 'gifted', that fits with my experiences with coaching kids.  Some are remarkably mature compared to many parents I dealt with.

Offline Evie

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2014, 08:21:42 pm »
I also like Arilan. He can be a bit of a curmudgeon, but generally speaking, I can get where he's coming from, especially after seeing what the Gwynedd of his childhood was like.  I see Alaric as having his share of flaws and mistakes as well, but while I don't see him as a total Mary Sue, I do get that "I'm Mama's Favorite Character" vibe off him.   ;)  I have a few favorite characters in my own writing, and it can take a lot of self-discipline to avoid stacking the deck a little too much in their favor, and I'm pretty sure I don't always manage to pull it off.  I don't think Alaric has all the cards stacked in his favor, which I tend to see as a hallmark of a true Mary Sue, but he's certainly been played a very favorable hand, I'll grant you that. 

One thing that occurred to me just today is what my favorite characters--not just in KK's world, but in other universe such as Middle Earth--tend to have in common. Rather than the more flashy Main Hero types who lead by being in the forefront of things and...well, leading, I tend to be drawn to the more quiet, behind-the-scenes servant-leaders.  So maybe that's why, instead of adoring Alaric the Kingmaker (well, so to speak, since Kelson wouldn't have lasted seconds against Charissa if it weren't for Alaric), I tend to go more for his right-hand man, the more quietly supportive Duncan.  Despite my admiration for Brion Haldane, I gravitate more towards his uncle Prince Richard and his brother Prince Nigel.  Sir Se fascinates me.  I think Kenneth Morgan was ten times the man Donal Haldane was, for all the latter's rank and power.  Kenneth was far more loyal than Donal deserved.  And Matyas won my heart with his utter loyalty to his nephew.  I really, really like Kelson the boy king, yet when he and Dhugal are together, my attention is on Dhugal.  And it might just be a side-effect of aging into the person I am now, rather than the person I was when I first read the series.  As a young twenty-something, my favorites were Alaric and Kelson.  But by the time I rediscovered the books in my forties, my tastes had completely changed.  I still like Alaric, and I love and admire Kelson (I probably would have had a raging crush on Kelson if I'd met him in my teens rather than in my twenties), but it's Duncan who melts my heart.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline DesertRose

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2014, 09:43:05 pm »
I was trying to come up with something in reply, but I think Evie said almost everything I wanted to say.

I'm actually (for whatever odd reason) more a fan of the Camber-era stories than the Kelson-era ones.  I love Camber himself, but my favorite character from that time frame is Evaine, with Rhys and Dom Queron vying for second place in my heart.  (I have a thing for Healers; just ask bynw, in whose games I've played I-don't-know-how-many healer characters.) 

I think the reason I'm not so big on the Kelson era is that so much of the information about Deryni abilities has been lost and for what?  Petty, stupid prejudices.  What could Alaric and Duncan and Dhugal have done if they'd had someone like Dom Emrys or Dom Queron to teach them about their Healing gifts?  It just drives me batty. 

I know it's historically reasonable to have lost a great deal of knowledge for stupid reasons, like after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the former imperial lands rejected anything that had anything to do with Rome, even if the Roman things were in and of themselves good things.  It just makes me want to scream to think of all the great information and teachings that were lost with the destruction of the great Deryni teaching orders.

Offline revanne

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2014, 02:13:25 am »
I think both Alaric and Kelson are realistic products of their heritage and upbringing and I like the way they're both portrayed as having some negative characteristics as a result. Kelson reverting to spoilt brat over Rothana  and Alaric refusing to deal with messy aspects of relationship - with Richenda's unhappiness and to some extent Derry's. Favourite character has to be Duncan-as a woman priest there's so much in his struggle with vocation I can identity with although my professional allergy to bishops might get in the way later on.   
Camber era - whisper it quietly-but I want to smack Camber -I find him overbearing and arrogant and think his handling of Cinhil has a lot to answer for. (I'm more inclined to see his extended appearances as a Penance rather than evidence of sanctity.)
Joram now - he's my favourite (even if the man only speaks to me when I'm too busy to write) principled and passionate and having to live with other people's compromises with the truth. I have a big soft spot for Javan too and tend to look on Kelson as the King Javan should have been.




"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline drakensis

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2014, 05:09:07 am »
While he has a relatively small part, I'd say the character I admire most in the Kelson era is Thomas Cardiel. He demonstrates tremendous courage both physical and moral and thoroughly deserved his elevation to Archbishop of Rhemuth. In the earlier era, Javan is definitely a favorite.

