In The Silver Mage, the fifteenth book in the very long-running Deverry series, Katharine Kerr seeks to wrap up those last few plot points and bring the sequence to a resounding end.
Oh dear. I’ve followed this series faithfully, to the extent of doing a full re-read in preparation of the release of this final book, and I am more than disappointed with the way Kerr has finished things off.
This series has been limping along for a while, but every now and again Kerr would produce a book that sparkled. This compelled me to keep on reading, but sadly it was rare that Kerr would produce two great books in a row and none of her later books have lived up to the promise of those first four novels.
In this book we deal mainly with Rhodry’s storyline. The other plot points are dealt with summarily and all too briefly. Kerr has been building the renewed threat of the Horsekin, but this is resolved with no drama and almost slips past without the reader noticing.
In fact, the whole novel suffers from a lack of drama or incidence. There is no gripping final battle. No beloved character comes anywhere near to dying. The series ends with a whimper and not a bang.
To be fair, the Rhodry plotline is emotional enough — especially in the moment where he realizes that his time as a dragon has reduced Arzosah to something less than she should be. I was glad that his resolution helped to also resolve the situation with Avain, who has been hovering around in the background for a long while.
There is zero resolution to the shape-shifting otter people — I’m left unsure as to exactly why Kerr even introduced them in the first place! I disliked the way that everyone needed to be married off or partnered up in the end. And I believe Laz was treated unfairly by Kerr, considering that he had started to feel remorse for his actions in prior lives.
To be perfectly honest, I feel extremely dissatisfied and short-changed by this effort — especially after the long wait for the series to end. I can only hope that all of those other authors stringing out long series take note and learn how NOT to finish their own stories.
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.