Top critical review
Slow and uneventful - just marking time?
on 20 October 2000
Having looked forward for some time to the continuation of the Deverry saga, I have to say that I found much of the most recent offering to be surprisingly dull and lacking in pace. When last we met, Dalla, Rhodry et al had just survived a horrific siege by the Horsekin, and several promising storylines were set up by the disappearance of Haen Marn, the departure of the dragon etc. The stage therefore seemed set for a pacy continuation, but this has not materialised. On the plus side, there is some character development, but very little happens, and most of the 'modern' part of the book appears to be concerned with setting the stage for the next instalment, instead of giving a worthwhile story in the present. The only genuine surprise is Rhodry's wyrd - most of the modern characters seem pale and tired, and very little space is given to the more interesting ones from previous books, such as Carra. Has Kerr perhaps been taking a leaf out of Robert Jordan's recent efforts? On the plus side, the first half of the book, which continues the Bellyra/Maryn/Lilli saga, is much more interesting, probably because something actually happens to them, and because Nevyn is a better developed character than Dallandra. I realise that this will probably be incomprehensible to persons who are unfamiliar with the series, but at this stage, the story is far too convoluted to try to explain in one short review. Readers who have read the earlier books will know what I am talking about, and those who have not may take this as a hint to start with them - to both, I will only say, I wouldn't rush out to buy this instalment - the writing is turgid and the plot development just about nil. Wait for the library copy!