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In the King's Service (The Childe Morgan #1)
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In the King's Service (The Childe Morgan #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  868 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
In this first book of an all-new Deryni trilogy,  New York Times bestselling author Katherine Kurtz takes readers back in time--before King Kelson's bride...before King Kelson's birth... when the magical Deryni blood was sought by the most powerful men and women in the kingdom of Gwynedd. Back when a man named Donal ruled over all.
Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Ace (first published 2003)
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Aug 26, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, deryni
It's been almost 15 years since I last visited the Deryni. I prefer to wait until a trilogy is all out before I start, rather than forgetting what happened in the book a couple of years before when the next one comes out.
Set about 30 years prior to the Kelson series, this covers the events that lead up to the birth of Alaric Morgan. The novel itself covers a 10 year timespan with various gaps in the narrative.
I really enjoyed this and it was a pleasure to revisit Gwynedd. This book was more even
May 28, 2009 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I went back to read this first book in the series and though Kurtz still isn't shy about killing her characters off in creative ways, I can't quite connect with this series the way I used to. Though entertaining, it almost feels like she's going through the motions in filling in the history between the Camber books and Kelson. Worth reading for fans, but not as compelling as the earlier works were.
Nov 12, 2009 Margaret rated it it was ok
Another book that was relatively unsuccessfully stuffed into the confines of an existing plotline. Also, I really wish that Kurtz would have just started with one book and kept writing about the same characters until she inevitably killed them off. What happened to all the characters in the last book in the series?
Jul 20, 2010 Kevin rated it it was ok
I used to really enjoy this series, and I still do enjoy occasionally rereading the earlier works. However, the "Childe Morgan" trilogy is just dull. It reads like a poorly written history text, with only the slightest attempts at genuine plot or characterization. Very disappointing.
This is the first novel in the Childe Morgan trilogy, published in 2003. The second novel, Childe Morgan, was published in 2006. The long awaited third (and probably the very last Deryni novel), titled The King’s Deryni, is due to be released in December, 2014. This is the seventh book in the sixteen-book Deryni saga orchestrated by Katherine Kurtz if read chronologically. Some of the books are out of print but readily available through used book sellers and via Amazon.

When compared to the previ
Kevin Rubin
Nov 20, 2015 Kevin Rubin rated it liked it
“In the King’s Service” is the first Katherine Kurtz book I’ve read in over 20 years. And while she was amongst my favorite authors as a teenager in the 80’s, I found this pretty disappointing. I don’t know if her writing had changed by the 21st century or I’d just become a more discerning reader.

This begins a trilogy, the “Childe Morgan” of her Deryni series that takes place a generation before the first trilogy she wrote, which is several generations after the earliest trilogy, going by in-wor
Jul 12, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was browsing the shelves of Half-Price Books, not looking for anything in particular, when I spotted a book by Katherine Kurtz which I hadn't read. Looking at the spine, I couldn't determine if it would be a Deryni book or, dare I hope, an addition to her murder series, maybe even a gargoyle book. It was a Deryni book!
In the King's Service isn't precisely a prequel since it takes place after the Camber series. It describes the birth of Prince Brion who will eventually become King Brion, father
Mar 18, 2012 Ronald rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I loved the early Deryni books but this one, no thanks. It reads like bad Deryni fan-fic.
(view spoiler)
Sep 24, 2012 Kerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: 9, fantasy, 2004
In the King's Service is the first in a long-promised trilogy that will tell us about the childhood and youth of my favourite Kelson-time characters, Alaric Morgan and Duncan McLain. Ostensibly, In the King's Service chronicles King Donal Haldane's attempts to ensure his young son, and therefore his kingdom, has a strong protector once he is gone. Around this central thread spin the parents and grandparents of many of the characters from Kelson's time.

This book does suffer the fate of nearly an
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fantasy Literature
Oct 18, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
In the King's Service is the beginning of a new trilogy which details the recent history of the kingdoms that led to the events of her original series focusing on King Kelson, Alaric, et. al. (beginning with Deryni Rising). Though I suppose it could be read independently, I certainly wouldn't recommend it and advise people new to this world to start with her first trilogy (or possibly go chronologically starting with the Camber series depending on taste).

