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on 11 April 2003
This is the second book in Katherine Kerr's Deverry series, which by now must count around 10 books. The world is a Celtic one, enphasising honour and allegiance. The theme is reincarnation, to fullfill a destiny, coupled with the power of love which transcends death. The series has two main storylines. One tells the story of Nevyn (translated to No-one) a sorcerer who has lived at least 400 years to undo a wrong he did to his first love, Brangwen and the fatal consequences for her other suitor Blaen. The other tells the story of Rhodry and Jill, reincarnations of these two. Caught up in events of dweomer, living by their wits and swords, torn between love and duty. Never predictable, the book skips backwards and forwards in time, to previous reincarnations of the main characters, weaving an ever more complex world where magic, elves, dwarves and trolls fit naturally in. Start with the first book, Daggerspell, and continue through this highly satisfying series, which, by the way only gets better and better. If you enjoy fantasy, you will enjoy this book
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on 8 February 2010
This is the second Deverry book and proves to be just as gripping as the first. Here we are dealing with a present time storyline of Jill and Rhodry's life on the road as silver daggers, and the danger they face from masters of dark dweomer. Jill discovers from Nevyn more about dweomer as he tries to gently encourage her to fulfil her Wyrd (destiny).

We also go back in time to a previous incarnation of Jill and Rhodry and Cullyn (Jill's father). The three souls (and others) have been twisted together because of vengeance, a miscarriage of destiny and incestuous love. Here Jill is Gweniver - a lady who pledges herself to the Moon Goddess, and therefore will be unable to take to a life of dweomer. Nevyn resigns himself to watching her die in the service of the Goddess and going back to waiting for her soul to be reborn. There is also a quick backstory to the start of the Maelwaedd clan (Rhodry's people).

I adored the whole story of Jill and Rhodry, and everything that happens in modern times. I found the masters of dark dweomer genuinely creepy, especially hearing what takes place during their rituals. It is lovely to see more of dweomer at work, including an entertaining piece of jewelry. I particularly like the way that Kerr ensures that there is always a downside to working dweomer.

One of my favourite characters right now is highly peripheral - Jill's grey gnome (one of the Wildfolk) is extremely cute and Kerr does well to lend him so much character since he is unable to speak properly. I also like Ebany a great deal, and suspect we shall see much more of him.

However, the success of these books depends greatly on how enjoyable the tale set in the past is, since it encompasses a large part of the novel. And I didn't get on with Gweniver - I found her naive and arrogant in turn. Very different from other past incarnations such as Brangwen (the first incarnation) and Lyssa (a gentle bard's wife). This is why I drop it half a star from the first book in the series.

The strong Celtic feel again embued the book with a sense of almost historical fiction - the language and the lifestyle is a fantastic part of each novel. Once again, I would recommend highly.
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on 4 November 2010
Katharine Kerr builds on the first book, and as her characters begin to flesh out, we see more of Deverry - the beautiful celtic world she has designed. The main storyline is Nevyn's fight against the dark dweomer, the villains hiding in the shadows in Book 1 are revealed here, and here comes my only negative point: Kerr seems to imply that being homosexual makes one evil. She calls homosexual acts wrong and disgusting, and her characters find the whole idea shocking. I understand this may have been the view in celtic Britain, but I think she should be more careful when writing about such a touchy subject. Regardless, the big flashback this time round of Gweniver is fantastic, and as the story finally comes to a head, you'll find yourself buying the next one straight away!
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on 7 July 1999
As noted in my review of "Daggerspell," I felt, despite the story's interest, it was weakened by a lack of fully realized characterization as well as thinly drawn detail. However, the world of Deverry and celtic folklore were so engagingly rendered that I perservered and was rewarded by the continuing tale of "Darkspell." Here Kerr appears to have mastered her earlier awkward plot transitions in time, integrating her multiple storylines smoothly and cohesively. And her descriptive narrative has grown, suffering only in comparison with authors such as Martin or Jordan, with the characters' personalities having become more fully formed. Unlike a previous reviewer, I find her villains more cunning than malevolent, but the opposition between dark and light dweomer is developing and offers much promise for the future. Also, the possibility for expanded roles by stronger and recurrent secondary characters - much needed - now appears possible, and it is my hope that we will see a further development of figures such as Ebany, Devaberiel, Rhys, and Tondalo (Even a possible return of Sarcyn?) in supporting roles in future. To date far too many of the secondary players, such as Aderyn and Ysolla, have played sisgnificant walk-on parts in one book only to disappear in the next. I believe Kerr's story would by vastly enriched by an expanded and repeated presence of some of the story's secondary characters. I perceive a hint of this intent with Ebany and Tondalo; I hope they are not alone.
Overall, "Darkspell" was a very satisfying read, and a marked improvement over "Daggerspell." I look forward to reading "The Bristling Wood."
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on 13 April 2014
This book is the second in a series of which I had the 1st, 3rd and 4th..... so I kinda really needed to read it.
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on 1 November 2010
good book, this is a series of books I started in the summer and having read all the current books in the series up to 2009 and as my local library does not keep the older books in stock I have had to buy them myself secondhand on line. I have bought seven now and all have been of good readable quality with no tears or other damage.
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on 16 April 2016
I first read this book many years ago and have read the series more than once. I'm now eighty two and reading them again. Unfortunately I gave the books to my daughter and so now reading the first book on my IPad. I will buy the next book in the series, when I near the end.
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on 4 May 2013
Just love all the Deverry books, Katharine Kerr's characters are some of the best in Fantasy books. Let's have many more please I've read all of them now.
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on 12 June 2015
Brilliant series, written beautifully, I would recommend to everyone.
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on 28 April 2016
Needed this one to complete the series good condition thank you
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