Deryni Rising, the first in the Deryni novels by Katherine Kurtz was published in 1970 and was the book that instilled a love for fantasy that is still strong today, almost 45 years later.
The King's Deryni is the latest of Katherine's Deryni novels, closing The Childe Morgan trilogy. The previous book in this series, Childe Morgan, was published in 2006. It's been eight years, yes. EIGHT years. George R.R. Martin doesn't even compete. *LOL*
Now the books of the last 15 years, beginning with King Kelson's Bride, have not been as totally wonderful as the previous books and series. Too many characters, not enough important and interesting events plot-wise and just... they've not been the same. That being said, The King's Deryni was more than I expected, even though some of the events were just retellings of incidents that we had seen before in Deryni Tales and flashbacks in other Deryni books.
The King's Deryni is basically telling us the story, the broad strokes of which we know quite well, of Alaric Morgan and his king, Brion Haldane, and how Morgan came to be the man and the hero we were introduced to way back in Deryni Rising. If you're not a fan of the Deryni, you will not enjoy this book at all. It's a book for the longtime fan, I think. Fleshing out characters and tales that we all know. Although, I need to do some research to find out what happened to Llion, Alaric's long-time mentor and protector.
I took my time reading this book, savouring it because I fear that it might be Katherine's last. She has just turned 70, but I hope... oh, I do hope, that she has enough left in her to write the book about the year 948. I know she intends to, but I don't know if there's another 8 years left!
So, the writing is not what it once was. The plotting is not what it once was. Characterisation has taken a bit of a hit - and yes, I still bitch about the precociousness of Alaric the child. But this is a book about my beloved Deryni by my favourite Katherine and since it's official publication date was December 2nd, the day before my own birthday, I like to think it was written just for me, and as such I have cut it some slack. I have loved reading it and some of the passages, some of the tales told therein have shown flashes of the wonder of earlier volumes. The scenes concerning the grey mare especially were of that sort.
So, yes. Definitely not of the ilk of The Legends of Camber of Culdi trilogy, nor The Harrowing of Gwynnedd nor High Deryni - this Deryni book, The King's Deryni was still a treat for me. :)