If I ever write AU stories there are three characters I'd like to save, even though they're villains. It'd require changes to them but I'd find Ariella, Charissa and Llewell fascinating if they were more grey than black and less self-destructive in their actions. (Ideas that spring to mind: Ariella being tutored in magic by Camber and later alongside Evaine; Charissa captured after her father's death and becoming a Haldane hostage; Llewell unable to go through with the thought of killing his sister and later revolted by Ithel's actions). Maybe the idea of dividing someone's loyalties just appeals to me.

Offline Shiral

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2014, 12:06:24 am »
Just out of curiosity, who is your favorite character in the Deryni books?  Mine is Duncan (as pretty much everyone who has read my forum posts knows!  ;D ), but since the majority of readers tend to favor Alaric, I tend to feel like like the odd one out in that.  I like Alaric, there are just some other characters I happen to like more.

In the Kelson years, my favorite is Denis Arilan. He has faults, he makes mistakes, and he is a complex character. I'm afraid I think Alaric Morgan is like a Mary Sue character. (I know, I'm in a definite minority. I always have been...)

In the Camber years, my favorite is Joram.

Marion

Hey, Marion, happy somewhat belated birthday.   ;)  She's the president of the Denis Arilan Fan Club.  =o)

I liked The King's Deryni  the best of the three Childe Morgan books, so far.  I have to admit THIS book has the developing friendship between Brion Haldane and Alaric Morgan that I've been waiting and hoping for since the first book.  And....I have to admit, I find it a certain flaw in this trilogy that the nominal title character of the whole thing wasn't born until the end of the first book and doesn't become the true, seeing eye protagonist of his own trilogy until the final volume.  I felt In The King's Service was too much front-loading  for my taste and it kept the story from being very compelling, at least for me. At the earliest, the story arc should have begun around the time of Krispin MacAthan's murder rather than his birth. Hints could have been dropped, a scene between Donal and Jessamy after the death which would have  told us almost everything we needed to know about whose child Krispin truly was, why he was important, and how Donal will find another child to become what Krispin was meant to be to Brion and the Haldanes.  I do like Kenneth Morgan and his family...but felt it took too long to get to know them.

    I think Katherine is at her best as a story teller when she tackles a story arc that covers months rather than years. Or a story arc about one specific important event and it's attendant smaller developments, like Brion's death and Kelson's coronation in Deryni Rising.  For another example, in the Camber trilogy, we find out about the two greatest catalysts for the changes to come in the opening chapters. First, we learn that Gwyneddans in general and Camber in specific are growing increasingly dissatisfied with, and critical of, Festillic rule; Imre is not a very good king OR person, and harsh injustice is the way the Festils have kept Gwynedd under their thumbs. Next we learn that there IS still a living Haldane heir whom nobody knew about who is a possible, rightful ruler and alternative to the Festils when Rhys attends Daniel Draper's death bed.  We meet a lot of people in rapid succession it's true, but also learn quickly who the major players are and where their loyalties and interests lie.  And all with a great economy of means without having to see Joram and Rhys go through their entire childhood and adolescence, first. BOOM! The story is off and running, we're in the present moment and eager to find out what will happen next.  That whole trilogy is masterful piece of plotting, the consequences are real, the "Good Guys" don't always win. In fact the people we've come to love, take horrendous losses as an unintended consequence of the Haldane Restoration.  The Childe Morgan books would have benefitted with some tighter plotting and a feeling that more was at stake throughout.

Anyway, the critic in me had to get that off my chest.  :)

Melissa
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 12:08:32 am by Shiral »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2014, 08:58:32 am »
I am still in the process of reading The King's Deryni and enjoying it, but I have to agree with Shiral that it is not like the earlier works.  This trilogy is more of a history than gripping page-turners, but the historian in me is OK with that.  I do enjoy reading about the events and people that shaped Morgan; but then again, if KK wrote a story about Morgan brushing his teeth in the morning I would probably like it!  ;D

The Road to Killingford, however, has the potential to be a book like those of the Camber era and it's aftermath.  I'm looking forward to it, and will stock up on tissues.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2014, 09:17:29 am »

Hey, Marion, happy somewhat belated birthday.   ;)  She's the president of the Denis Arilan Fan Club.  =o)

