Camber of Culdi is fantasy novel by American-born author Katherine Kurtz. It was first published by Ballantine Books on June 12, It was the fourth novel in Kurtz' Deryni novels to be published, and the first book in her second Deryni trilogy, The Legends of Camber of Culdi. The Legends trilogy serves as prequels to The Chronicles of the Deryni series that Kurtz wrote from to , and it details the events that occurred two centuries before the Chronicles trilogy. Therefore, although it was the fourth Deryni novel to be published, Camber of Culdi is the earliest novel to occur within the series' internal literary chronology.
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Camber was the greatest of the Deryni—that race of men who were gifted with arcane mental powers that set them above normal humans. In later legends, he was to become a figure of mystery, known as both the defender of humanity and the patron saint of dark magic. But now he sought only retirement on his family estates. His dream of justice and amicable relations between the Camber was the greatest of the Deryni—that race of men who were gifted with arcane mental powers that set them above normal humans.
His dream of justice and amicable relations between the races had turned to ashes in his mind. The medieval kingdom of Gwynedd groaned under the tyranny of Imre and his sister and mistress, Ariella. Normal humans were savagely persecuted by the king, whose Deryni ancestors had seized the throne from the rightful human Haldane line a century before. Camber could not even save his own son from the murderous treachery of Imre. When Camber learned that Cinhil Haldane, a descendant of the previous kings, still lived, he realized that the only hope for the kingdom lay in overthrowing Imre and restoring Cinhil to the throne.
But Cinhil was a cloistered monk, hidden under his religious name in one of many monasteries, unaware of his heritage, untrained in politics. Could he be persuaded to leave the only life he knew and take on the leadership of a rebellion? And lacking the Deryni powers, could he hope to overcome the magic of the king? Grimly, Camber set out to locate Cinhil and spirit him from the cloister into a struggle that seemed doomed from the start.
And behind came the minions of the king—for Imre was already aware of the plot and bent on destroying all involved in it. Get A Copy. Mass Market Paperback , pages.
Published August by Del Rey first published January 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Camber of Culdi , please sign up. Why have none of the Camber series by Katherine Kurtz ever been released as ebooks or audiobooks? The later series featuring King Kelson are all available in multiple formats and she is still writing new Deryni books.
Alysa H. See 1 question about Camber of Culdi…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details.
More filters. Sort order. Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths. Camber of Culdi was originally published in , following on the heels of the thrilling exploits of the young King Kelson Haldane in The Chronicles of the Deryni trilogy.
And here readers come face-to-face with this Deryni le Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths. And here readers come face-to-face with this Deryni legend.
These very human-like people living along side the population, normal in every way except in their extraordinary mental powers which are rumored to be magic. And while the Deryni overlordship of the land has not been all bad, it has taken a decidedly downward turn upon the ascension of Imre, who is a horrible racist He views humans as nothing more than livestock to be worked, taxed, and killed as needed.
These qualities having caused Camber MacRorie, Earl of Culdi, to retire from court; his duties to the crown passed to his eldest son, Cathan, who has been fast friends with Imre since childhood. This self-imposed retirement of the Earl seems to be for the best. The quiet life suiting him, allowing Camber to spend his days on ecclesiastical and historical study as well as family time: his daughter Evaine mainly, though he is close with his sons Cathan and Joram too.
The greater goings-on of the kingdom still of interest to him, but his belief that younger men should guide the king into more prudent rulership. These unrelated events setting off a chain reaction which forces Camber of Culdi to contemplate betraying his ruling monarch and, perhaps, the Deryni race itself!
Having read this and the other Deryni novels as a teenager growing up in the s, picking up Camber of Culdi again after all these years was both a welcome return to a childhood haunt and a trepidatious homecoming for an older, more cynical me. And, after finishing my re-read, I have to admit being both pleased and disappointed with the novel, though I definitely feel more of the former rather than the latter.
On the pleased side, I have to point to the wonderful world of the Deryni, which I still found as engrossing and as entertaining as it was decades ago. This fantasy version of medieval Europe filled with royal houses, political machinations, and the unique Deryni.
This inclusion of religion allowing the author to capture the true nature of this historical setting, to show the clash of secular and religious powers, and to juxtapose the dual nature of devotedly religious people committing horrible deeds in the name of secular power. On the disappointed side, I have to acknowledge this group of characters were a bit of a letdown for me though, to be completely honest, I never loved them as much as I did Kelson, Morgan, and company.
Camber always seemed more a saint than a real person. His children Cathan, Joram, and Evaine as well as other confidantes like Rhys had brief flashes of personality, but never received a real opportunity to grow into anyone truly special. Overall, Camber of Culdi is a fine fantasy read filled with political scheming, dynastic intrigue, and a touch of magic, set in a wonderfully developed faux-medieval Europe with a fully realized Catholic Church. For longtime lovers of the Deryni novels, it will be a joyful return to a familiar home, replete with iconic characters and an easily followed tale told in Katherine Kurtz memorable style.
To those new to the series, I would encourage them to read the first trilogy, The Chronicles of the Deryni , before delving in here, because the revelations in this book could ruin very important plot elements there.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. View all 8 comments. Others have described the plot. In the timeline of the Deryni novels this is the earliest. I read this when it was first released about 40 years ago. I liked it just as well this time as well. I had forgotten many of the plot elements. It was good coming back to this after so many years.
View 1 comment. Apr 07, Steelwhisper rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone who loves magic. Shelves: 5-brilliant , fantasy , favorites , influential , other-eras , strong-heroine , historical-fiction , politics. As good as it was the first time, this is what fantasy should be like. And sorry, against this--very much so--most of the current similar efforts still suck donkey balls.
View all 4 comments. So sometime back in the early s I became aware of Katherine Kurtz' Deryni books -- mostly likely through an article in Dragon Magazine which I read religiously , although I had probably also seen the books on the shelf in the local bookstore.
When I found out that the Camber books, although written after the original Deryni trilogy Deryni Rising , Deryni Checkmate , High Deryni were prequels set a hundred years before the original trilogy, I decided I had to start there.
I had to! They hap So sometime back in the early s I became aware of Katherine Kurtz' Deryni books -- mostly likely through an article in Dragon Magazine which I read religiously , although I had probably also seen the books on the shelf in the local bookstore. They happened first! So I picked them up, took them home, read them a few times during my high school years, and never kind of went any further than that.
Fast forward thirty years. And I'm pleased to say that the first book holds up quite well after all these years. As I said in my review of Deryni Rising, I think these books are clearly in the lineage that led to Game of Thrones, although they may not always get the credit that they should. The Deryni are a race of humans who can use magic. A hundred years prior to the events of Camber of Culdi, they overthrew the last human king and installed one of their own upon the throne.
Now the latest Deryni king, Imre, came to the throne too young and is casually cruel and brutal, especially to non-Deryni. And also has a sister with whom he has a mildly skeevy relationship. Camber MacRorie, himself a Deryni and one of the old king's favorites, and who has withdrawn to his estate in disgust at Imre's actions, becomes aware that the last Haldane king the human dynasty may, in fact, have a legitimate heir although, just to complicate things, that heir took vows and has been living in a monastery for pretty much his entire adult life and so may not be in fit shape to lead an open rebellion Definitely a product of its time -- the narrative does a fair amount of head-hopping, as was the style at the time, and there are some things a fifteen year old child bride, e.
View all 5 comments. As he begins to abuse his powers, Earl Camber of Culdi and his family, also Deryni, plot a return to the human lineage.
Camber of Culdi
The Legends of Camber of Culdi Series