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Daggerspell (1986)

by Katharine Kerr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Deverry Cycle (1), Deverry (1)

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2,416456,320 (3.78)82
Fantasy. Fiction. Mythology. HTML:‚??This grand saga is by a wide margin the best Celtic fantasy around.‚?Ě‚??Chicago Sun-Times

Even as a young girl, Jill was a favorite of the magical, mysterious Wildfolk, who appeared to her from their invisible  realm. Little did she know her extraordinary friends represented but a glimpse of a forgotten past and a fateful future. Four hundred years‚??and many lifetimes‚??ago, one selfish young lord caused the death of two innocent lovers. Then and there he  vowed never to rest until he'd rightened that  wrong-and laid the foundation for the lives of Jill and all those whom she would hold dear: her father, the mercenary soldier Cullyn; the exiled  berserker Rhodry Maelwaedd; and the ancient and powerful herbman Nevyn, all bound in a struggle against  darkness. . . and a quest to fulfill the destinies determined centuries ago.

Here in this newly revised edition comes th
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» See also 82 mentions

English (34)  Dutch (3)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
I don't have a lot of patience for high fantasy, especially historically accurate medieval Welsh fantasy. Just not my cup of tea. ( )
  kittyfoyle | Apr 23, 2024 |
Only made it to about 7% - DNF

It's probably a fine story but I think I missed the boat. Perhaps I could have appreciated it at a different time in my life but at this time, unfortunately, I'm not interested.

That prologue was difficult on audio. I can't easily go back and re-listen to something. (I did plan to restart the book so I could re-listen to the prologue as I became more familiar with the story but it was so different than what came next and now, I've DNF'd it). There was some dreamy ambiguousness about "starting in the dark and ending in the dark but you must stay in the light". There are people without faces because they've been in the light too long and then they suddenly have faces.... Then chapter 1 begins and we are in medieval times with a female child being the main character. Her mother has died and she is on the road with her mercenary father.

If I understand correctly there will be 3 main characters and we will follow them, with back and forth time jumps, for over 400 years as they are reincarnated trying to do something correctly.

Descriptions and reviews list all kinds of interesting things but I think for me, at this time, it's too much with all the "fantasy" names and places and time jumps and I don't really want to read a story with a child MC. I'm old af and would like to spend time with characters on this side of experience.
  Corinne2020 | Apr 19, 2024 |
Just as good as the first time. ( )
  jazzbird61 | Feb 29, 2024 |
You ever read an older book, one that's been around for decades (30ish in this case) and say "If only I'd found you sooner".

DAGGERSPELL is that book for me. I vaguely remember always seeing these books on the shelves at the used book stores I frequented, but it never occurred to me to pick it up. Having read this first one I wonder at why that was. This is basically every single trope I thirsted for as a tween/teen desperately seeking fantasy.

Jill, a young girl who's destined for great things and caught between two futures.

Cullyn, a gruff merc who wants to deny the future as much as possible because the now is fine.

Rhodry, a nobleman who feels aimless but largely wants nothing more then to do the right thing.

Nevyn, wise weirdo who probably shouldn't keep all those secrets to himself because let's face it they do no one any good unsaid.

All stuck in a fate they all couldn't avoid if they tried.

This book, maybe because of when it was written (and revised) feels like my childhood reading Mercedes Lackey, Marjorie Kellogg, Tanya Huff, Janny Wurts and Elizabeth Scarborough. The paperback is old - yellowed, stained and with a very creased binding while retaining that old paperback smell of well worn paper and ink. The pages feel roughly textured and the speech is oddly formal even amongst the common folk and their rough slang.

I think nostalgia partially had me enjoying this since some of it bored me (I was more interested in Jill than any of her past lives) and I was somewhat nettled by how casually Cullyn's answer to getting Jill to listen was to slap her. 13 year old Alex wouldn't have even given it a second thought, 34 year Lexie is like WHY YOU TAKE THAT JILL.

I do have the next two books in the series so I'll be reading them. It's...a good length long so eventually I might get to them all. ( )
  lexilewords | Dec 28, 2023 |
I can appreciate that this is carefully plotted, that the characters have struggles and growth, that it's not the formulaic fluff reinforcing some unsaid ideas about society and history that are really quite harmful, that it's a depiction not an endorsement. I still didn't enjoy it, though I did have that trainwreck-need to know what happened. It's not that I can't ever like this sort of high fantasy saga, but it's pretty rare, and whatever combination of elements that works for me (or worked when I was twelve) is missing now. Honestly I really can't get over the sibling thing. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katharine Kerrprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frick, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KatariinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parkinson, KeithCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Urquhart, RuthNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Men see life going from a dark to a darkness. The gods see life as a death...
-The Secret Book of Cadwallon the Druid
Dedication
For my husband, Howard, who helped me more than ever he can know. Without his support and loving encouragement, I never would have finished this book.
First words
In the hall of light, they reminded her of her destiny.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fantasy. Fiction. Mythology. HTML:‚??This grand saga is by a wide margin the best Celtic fantasy around.‚?Ě‚??Chicago Sun-Times

Even as a young girl, Jill was a favorite of the magical, mysterious Wildfolk, who appeared to her from their invisible  realm. Little did she know her extraordinary friends represented but a glimpse of a forgotten past and a fateful future. Four hundred years‚??and many lifetimes‚??ago, one selfish young lord caused the death of two innocent lovers. Then and there he  vowed never to rest until he'd rightened that  wrong-and laid the foundation for the lives of Jill and all those whom she would hold dear: her father, the mercenary soldier Cullyn; the exiled  berserker Rhodry Maelwaedd; and the ancient and powerful herbman Nevyn, all bound in a struggle against  darkness. . . and a quest to fulfill the destinies determined centuries ago.

Here in this newly revised edition comes th

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