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Once again the Kingdom of Gwynedd under young King Kelson found itself facing the horror of war between the Church and the Deryni. As the Pretender Queen plotted to free Meara from Gwynedd's control, and the ex-Archbishop hatched a devious plan, it looked like the peace of Gwynedd was to be a thing of the past....


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Once again the Kingdom of Gwynedd under young King Kelson found itself facing the horror of war between the Church and the Deryni. As the Pretender Queen plotted to free Meara from Gwynedd's control, and the ex-Archbishop hatched a devious plan, it looked like the peace of Gwynedd was to be a thing of the past....

30 review for The Bishop's Heir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Gordon

    Good characters and an enjoyable story set in what I believe to have been a semi-historical land within Wales. The tale is dominated by the Deryni (a special 'race' of human who are endowed with extraordinary abilities). Hated and feared by the church, especially by some particular zealots, certain high-profile Deryni are hunted and persecuted with relish. This is the first book in a trilogy, which will continue in 'The King's Justice'. I already have several of Kurtz's books and will read the s Good characters and an enjoyable story set in what I believe to have been a semi-historical land within Wales. The tale is dominated by the Deryni (a special 'race' of human who are endowed with extraordinary abilities). Hated and feared by the church, especially by some particular zealots, certain high-profile Deryni are hunted and persecuted with relish. This is the first book in a trilogy, which will continue in 'The King's Justice'. I already have several of Kurtz's books and will read the sequel soon and let you know what I think of it; I have no doubt it will be as good as this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    The Bishop’s Heir is the first book in Katherine Kurtz’s trilogy called THE HISTORIES OF KING KELSON but it’s a direct sequel to High Deryni, the third book in her CHRONICLES OF DERYNI trilogy. (Did you get that?) To get the most out of The Bishop’s Heir, you really need to read THE CHRONICLES OF DERYNI first. This review of The Bishop’s Heir will contain a couple of spoilers for the original trilogy. King Kelson’s battle with the church is over... or so he thinks. Archbishop Loris, the man respo The Bishop’s Heir is the first book in Katherine Kurtz’s trilogy called THE HISTORIES OF KING KELSON but it’s a direct sequel to High Deryni, the third book in her CHRONICLES OF DERYNI trilogy. (Did you get that?) To get the most out of The Bishop’s Heir, you really need to read THE CHRONICLES OF DERYNI first. This review of The Bishop’s Heir will contain a couple of spoilers for the original trilogy. King Kelson’s battle with the church is over... or so he thinks. Archbishop Loris, the man responsible for the Church’s persecution of the Deryni and for the excommunication of Morgan and Duncan, Kelson’s trusted advisors, has been sent to live out the rest of his life in confinement. Kelson, Morgan, and Duncan should now be ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    The Bishop's Heir is the beginning of the next series by Katherine Kurtz following King Kelson's life. I felt this story was a real step up in story telling for Ms Kurtz. I really enjoyed how she started tying in multiple story lines in meaningful and surprising ways. Looking forward to the next in the series The King's Justice. The Bishop's Heir is the beginning of the next series by Katherine Kurtz following King Kelson's life. I felt this story was a real step up in story telling for Ms Kurtz. I really enjoyed how she started tying in multiple story lines in meaningful and surprising ways. Looking forward to the next in the series The King's Justice.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sunni

    I love Katherine Kurtz's writing style, her mastery of the medieval period, and her understanding of the conflict between church and state during this time period. I helps make the world she creates believable. Her characters are true to human nature and she poses questions of morality to them that are often relevant in current times as well making her characters come alive for the reader. This novel follows suit, and brings a new vibrant story for her characters to play out for the reading crowd I love Katherine Kurtz's writing style, her mastery of the medieval period, and her understanding of the conflict between church and state during this time period. I helps make the world she creates believable. Her characters are true to human nature and she poses questions of morality to them that are often relevant in current times as well making her characters come alive for the reader. This novel follows suit, and brings a new vibrant story for her characters to play out for the reading crowd. Complete with usurpers and pretenders to the throne, and angry, resentful, and power hungry church clergy, this is an installment in the Deryni series you don't want to miss.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matt Pepple

    Always full of surprises! I love all of Katherine's books; and her stories. She knows very well how to engage the readers' emotions - and this one was a complete rollercoaster ride. I can empathize with Kelson attempting to make peace with Meara by marrying Sidana - but it seems like as a young man and as a king; that happiness is always an elusive thing. I can respect that perspective Katherine shares for the reader. It still is an amazing story nonetheless.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Starting up this series again, there are a lot to get through. It is interesting to continue with the lives of these Denyri and the struggles that obviously resemble ones in real life that have gone on for many.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paca Sad

