The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz

Zipper Sisters and Others => Zipper Sister Articles => Topic started by: Unicorn636 on January 20, 2017, 01:39:26 pm

Title: Susan: Here Comes King Kelson’s Bride…
Post by: Unicorn636 on January 20, 2017, 01:39:26 pm

In a few weeks, we will finally receive King Kelson’s Bride! We’ve waited fourteen years for a new Kelson era novel and much longer than that to see Kelson happily married. So what can we expect from this long-awaited book besides a reunion with our friends in the Deryni Universe?

We’re eager to meet some of the new characters, particularly Araxie, and investigate the unfamiliar lands of Orsal and Torenth. Katherine has told us that “things are different in Torenth,” which makes us eager to explore that realm. But what new themes and plot twists will we encounter? Which mysteries will be solved and which will remain enigmas?

Let’s explore the Prologue and Chapters 1 and 2 while we wait for the rest of the book. (If you haven’t read them yet, click on the link and enjoy!). The Prologue opens in the mysterious land of Torenth, with Morag, Mahael, and Teymuraz plotting against Kelson, and possibily against their own kin, the rightful king, Liam-Lajos, who has spent the last several years in Gwynedd. We hear them discuss potential brides for Kelson including Araxie Haldane, Noellie Ramsey, and Rezza Elisabet von Horthy. Both Mahael and Teymuraz express interest in Elisabet which raises interesting questions since we know Kelson will marry Araxie. Might Elisabet marry or become romantically involved with one of the Torenthi men or with Liam? Or will she eventually (in the next book) marry Dhugal or Derry, who Katherine has said remain single at the end of KKB?

This discussion and Morag’s blood-colored wine hint at trouble to come from the Torenthi trio and leave us wondering what sort of man Liam has become after his years in Gwynedd. We move from Torenth to a meeting of the Camberian Council, who are also discussing potential brides for Kelson and the Ramsey-Meara situation. We also meet Sir Sion Benet, chancellor of Llannedd. Obviously, Sion is Deryni, but what sort of man is he? How did he become involved with the Camberian Council? Has he any connections to present or former members of the Council? Many of us fans have spent much time trying to connect the Kelsonian era Camberian Council members to the original members of that body, though we have no proof that Sion is in any way related to the MacRories, MacGregors, or de Courcys. Given the CC’s stance on pure Deryni heritage and active dislike for “half-Deryni” like Morgan and Duncan, it seems safe to assume Sion comes from a long , respected Deryni family. And what about Gwenlian of Llannedd? Although the CC considers her a potential bride for Kelson, we know she will marry Cuan of Howicce. But one cannot help but find the laws which allow a woman to rule in Llannedd but not in Howicce intriguing. Perhaps eventually Katherine will write a story about a Llanneddi princess…perhaps she’ll marry a son of Kelson’s, IF Kelson and Araxie have sons, or Liam’s son, if Liam survives to father a son. We also see that some of the CC members disapprove of “the double-Haldane cross” wondering what powers Kelson and Araxie’s children might inherit and speculating on the nature of the Haldane gifts. Would the double-Haldane blood make Kelson and Araxie’s daughter inherit the Haldane Potential as well as Deryni abilities? If so, she might become a formidable woman, capable of ruling Gwynedd.

Chapter 1 opens with Janniver and Jatham’s wedding, though the reader at first thinks Kelson is the groom. Kelson still longs for Rothana, however, and the wedding stirs up painful memories for him, although he enjoys making Jatham a baron. Before the feast ends, he contrives to meet privately with Rothana, allegedly regarding the ceremony to consecrate the St. Camber chapel. Will Camber appear at that ceremony? Rothana encourages the heartbroken Kelson to marry Araxie, which leads to his anguished conversation with Dhugal in Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 returns us to the wedding as the attendants sing the couple to bed, but focuses primarily on Kelson and Dhugal. It also introduces the Portal in the library’s secret room, which obviously will play an important role in the novel. Dhugal comments on the Portal’s age after touching the Portal which makes me wonder if Kelson and Dhugal might eventually learn of the Portal’s origins (Joram helped Javan construct it in King Javan’s Year). And where and when will using this Portal become important?

The Kelson and Rothana and Kelson and Dhugal scenes resonate on a much deeper level than mere plot points, however. These are classic Kurtz scenes, reminiscent of Camber and Joram at Iomare, Morgan and Kelson in the garden before Morgan’s trial, and Grey and Alix analyzing the cards and Grey’s likely fate in Lammas Night to name just a few. All of these scenes bring us into the hearts and minds of characters facing difficult, life-altering choices with courage and dignity. Yet we see and feel their pain and fear as they contemplate their options. And despite the vulnerability they display, we know that these characters will find the strength to make the right, albeit painful, choices. Perhaps it is that combination of vulnerability and courage that makes these characters so human, loveable, and easy to understand. Certainly, it makes us eager to read more about them and keeps us salivating for the rest of the book!

Susan Werner,

Mistress of Complications