For most of us long-time readers of Kathe
Jun 24, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2010
Disappointing. I've read 12 books in the Deryni Universe, this one makes 13, and is the least of them all. The author's previous books are great. This one feels like it was pulled from being tucked away in a drawer, polished a bit, and then sent to the publisher who did very little editing. I don't even know if it was good, or if it was good because I'm such a fan of the Deryni books. If you're a fan, you'll probably like it to some degree. I'm going to read the next one hoping the groundwork in ...more
Deb Elliott
Apr 29, 2015 Deb Elliott rated it it was ok
I am a long time fan of this world, but this book was by far my least favorite. Why? It was very slow and the characters less than compelling. Who wants to read a book where a major plot point is sending preteen girls to a convent for education? In places it read like a history text and relied far too heavily on lush description of rituals that rarely moved the story forward. Like a previous reviewer, I feel like this book's purpose was to fill in the history between a previous series and this n ...more
Rebecca Huston
Aug 14, 2010 Rebecca Huston rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
To be honest, I love Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels, but her more recent work has been less than satisfying to read. I don't know if she's lost interest, or what. But this one was a limp, palid shadow of her earlier work, telling the story of Alaric Morgan's parents, Kenneth and Richenda. And that's a pity too, as she can write very good novels.

For the complete review, please go here:
Mar 10, 2008 Tanya rated it really liked it
A rich and well developed look into the personality and cares of Alaric Morgan's mother, Alyce. I love Katherine Kurtz's books and I was not disappointed in this one. As always her characters and settings and rich and well developed. She is not afraid to aproach difficult, contraversial topics.
Sharon Karpierz
Dec 08, 2014 Sharon Karpierz rated it liked it
Slow going to start with setting up all of the relationships and lines, but then the plot took off to a satisfying conclusion. It is so very hard to read asbout things that are so treatable today killing people...
Feb 15, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Kurtz takes on the generation before Morgan, Duncan, and then Kelson. I never latched onto these characters as tightly as I did those in her other Deryni books, but that's not to say this isn't a great book, and of course: a must for Deryni fans.
May 27, 2014 Craig rated it liked it
This was a decent book, my first time back in the Deryni series in years. It had some long, dull stretches, then something almost inexplicable would happen. I enjoy this universe and have always liked this series, this particular book just seemed a little disjointed to me.
Jan 04, 2011 Trish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I get that Katherine Kurtz wanted to put some backstory into the Deryni series, but to me this was too much dynastic duty, death and overarch, but not enough actual story to really get to know the characters.
Andrew Chang
Apr 16, 2016 Andrew Chang rated it really liked it
A great return to the Deryni world. Katherine Kurtz is such a skilled writer, it's a joy to read whatever she writes.
Amy Garnica
Jan 11, 2015 Amy Garnica rated it it was amazing
I loved this world of Deryni twenty years ago. I'm happy to fall back in love with the magic rules, politics, prejudices, characters, and her details of the church.
Mar 30, 2010 Converse rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A relaxing magical fantasy, set in a sort of alternative medieval Europe.
Mar 18, 2013 Candis rated it did not like it
most dull boring thing ever. couldnt get into it at all. thankfully there was n.k. jemisin to make up for this uninteresting book.
Candie rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2015
Bill rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2014
April Rogers
April Rogers rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2012
Nancy rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2009
Golo rated it liked it
Sep 24, 2014
Stacy G Boykin
Stacy G Boykin rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2015
Joy Wilson
Joy Wilson rated it liked it
Dec 19, 2014
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Katherine Kurtz is American fantasy novel writer. She is best known for her Deryni series. She currently lives in Virginia.
More about Katherine Kurtz...

Other Books in the Series

The Childe Morgan (3 books)
  • Childe Morgan (The Childe Morgan #2)
  • The King's Deryni (The Childe Morgan, #3)

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