'Camber of Culdi', Katherine Kurtz
Long-term fans of the work of Katherine Kurtz, and new readers alike, will be pleased to hear that her Deryni novels are to be released by electronic format for the first time courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media, beginning with the first in the 'Legends of St Camber' series, 'Camber of Culdi'.
For those new to Kurtz, she has been crafting her Deryni series since the early 1970s, when she hit upon the idea of a medieval world dominated by the Church Militant, in which magic was real, but outlawed on pain of death. In terms of publication, the Kingdom of Gwynedd, with its rough parallels to 10th, 11th, and 12th century England, Scotland, and Wales, was born in the course of the 'Deryni Chronicles' trilogy, made up of 'Deryni Rising' (1970), 'Deryni Checkmate' (1972), and 'High Deryni' (1973). The internal chronology of the series was, however, revised when she published a prequel trilogy covering the life of the legendary Saint Camber in the late '70s, and it is with that series that Open Road have chosen to launch their electronic series.
Highly detailed, engaging, and very human tales, Kurtz's Deryni novels have gathered a huge and faithful following down through the years. She is still publishing successor novels, though at a relatively slow pace (due, at least in part, to the detailed backstories she has woven in to her series, and the need to maintain consistency throughout). 'The King's Deryni', the sixteenth novel in the series, was published in 2014 (and reviewed on this site), after a gap of seven years, and several stand alone novels are said to be in the planning stages, but with no firm release dates. Ironically, publication speed is likely to be no hinderance to these new Kindle editions, which will be released in swift succession, and will include all the novels in the series (with some beautiful new cover art to accompany them) over the course of March 2016.
This new electronic release will hopefully generate interest in a new generation of readers - let's face it, many of us who began reading Kurz as teenagers are now well into our middle years - and will sustain a series which is at one and the same time a classic of the fantasy genre, a highly popular world with associated fan-fiction and authorised guides, and an evolving universe in its own right. If you haven't dipped your toe into the waters off the coast of Gwynedd, then I thoroughly recommend you make the most of this re-release, and enjoy the experience for yourself.
'Camber of Culdi' will be re-released in electronic format by Open Road Integrated Media on 8 March 2016.