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The Shadow Isle by Katharine Kerr
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The Shadow Isle (2008)

by Katharine Kerr

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Part one of the final two books set in the Celtic-inspired world of Deverry, and book 3 in the Silver Wyrm series, you can definitely see that Katharine Kerr is set to wrap things up. All of the "old" characters are there, in their latest incarnations and they are all converging upon each other. Neb, formerly Nevyn finally discovers his word. Rhodry, or Rori as he is now known, is debating whether or not he wants to remain in dragon form or if he wants to be returned to his natural human state. The mystical island of Haen Marn has returned to Deverry, along with it's inhabitants and one unexpected visitor to the island. The Horsekin seem to be massing for a major offensive or migration depending on how you look at it. In all, there is a lot going on in this book, but it is well put together and I have confidence that Kerr will tie it up well. The final book is due out later this year, and I'm excited and saddened at the same time to see how she ends it. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
We're finally reaching the end of the Deverry saga with this penultimate book in the series (the last is due to be published in October 2009). There is a sense of Katharine Kerr pulling together all those strands to finish off the series effectively, but some mysteries are still to be resolved. One thing I am glad of is that I don't actually know what Kerr will do to finish the story - although the Horsekin are currently 'evil', there has been enough switching sides and distinctions made between Horsekin and Gel da Thae for us to realise that no one is outright evil and everybody can be redeemed. In fact, this has been a theme running through the whole Deverry sequence - the idea that all beings (whether human, dwarf, Elcyion Lacar, Horsekin) have the ability to turn to good.

This book picks up where the previous left off - this is another feature of this last 'Act'. Each of the books drives forwards the plot and we rarely have any sequences now that take place in the past. We see Branna and Neb as part of the plot showing the Deverrians gear up for war and discover that the Horsekin are once again on the move. As part of this section, there is a subplot that deals with Neb and his fierce desire to become Nevyn once more. At times I felt like shaking Neb for his stupidity, but I found the resolution to be both sound and moving - the idea that Salamander has finally grown into a true dweomermaster and Wise One is very touching.

The main bulk of the book deals with the return of Haen Marn, and the introduction to the story of Rhodry's daughters Marnmara and Berwynna. Neither of these characters starts out as being someone I want to read more of - Marnmara is spoilt and Berwynna is envious and headstrong. As is usual, I do find myself warming to them over time though! This is one of Kerr's greatest strengths - she shows no fear in giving her characters real motivations and reactions, knowing that this may cause them to read in an unpleasant manner.

The last thread of the plot is concerning Rori and his mixed thoughts on whether he wants to remain a dragon. The book that may or may not hold the key to turning him back is currently lost, just one of the many plot points that Kerr will have to resolve in the final book. The others would include solving who or what Avain truly is, and uncovering the mystery of the otter shapeshifters that have stolen Kov.

Once again, a solid addition to the overall series. In my opinion Kerr has never reached the heights of her first quartet (starting with Daggerspell). The characters and events of those four books seemed to complete the series very effectively, and everything that has come after is just adding for the sake of it. Having said that, all the books are very readable. Still filled with details of medieval life, still characters that bring the events to life, still epic events. I look forward impatiently to the release of the final book. ( )
  magemanda | Sep 2, 2009 |
I love the Deverry series. I was upset when the author said this book was not the last; there is one more to go. However, I find that I am a little bit happy, too, because there IS one more. This series spans hundreds of years. Each book has been fulfilling in its own right. This book is not exception. ( )
  SLHobbs | Aug 21, 2009 |
The next-to-the-last book in the very long Deverry series. As good as most of the others but nothing outstanding. Don't start here; start at the beginning. ( )
  readinggeek451 | Jun 13, 2009 |
The next-to-the-last book in the very long Deverry series. As good as most of the others but nothing outstanding. Don't start here; start at the beginning. ( )
  mab2008 | May 16, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katharine Kerrprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lee, Jody A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Book fourteen of the celebrated Deverry series, an epic fantasy rooted in Celtic mythology that intricately interweaves human and elven history over several hundred years. As the tale of Deverry and her people draws near to its close, questions will be answered and mysteries uncovered! The wild Northlands hold many secrets, among them the mysterious dweomer island of Haen Marn, the mountain settlements of Dwarvholt, and the fortified city of Cerr Cawnen, built long ago by escaping bondmen from Deverry itself. And just who or what are the mysterious Dwgi folk? Thanks to the Horsekin, who continue to push their religious crusade south toward the borders of the kingdom, the human beings of Deverry and their elven allies realize that the fate of the Northlands lies tangled with their own. Although the dwarven race holds strong, the island of Haen Marn has fled and Cerr Cawnen seems doomed. Only the magic of Dallandra and Valandario and the might of the powerful dragons, Arzosah and Rori, can reveal the secrets and save the Northlands from conquest.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756405521, Mass Market Paperback)

The wild Northlands hold many secrets, among them the mysterious island of Haen Marn, the mountain settlements of Dwarveholt, and the fortified city of Cerr Cawnen. All three communities-and the alliance of humans, elves, and dwarves-are threatened by the religious fanaticism of the Horsekin. Only the magic of Dallandra and Valandario and the might of the powerful dragons, Arzosah and Rori, can save the Northlands from conquest.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:28 -0400)

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As the Horsekin continue to push their religious crusade to the borders of the kingdom, the humans of Deverry and their elven allies battle to reveal the secrets that can protect the Northlands from ultimate conquest.

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