    Possibly a 4! This continues the ongoing saga of us vs them, human vs Deryni, oh and the Haldane Kingship, political and medieval, secular and non secular, episcopal sheananigans, not one for happy endings, that them continues, but this book has less ritual and more substance, long live King Kelson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark Bruner

    Great! Another wonderful book by a masterful storyteller. Kurtz has created another world with believable and well fleshed out characters. I am sure I will enjoy the rest of the trilogy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Uchechukwu Okoli

    This is a nice one

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kenn Anderson

    very good series I am rereading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Martin Petioni

    Katherine Kurtz does a phenomenal job providing us with a world and a church hierarchy foreign and yet so familiar as it parallels our own medieval Catholic Church. She weaves a spell binding tale of magic while also immersing you in the politics and intrigue of a very human world. A very good book that you will not be able to put down till the last page is read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Altivo Overo

    Katherine Kurtz is a master medievalist, and it always shows in her Deryni books. This title is the first in a trilogy The Chronicles of King Kelson, that takes place three years after the events of Deryni Rising,Deryni Checkmate, and High Deryni. (And it is probably best to read those three before tackling this series.) Barely into his kingship, and really just on the edge of manhood, King Kelson of Gwynedd is confronted with yet another uprising against his rule, this time from the province of Katherine Kurtz is a master medievalist, and it always shows in her Deryni books. This title is the first in a trilogy The Chronicles of King Kelson, that takes place three years after the events of Deryni Rising,Deryni Checkmate, and High Deryni. (And it is probably best to read those three before tackling this series.) Barely into his kingship, and really just on the edge of manhood, King Kelson of Gwynedd is confronted with yet another uprising against his rule, this time from the province of Meara which was once an independent kingdom but was merged (or so his ancestors thought) with Gwynedd after a marriage joined the two royal lines a hundred years earlier. His own magical abilities are still mostly untrained, and in any case, magic is not the best method of attack or defense against a rebellion headed by leaders who consider magic anathema, black arts in violation of the Church's dogma. The pageantry of a royal wedding and three bishops being consecrated (one among the rebels, who have a "rump" patriarchate of rebellious churchmen as well as their own army and a queen pretender with three heirs) form a background for skirmishes and diplomacy. All is presented in careful medieval terms with a lot of beautiful language. The story is a cliff hanger, though, and will clearly require one to read the rest of the trilogy. I read this using Amazon's "Whispersync" technology, which allows you to flip back and forth between the printed text and the audiobook (Audible) and it worked well though I found it a bit cumbersome to have to make sure the Kindle Fire or other device was connected to wifi both when starting and when ending a session. If you fail to do that, the link to the current location in the text is lost. It is probably just as easy to always stop at a chapter heading, since you can skip to the appropriate chapter easily in either Kindle or Audible versions. The audiobook was quite good, with multiple readers and even musical insertions at some points.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sverre

    “The Bishop’s Heir” is the first volume of “The Histories of King Kelson” trilogy. Out of the sixteen Deryni novels, this comes 13th chronologically, following “High Deryni”, but it was the 7th to be published in 1984, following “Camber the Heretic” in 1981. This book exemplifies what makes Katherine Kurtz a grand author of medieval regal fantasy. She weaves a tapestry of likable Deryni characters and their loyal supporters who are confronted by self-righteous adversaries whose cruelties know no “The Bishop’s Heir” is the first volume of “The Histories of King Kelson” trilogy. Out of the sixteen Deryni novels, this comes 13th chronologically, following “High Deryni”, but it was the 7th to be published in 1984, following “Camber the Heretic” in 1981. This book exemplifies what makes Katherine Kurtz a grand author of medieval regal fantasy. She weaves a tapestry of likable Deryni characters and their loyal supporters who are confronted by self-righteous adversaries whose cruelties know no bounds in order to denigrate the Deryni to achieve power and influence. Here we once more meet the previously deposed Deryni-hating Bishop Edmund Loris who has been confined for two years to an imposed exile in a remote monastery. But he has managed to form a liaison with the elderly Princess Caitrin, pretender to the throne of Meara. Meara was an independent realm two hundred years ago but has since been a principality held by Gwynedd. Bishop Loris has devised a scheme whereby he will regain his former position, looking to become Archbishop, through the restoration of a sovereign Meara under the rule of Caitrin and her heirs. By the aid of his accomplices Loris escapes his confinement, joining forces with Caitrin and a group of Mearan rebels, who defeat defending forces loyal to the Haldane (and Deryni) King Kelson. Lord Dhugal MacArdry, Master of Transha, an estate in Meara, who is the foster brother of King Kelson, is captured and taken in hostage. The King recruits an army to rescue Lord Dhugal and to confront the forces of Caitrin and Loris. This tale revolves mainly around King Kelson and Lord Dhugal. They are supported by Duke Alaric Morgan, the King’s constant defender since his childhood, and Duncan McLain, Deryni priest, Morgan’s cousin, and also a close friend of the King since they were boys. The significance of the book’s title does not become apparent until near the end. Kurtz has created a very enjoyable story characterized by high tension with dramatic uncertainty. As the book concludes there are prominent ongoing conflicts and hostilities yet to be resolved. Volume two of the trilogy, entitled “The King’s Justice” will pick up where “The Bishop’s Heir” comes to a climactic and heartrending conclusion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Henry

