In The Fire Dragon we spend about half of our time in the past, concluding the storyline concerning Lillorigga, princess Bellyra, Maddyn the bard, and the prince Maryn. The second half of the book shifts the plot forwards concerning Rhodry, Dallandra, Niffa, Raena, and the dragon Arzosah.
In my opinion The Fire Dragon is by far the best book in the whole Deverry series. I was gripped throughout. Of necessity (considering the curse of the dweomer tablet), the first half of the story was bleak and heartbreaking. A number of my very favourite characters from this particular timeline came to fairly dire ends, which left me close to tears. Each of the various characters was treated with respect, except for Maryn and Oggyn — by the end of this section, it became very easy to hate both of them.
I was mightily relieved that Rhodry’s story advanced, but the ending also left me near weeping with how sad, and yet how appropriate, it was. Rhodry truly stepped forward to save the people he both cared for and had grown apart from. He and Arzosah became true soul mates in terms of how they viewed each other.
The other character that came into her own in The Fire Dragon was Dallandra. I made no secret in my reviews of the previous Deverry books that I held a great dislike for this Elven dweomer master. Her treatment of Aderyn and the way she pandered to Evandar’s every whim annoyed me intensely, and every part of her journey seemed particularly boring in comparison to the other threads of the story. However, here she became a compassionate and wise teacher, someone who put others before herself and sought to do what is right.
The Fire Dragon had a very powerful impact, and I sense that Katharine Kerr is starting to unwind the real crux of the Deverry tale. I eagerly look forward to more.
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.