Katherine Kurtz

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Katherine Kurtz
Born (1944-10-18) 18 October 1944 (age 73)
Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Occupation Novelist
Genre Fantasy
Notable works Deryni novels

Katherine Irene Kurtz is an American fantasy writer and author of sixteen historical fantasy novels in the Deryni series. She also wrote several occult alternate history novels in her Templar series, and urban fantasy novels in her Adept series.[1]

Her 1970 debut novel, Deryni Rising, was one of the first fantasy novels written in a mode closer to historical fiction than to mythology or legend, as was common in the then-popular high fantasy works such as those by J. R. R. Tolkien. Writing in Strange Horizons, Kari Sperring calls Kurtz the "first writer of secondary-world historical fantasy", noting her close attention to the importance of faith in pre-modern Western societies and her portrayal of magic as a formal, ritual practice as opposed to the "picaresque and informal" way magic was depicted in other fantasy of the time.[1]

Kurtz's works were popular in the 1970s until the early 1990s, but are no longer widely read.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Kurtz was born October 18, 1944 in Coral Gables, Florida, where she also grew up. She graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Miami. She married Scott MacMillan in 1983 and had a son with him. Until 2007, they lived in Ireland, and since then again in the United States, in Virginia.[2]

Partial bibliography[edit]

Deryni universe[edit]

The Adept[edit]

(with Deborah Turner Harris)

  • Book I: The Adept (1991)
  • Book II: The Lodge of the Lynx (1992)
  • Book III: The Templar Treasure (1993)
  • Book IV: Dagger Magic (1995)
  • Book V: Death of an Adept (1996)

Templar books[edit]

(with Deborah Turner Harris)

  • Book I: The Temple And the Stone (1998)
  • Book II: The Temple and the Crown (April 2001)


  • Lammas Night (1983)
  • The Legacy of Lehr (1986)
  • Two Crowns for America (1996)
  • Saint Patrick's Gargoyle (2001) (paperback January 2002)


A partial list of works Kurtz has edited or contributed to is as follows:

  • Knights of the Blood (1993) (lightly edited by Katherine Kurtz, written by Scott MacMillan)
  • Knights of the Blood: At Sword's Point (August 1994) (lightly edited by Katherine Kurtz, written by Scott MacMillan)
  • Tales of the Knights Templar (1995) (edited by Katherine Kurtz, with a contributed story entitled Obligations)
  • On Crusade: More Tales of the Knights Templar (1998) (edited by Katherine Kurtz, with a contributed story)
  • Crusade of Fire: Mystical Tales of the Knights Templar (2002)(edited by Katherine Kurtz, with a contributed story)

In addition, she has contributed to a number of anthologies.


  1. ^ a b c Sperring, Kari (30 March 2015). "Matrilines: The Woman Who Made Fantasy: Katherine Kurtz". Strange Horizons. Archived from the original on 5 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Kurtz, Katherine. "Biography". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Carter, Lin (1973). Imaginary Worlds: The Art of Fantasy. New York City: Ballantine. pp. 163–164. 

External links[edit]