    I found this at a used book store, and the combination of the title and the cover picture prompted me to buy it (it was just $3). Its a good example of something I never read before - historical fantasy. Basically, the author took medieval England and Scotland and made them fictional, and added a magical race that has ESP-type powers. Its really very good. The historical accuracy is pretty good - there are knights and squires, and people can't generally campaign during the winter. Most interesti I found this at a used book store, and the combination of the title and the cover picture prompted me to buy it (it was just $3). Its a good example of something I never read before - historical fantasy. Basically, the author took medieval England and Scotland and made them fictional, and added a magical race that has ESP-type powers. Its really very good. The historical accuracy is pretty good - there are knights and squires, and people can't generally campaign during the winter. Most interesting to me was the role the Catholic church played - Christian religion is a huge part of the plot. It was pretty good - I want to read the rest of it. Not on par with something like Joe Abercrombie - all the good characters have the same lame generic do-gooder personality. But its interesting. Especially good if you like political maneuvering, as it has the church element added on top of the typical elements. This is a very big series broken into trilogies - I definitely want to read more. Also good is the fact that the books are all just about 350 pages, so you can read a whole trilogy with no more investment than one Robert Jordan book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    My son bought me a hardbound version of "The Chronicle of the Deryni"for Christmas. It was a heartfelt gift as the books were the ones I read while I was on bed rest waiting his arrival. I liked both the name and the characteristics of a key character so much, I named my son after him, Alaric. Now he is an adult, he actually looks much like I envision this character and exhibits many of the same characteristics such as loyalty, compassion, adventurist. Re-reading the "Chronicles of the Deryni" a My son bought me a hardbound version of "The Chronicle of the Deryni"for Christmas. It was a heartfelt gift as the books were the ones I read while I was on bed rest waiting his arrival. I liked both the name and the characteristics of a key character so much, I named my son after him, Alaric. Now he is an adult, he actually looks much like I envision this character and exhibits many of the same characteristics such as loyalty, compassion, adventurist. Re-reading the "Chronicles of the Deryni" and "The Histories of King Kelson" series again was fantastic fun. The plots are engaging, the characters have depth and deep emotion that are realistic and touching. What I enjoyed most was the sense of innocence in the stories. Much has changed since 1979! I also read Kurtz's most recent book, "King Kelson's Bride." I enjoyed this book as well but did not feel the same sense of innocence. Some parts of the story felt as though they had been overly tampered with by publishing editor. Still, it was a fun read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    The Bishop’s Heir is the first book in Katherine Kurtz’s trilogy called THE HISTORIES OF KING KELSON but it’s a direct sequel to High Deryni, the third book in her CHRONICLES OF DERYNI trilogy. (Did you get that?) To get the most out of The Bishop’s Heir, you really need to read THE CHRONICLES OF DERYNI first. This review of The Bishop’s Heir will contain a couple of spoilers for the original trilogy. King Kelson’s battle with the church is over... or so he thinks. Archbishop Loris, the man respo The Bishop’s Heir is the first book in Katherine Kurtz’s trilogy called THE HISTORIES OF KING KELSON but it’s a direct sequel to High Deryni, the third book in her CHRONICLES OF DERYNI trilogy. (Did you get that?) To get the most out of The Bishop’s Heir, you really need to read THE CHRONICLES OF DERYNI first. This review of The Bishop’s Heir will contain a couple of spoilers for the original trilogy. King Kelson’s battle with the church is over... or so he thinks. Archbishop Loris, the man responsible for the Church’s persecution of the Deryni and for the excommunication of Morgan and Duncan, Kelson’s trusted advisors, has been sent to live out the rest of his life in confinement. Kelson, Morgan, and Duncan should now be ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  17. 5 out of 5

    James Swenson

    This begins the "Histories of King Kelson" trilogy, which continues in The King's Justice and The Quest for Saint Camber, and follows immediately after the events of High Deryni. The conflict with Archbishop Loris continues, and Kelson bounces back and forth between joy and despair. This begins the "Histories of King Kelson" trilogy, which continues in The King's Justice and The Quest for Saint Camber, and follows immediately after the events of High Deryni. The conflict with Archbishop Loris continues, and Kelson bounces back and forth between joy and despair.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Zerangue

