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Darkspell by Katharine Kerr
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Darkspell (1989)

by Katharine Kerr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Deverry Cycle (2)

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English (7)  Dutch (2)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Book two in the Deverry continues to follow Jill, Rhodry and Nevyn as they work together to battle the dark forces and protect a magical jewel that guides the conscience of the kingship. We’re also introduced to another reincarnation of the cast, adding more layers to their tangled and dramatic past.

I won’t say too much about the plot - it’s best to start with the first book. In book one, each character had three lives to keep track of - here a fourth is added. Another depressing storyline, but it adds to the depth of the characters and I liked the break from the main story.

The main story sheds some light on the evil powers in the last book, and teases at what more is to come. I liked it - not thrilling, but I realize I’m in this series for the long haul and I don’t mind the pace. New elements were introduced, new characters, and I’m ready to head on to book three. Let the adventure continue!

(I will note that the word 'berserker' is used entirely too often - we get it, some characters go into a crazy rage during battle! Every time! No need to keep explaining!) ( )
  MillieHennessy | Jan 10, 2014 |
Far more of a cookie-cutter fantasy novel than its predecessor, Wyrd notwithstanding. Kept my interest, mostly, though the politics and history got a bit convoluted, and I missed the feeling of inevitability from the first novel. Demoted a star for equating homosexuality with evil/unclean magic. ( )
  wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
DEVERRY
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
This is the second Deverry book and proves to be just as gripping as the first. Here we are dealing with a present time storyline of Jill and Rhodry's life on the road as silver daggers, and the danger they face from masters of dark dweomer. Jill discovers from Nevyn more about dweomer as he tries to gently encourage her to fulfil her Wyrd (destiny).

We also go back in time to a previous incarnation of Jill and Rhodry and Cullyn (Jill's father). The three souls (and others) have been twisted together because of vengeance, a miscarriage of destiny and incestuous love. Here Jill is Gweniver - a lady who pledges herself to the Moon Goddess, and therefore will be unable to take to a life of dweomer. Nevyn resigns himself to watching her die in the service of the Goddess and going back to waiting for her soul to be reborn. There is also a quick backstory to the start of the Maelwaedd clan (Rhodry's people).

I adored the whole story of Jill and Rhodry, and everything that happens in modern times. I found the masters of dark dweomer genuinely creepy, especially hearing what takes place during their rituals. It is lovely to see more of dweomer at work, including an entertaining piece of jewelry. I particularly like the way that Kerr ensures that there is always a downside to working dweomer.

One of my favourite characters right now is highly peripheral - Jill's grey gnome (one of the Wildfolk) is extremely cute and Kerr does well to lend him so much character since he is unable to speak properly. I also like Ebany a great deal, and suspect we shall see much more of him.

However, the success of these books depends greatly on how enjoyable the tale set in the past is, since it encompasses a large part of the novel. And I didn't get on with Gweniver - I found her naive and arrogant in turn. Very different from other past incarnations such as Brangwen (the first incarnation) and Lyssa (a gentle bard's wife). This is why I drop it half a star from the first book in the series.

The strong Celtic feel again embued the book with a sense of almost historical fiction - the language and the lifestyle is a fantastic part of each novel. Once again, I would recommend highly. ( )
  magemanda | Jul 27, 2009 |
I am not much of a plot person, being way too much of a character lover but as far as plots go, I prefer one that is complicated and multilayered. Well you do not get any more layered then this story. You have the present storyline that revolves around Jill, Rhodry, and Nevyn fighting against the forces of evil. You have the previous incarnations with their storylines covering the extensive back-story and you have the ever-present question, will Nevyn be able to help Jill fulfill her destiny in this lifetime or will he have to wait, once again, for her to be reborn. Whenever I read a book like this, I think of a tapestry. You start out with a bunch of individual threads of various colors, and then you weave them together, creating an intricate picture. It is really pretty amazing if you think about it, and this story gives me that very same feeling.

Full Review Here: Dragons, Heroes and Wizards: Fantasy Series Book Reviews ( )
  Mulluane | May 27, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katharine Kerrprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Craft, Kinuko Y.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frick, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Every light casts a shadow. So does the dweomer. Some men choose to stand in the light; others, in the darkness. Be ye always aware that where you stand is a matter of choice, and let not the shadow creep over you unawares...
-The Secret Book of Cadwallon the Druid
Dedication
For my father, Sergeant John Carl Brahtin, 1918-44, who died fighting to free Europe from a worse evil than anything a novelist can invent.
First words
Back in the eleventh century, when the far-flung kingdom of Deverry lay sparse and tentative across the lands men claimed in the king's name, Eldidd province was one of the most sparsely settled areas of all.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553568884, Paperback)

On the long roads of Deverry ride two mercenaries whose fates like hidden deep in that of their own land.  But Lord Rhodry, exiled from the dragon court of Aberwyn, has yet to discover his true parentage, and his swordmaster-lover, Jill, has barely glimpsed her awesome powers.  Meanwhile, the ancient sorcerer Nevyn, held back by his vows from boldly intervening in their lives, can only watch and wait as Rhodry and Jill move ever closer to danger.  For as the two struggle to recover the Great Stone, the mystic jewel that guides the conscience of the kingship of Deverry, malevolent dark masters are weaving terrifying spells against them--and displacing messengers of death.

Katharine Kerr has extensively rewritten Darkspell, incorporating major changes in the text, making this her definitive edition.  Here the epic saga that began with the Daggerspell continues--a tale of might and magic, lust and glory, dark danger and poignant desires that echo from Deverry's sapphire waters to its secret mountain caverns.  It's a spellbinding story destined to please fantasy lovers everywhere.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:00 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A revised edition of the spellbinding novel finds the wizard Nevyn powerless to protect exiled Prince Rhodry and his lover, the swordswoman Jill, from the malevolent dark masters weaving terrifying spells against them and dispatching messengers of death.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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