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Katherine Irene Kurtz, born October 18, 1944, in Coral Gables, Florida, is an American fantasy writer, author of sixteen historical fantasy novels in the Deryni series, as well as occult and urban fantasy. Resident in Ireland for over twenty years, she now lives in Virginia.

Katherine Kurtz
Born (1944-10-18) 18 October 1944 (age 74)
Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Notable worksDeryni novels


Personal lifeEdit

Kurtz was born October 18, 1944 in Coral Gables, Florida, where she also grew up.

She secured a scholarship to study chemistry and graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Miami.

She married Scott MacMillan in 1983; they have one son. Within the following couple of years they moved to Ireland. Both later became naturalized Irish citizens. Until 2007, they lived at Holybrooke (Hollybrook) Hall, in the largest of four houses formed from the original historic building, between Kilmacanogue and Bray in County Wicklow, Ireland. Kurtz wrote, and Macmillan, who had worked in the film industry, took a role as a herald in the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland. They put their Irish home on the market in 2006 for 3.5 million euro,[1] moving back to the United States in 2007, to an historic house in Virginia.[2]

Writing careerEdit

Kurtz is best known for the Deryni novels and short stories. 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.[3]

She also wrote several occult alternate history novels in her Templar series, and urban fantasy novels in her Adept series.[3]

Kurtz's works were popular in the 1970s until the early 1990s, but are no longer widely read.[3]

Katherine has a weekly chat with her fan base about her writing, life, cats, and many other subjects. The chat is held every Sunday evening around 7pm US Eastern Time, except for the first Sunday of the month when it is usually held 2 hours earlier for the European fans to chat at a earlier time. The chat can be reached via IRC through the OtherWorlders IRC Network in #Deryni_Destinations or via Discord at the following invite link.

Partial bibliographyEdit

Deryni universeEdit

The AdeptEdit

(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 booksEdit

(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 work Kurtz has edited or contributed follows:

  • Knights of the Blood (1993) (written by Scott MacMillan, lightly edited by Katherine Kurtz)
  • Knights of the Blood: At Sword's Point (August 1994) (written by Scott MacMillan, lightly edited by Katherine Kurtz)
  • 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. ^ Parsons, Michael (1 June 2006). "€3.5m for trophy home at base of Sugarloaf". Irish Times. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  2. ^ Kurtz, Katherine. "Biography". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ 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.

Further readingEdit

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

External linksEdit