    So, I have now entered into the third series of this world. I certainly enjoy it. However, this book was missing a bit. By the time you are into the third trilogy, depth should be a given. It did not feel as such. Things felt a bit disconnected. There is an underlying storyline which will appear to carry throughout the trilogy, but the individual focus was on relationships. And they felt incredibly rushed. For example, reunite a father and son unknown to one another in a matter of 3 pages. Those So, I have now entered into the third series of this world. I certainly enjoy it. However, this book was missing a bit. By the time you are into the third trilogy, depth should be a given. It did not feel as such. Things felt a bit disconnected. There is an underlying storyline which will appear to carry throughout the trilogy, but the individual focus was on relationships. And they felt incredibly rushed. For example, reunite a father and son unknown to one another in a matter of 3 pages. Those kinds of incidents are what bothered me. Overall, still very much enjoy the world and already started on the second installment of this trilogy. The opening salvo was excellent, so I am hoping for improvement!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Howells

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Katherine Kurtz Deryni books are among my favourites and have been since I first read them in the 1980s. I know they have their flaws, and they are a bit repetitive and writing is clunky at times, but I have always loved them. The Bishop's Heir is probably my favourite one, closely followed by its sequel the King's Justice. The tragedy of Sidana and Kelson's lost opportunity to live in peace and happiness, and Dhugal's massive discovery of who his true father is, which is dealt with quietly The Katherine Kurtz Deryni books are among my favourites and have been since I first read them in the 1980s. I know they have their flaws, and they are a bit repetitive and writing is clunky at times, but I have always loved them. The Bishop's Heir is probably my favourite one, closely followed by its sequel the King's Justice. The tragedy of Sidana and Kelson's lost opportunity to live in peace and happiness, and Dhugal's massive discovery of who his true father is, which is dealt with quietly and discreetly in the aftermath of the wedding, has stayed with me for many years.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This is a review for the entire series (three books). You can tell that Kurtz has some writing under her belt, because this series is even better than the first. Kurtz is very good at making the personal and political conflicts real, and her world is well-developed. I liked the third book much more than when I read it as a teenager. I think that's in part because there was no next book then, and everything felt very unfinished. I think the next book rounds it out nicely.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carol Gibson

    This is the the first book in the king Kelson's series but the fourth book in the entire Deryni series. This book focuses more on Kelson himself instead of Morgan. We get to see Kelson finally growing into a man and the king that he will become. Katherine Kurtz hits her stride as a stroyteller in this book. The story is a page turner and you care for the characters and really hate the bad guys. I think it was this book back in the 1980s the cemented Katherine kurtz has my favorite author.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Liz C

    Good I wasn't sure about this book at the start, there seemed to be a lot of back story to get your head around, but I'm glad I kept reading. It's very medieval in places, church intrigue, state politics but not as violent as Machiavelli would have recommended. Kelson needs to be more ruthless. Didn't see the rather good ending coming and I 've got the others downloaded for my Christmas reads.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    It started slow, and took me ages to get into... but by the end, I was hooked. I guess that's the problem with reading stories set in a world I know but with all new characters this go 'round. And I feel like I've missed a lot in the interim. Ah well. Now that I know and like this set of folks, I'm ready to see what happens to them in the next two books, as well.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    Another painful Deryni novel to read. There is so much political intregue in this novel. A territory in rebellion, and church still divided, and a King in need of a bride. All colliding in an ending I never predicted.

  25. 5 out of 5

    KDawn

    This is probably my favorite book of Katherine Kurtz. This series is just wonderful. I read it first when I was in high school and it contains the first character of a book that I fell in love with. Her characters are rich and wonderful. If you like the Fantasy genre, I highly recommend it!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    I am enjoying this series. For those of you who haven't read her, I highly recommend her. Her books are fantasy set within a world where Catholicism exists. She is a Medievalist at UCLA (?) and her detail is amazing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    The first book in her second trilogy about Kelson really brings the young king to the forefront. He gains a friend of his own age, instead of being surrounded by older, wiser mentors, and starts to come into his own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Curt (Chaz) Jones

    Easily one of my favorite authors. I have read this series several times since Mom brought The Bishops Heir home from the library for me back in Jr. High. Really turned me on to the Historical Fiction aspect of fantasy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The Histories of King Kelson is an excellent trilogy in the Deryni world. These are some of my favorite books. Love the setting and the psychic abilities.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily Jackson

    Really like the series. Realistic characters and a heart-wrenching love story and action series.

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