I think he certainly merits one.  I find Arilan one of the most underappreciated and misunderstood characters in the series.  I suspect he gets so much flak because of his tendency to butt heads with the much-adored Alaric, but on the other hand there are times when such "checks and balances" are needed.  Alaric's and Duncan's loyalty first and foremost is to the Haldanes, no matter what, which can lead to a blind spot when it comes to how their actions might impact others of their Deryni race.  Arilan is also loyal to the Haldanes, and nowhere is his love for Kelson specifically more apparent than in QFSC, after Kelson's apparent death, but he is also more able to see the broad picture, and his primary objective is more focused on preserving and furthering the ends of the Deryni race as a whole.  Whether the reader sees the Camberian Council as still doing an important job in that regard or as a group that has devolved into simply becoming a bunch of busybodies, it's readily apparent (to me, anyway), that Denis still believes they are doing more good than harm, and for the most part he ably manages to support Haldane interests within and outside of the Council while never losing sight of the larger picture, which others closer to Kelson don't always remain mindful of.  Or let's be honest...often they simply don't give a flying flip!  ;D  At least not until someone else points out the possible ramifications of their actions, such as when Arilan confronted Duncan about how revealing himself as Deryni without consulting with his superiors beforehand may have placed other Deryni priests at risk, or when Cardiel gently admonishes Alaric that his "darkling phase," by reinforcing the "evil Deryni" stereotype, is not helping human/Deryni relations to move forward.  I think Arilan's confrontational side might be what rubs many readers the wrong way, but a true friend or ally is not the person who always agrees with you and follows blindly alongside everything you do. The person who truly has your back is the one who is willing to tell you when they think you are screwing up or acting short-sightedly.  Even if it turns out that they are mistaken, at least you know that person cares enough to be honest with you about what they believe. Speaking for myself, Arilan is sometimes a bit more "the ends justify the means" than I'm comfortable with, but having seen what the Gwynedd of his childhood years looked like, and some of the experiences he's lived through, I can certainly understand that aspect of his personality.

Quote
    I think Katherine is at her best as a story teller when she tackles a story arc that covers months rather than years. Or a story arc about one specific important event and it's attendant smaller developments, like Brion's death and Kelson's coronation in Deryni Rising.  For another example, in the Camber trilogy, we find out about the two greatest catalysts for the changes to come in the opening chapters. First, we learn that Gwyneddans in general and Camber in specific are growing increasingly dissatisfied with, and critical of, Festillic rule; Imre is not a very good king OR person, and harsh injustice is the way the Festils have kept Gwynedd under their thumbs. Next we learn that there IS still a living Haldane heir whom nobody knew about who is a possible, rightful ruler and alternative to the Festils when Rhys attends Daniel Draper's death bed.  We meet a lot of people in rapid succession it's true, but also learn quickly who the major players are and where their loyalties and interests lie.  And all with a great economy of means without having to see Joram and Rhys go through their entire childhood and adolescence, first. BOOM! The story is off and running, we're in the present moment and eager to find out what will happen next.  That whole trilogy is masterful piece of plotting, the consequences are real, the "Good Guys" don't always win. In fact the people we've come to love, take horrendous losses as an unintended consequence of the Haldane Restoration.  The Childe Morgan books would have benefitted with some tighter plotting and a feeling that more was at stake throughout.

Anyway, the critic in me had to get that off my chest.  :)

Melissa

I agree that the earlier books had better pacing.  I think new readers would find the earlier books a better introduction to the series, rather than starting off in chronological order.  This trilogy is more like a leisurely stroll, allowing us to spend more time exploring new aspects of characters who we already, for the most part, know and love, but I don't know if it would sustain as much interest for people who are just discovering the series.  I would definitely recommend new readers to at least read the Kelson-era books before reading the "Childe Morgan" series, rather than the other way around due to the internal chronology.  And if possible, read the entire Deryni corpus first, and then end with the "Childe Morgan" series as sort of a tasty dessert after the main course.  (How is that for a horribly mixed metaphor?  From a leisurely stroll to a dining experience in one short paragraph! LOL!)
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Offline Laurna

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Re: The King's Deryni
« Reply #44 on: December 10, 2014, 11:05:37 am »
I have to agree that I personally prefer a tight packed story arc with a beginning, a middle, and an end. When I first read In the Kings Service I was intrigued, yet a bit distanced from the story because it was more of a history than a plot. But now, with TKD finally read (well almost completely read, I have a bit to go), I can see the whole story arc of the trilogy and it does fit in nicely. I did love Alyce, Vera, Marie, and Ahern as characters, and I am pleased that I got to get to know them. I think Kenneth was as great a man as he could be and can think of no better father for our young hero.  I am so glad KK had this last book published (after too many long years waiting). It is as Evie says a tasty desert after a main dish. I think this book was meant for us fans. It ties in a lot of who is who... and what happened when... stories that we all had questions about. (Ok! Except for the biggest question ever! Which I can not believe KK still left dangling-- tying Alaric to Camber--!!!!  Well I do hope we discovered the correct answer to that question, anyway.) So yes, I really want a tight packed story arc in the next books, but what I want even more is for it to not take 7-9 years to get that story written and published. I will accept 2-3 years or less. At least that is my wish. ;D


 

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