The Dragon Revenant (US) or Dragonspell: The Southern Sea (UK) by Katharine Kerr
For the first time in the Deverry series, all the action takes place in the present day rather than flitting back to fill gaps in the past, and the plot and pacing are all the tighter for it.
Rhodry has been sold as a slave on the Bardek islands, and one storyline follows his new life, intersected with information about Salamander and Jill chasing him down. Behind all this we discover more about the politics and machinations within the Hawks, the Brotherhood, and, behind them all, the Old One — desperate enemy of Nevyn.
I really enjoyed the slow build and Jill’s gradual realization that the dweomer would be her future, no matter how much she wished otherwise. The climax to the Old One storyline was very much D&D in nature (no real surprise considering Katharine Kerr‘s background in role-playing games) and fairly perfunctory. No one was in any great danger, and everyone survived to live another day. More interesting were the final few chapters, where Jill makes the decision that releases Nevyn from his reckless vow and changes her life.
The four-book sequence of Deverry: Act I is fairly generic fantasy, and certainly more groundbreaking fantasy has been produced since these. However, the Deverry books should not be dismissed lightly. Kerr’s style is warm and welcoming. The characters are well-written, and readers will care deeply about what happens to them. Kerr has told a fabulously rich story, which was improved immeasurably by the nonlinear storyline.
I think that readers of any epic fantasy would gain a great deal of enjoyment from the Deverry series. Although I wish to all the Gods that the characters would stop tossing their heads to make a point!
Deverry — (1986-2009) Publisher: 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 the incredible novel that began one of the best-loved fantasy seers in recent years — a tale of bold adventure and timeless love, perilous battle and pure magic.
Act one: Deverry — In the UK, the third book is Dawnspell: The Bristling Wood, and the fourth book is Dragonspell: The Southern Sea.
Act two: The Westlands — in the UK, the third book is A Time of War and the fourth book is A Time of Justice.
Act three: The Dragon Mage
Act four: The Silver Wyrm — in the UK, these are continuations of Act Three: The Dragon Mage.
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