I am surprised there are no other reviews of this book, as it is part of one of the truly outstanding series in fantasy fiction, and certainly deserving of some of the attention currently being heaped upon the contemporaneous "World of Time" series by Jordan, or the recent "A Song of Ice and Fire" begun by Martin. While lacking in some of the richness of detail and characterization present in those works, nonetheless this series is deserving of serious attention by fans of the genre.
Set within a celtic realm, Kerr's tale actually follows the interwoven stories of several different characters spread across a time span of several hundred years in the history of the Westlands. Some readers used to the more conventional use of a linear plot may find this disconcerting, but Kerr has used it effectively and originally in evolving her story over the past six books. The realms of Westlands are varied and richly landscaped, and the mythology behind the world intriguing. The only flaw that prevented me from assigning 5 stars to this book was Kerr's sketchy handling of Jill's time spent in Anmurdio, a problem similar to those that plagued Kerr's first book, "Daggerspell." Nonetheless, a worthy successor to previous books in the series, and definately well worth the read.
One final note of complaint, directed at the publisher: It would be helpful, for those of us with a geographical bent, to provide maps of the Westlands with all of the books in the series. Since the second, book maps have been absent, except for a partial map available in "The Dragon Revenant." Even more irritating is the lack of provision in certain books of a full and complete character list covering at least the major characters in all six books. With all the shifts in plot line in time that take place, as well as the reappearance of certain characters in later books, it would be helpful to have this aid for one's memory.