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on 4 May 2004
The fourth volume of the DEVERRY series, Dragonspell winds up the history of Nevyn, the seemingly immortal Master of the Aethyr, and Jill the silver dagger, while introducing the first threads of the story of Rhodry, Gwerbret Aberwyn, which will be taken up and dominate in the next four volumes.
The book takes up from the end of Dawnspell, with Rhodry in the hands of the assassins' guild known as the Hawks and at the mercy of an evil sorcerer, the Old One. With his brother, the ex-gwerbret, killed in a riding accident due to the dark dweomer, the fate of Aberwyn hangs in the balance, and Jill, with Salamander, Rhodry's half-elven brother, set out to rescue him from Bardek on a hired pirate ship.
Nevyn is bound to stay in Aberwyn with regent Lovyan, worried not only by Gwerbret Rhys's death and the political pussyfooting, but also by the strange nature of his mysterious prisoner, Lord Perryn of Alobry, and the terrible fate of Rhodry in the hands of the dark dweomer.
Due to the meddling of Perryn the summer before, Jill finds that her latent dweomer talent is becoming impossible to ignore, and the training that she has resisted taking, life after life, becomes a necessity. If she finally takes up her gift of the dweomer, Nevyn will have fulfilled his oath and at last be free to die - but now that the moment comes, he fears that he will not have the time necessary to take his ancient enemy, the Old One, the leader of the dark dweomer, with him.
This book, unlike the other three, does not show Kerr's classic interlacing of different time-periods, but remains with the story of Jill, Salamander, Rhodry and Nevyn as they battle with the forces of the Dark Dweomer in Bardek.
Despite the straight-forward format, which may be a disappointment for some hard-line Kerr fans, this book is a good wind-up to the story of Jill, Rhodry and Nevyn, and a convincing introduction to the continuing history of Rhodry and Salamander.
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on 8 February 2010
For the first time in the Deverry series, all the action remains in the present day rather than flitting back to fill gaps in the past, and the plot/pacing is all the tighter for it.

Rhodry has been sold as a slave on the Bardek islands, and one storyline follows his new life, intersected with information about Salamander and Jill chasing him down. Behind all this we discover more about the politics and machinations within the Hawks, the Brotherhood and, behind them all, the Old One - desperate enemy of Nevyn.

I really enjoyed the slow build and Jill's gradual realisation that the dweomer would be her future, no matter how much she wished otherwise. The climax to the Old One part of the story was very much D&D in nature (no real surprise considering Kerr's background in roleplaying games) and fairly purfunctory. No one was in any great danger, and everyone survived to live another day. What was more interesting was the final few chapters, where Jill makes the decision that releases Nevyn from his reckless vow and changes her life.

The sequence of four books are fairly generic fantasy, and certainly more groundbreaking fantasy has been produced since these. However, they should not be dismissed lightly. Kerr's writing is warm and welcoming. The characters are well-written and you care deeply about what happens to them. Kerr has told a fabulously rich story, which was improved immeasurably by the lack of a linear storyline.

I think that readers of any epic fantasy would gain a great deal of enjoyment from the Deverry series. Although I wish to all the Gods that the characters would stop tossing their heads to make a point!
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on 23 November 2010
For me, Dragonspell trumps the first three books. It has no flashbacks to the past, which many have complained about, but I feel this is good because time can be devoted to developing the central characters, and perhaps bringing about a climax to some of them. Without spoiling too much of the story, we get to see Bardek and its very different customers to Deverry, Rhys and Rhodry's thread is resolved, and most importantly Nevyn and Jill's story comes to a conclusion that nearly had me in tears. Kerr doesn't forget about the side characters which I think is brilliant. Perryn and Salamander both get their own endings, but a lot remains open for future books. I will be going onto the next 'Act' in Kerr's Deverry series, having been highly entertained by the first four - of which, Dragonspell is the highlight.
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on 8 February 2001
Fans of Deverry might want to give me a beating here, but in my opinion- Kerr is definitely capable of better stuff. Until I got to this book, everything she put out amazed me... Dawnspell in particular. Through out Dragonspell there were some traces of the Katherine Kerr I know and love- especially in the beginning and the end, but the middle (the entire portion that involved Rhodry as a slave) bored me and dragged out for way too long. I kept waiting for Kerr to erupt into one of her trademark flashback sequences- but she seems to have deviated from that formula here. I respect the possibility that maybe she was bored of doing this, but I still want to know how the Silver Dagger group's origin story turns out- a tale left unfinished from the middle of the last book.
I have a confession to make... Halfway through, I quite frankly gave up on this book and went on to read twelve other books. But for the first time in my life I resumed reading a book I had given up on- This was solely because of how much I enjoyed her first three books, and my hope that the next few would be up to her usual par.
A few things did impress me here though. Salamander- an interesting character is fleshed out for the first time. Kerr's dialogue and Deverry's culture give her works a wonderful feel. I would have enjoyed a grander resolution between Rhodry and his brother/enemy Rhys, but the ending made the book worth while with several surprises and a very neat closure to the whole series. Or was this just a bridge? On to book 5 for the answers I go. And I can't wait to get to Dragon Mage- I previewed the first chapter and it looks exciting!
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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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 February 2016
This is the fourth volume in the much acclaimmed Deverry Cycle,

Katherine Kerr is one of a the handful of fantasy authors that I have kept on my bookshelf and re-read on a regular basis. The Deverry saga, particularly the earlier volumes are still some of the best fantasy written.

What a pity the entire series has not yet made its way onto Kindle.
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on 7 July 2014
I've read every book written by this author and I have never been disappointed. I have all the books in the series in paper form and now decided to add them to my Kindle.
If you haven't read this series before it's best to start with the first book. You could pick up the story half way but it gets quite involved.
The reason for the 4 stars is you cannot get the first three books on Kindle! Why?
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on 11 January 2014
The book arrived promptly,it's was in very good condition,I was very pleased with the book.
I would use the seller agin
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on 6 August 2013
It's a long time since I read the series maybe it's time to re- read.
I think I'll try the first book on my Kindle.
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on 29 December 2014
I live this series. I read it years ago, so good to see it return. Wish they would do the series in audio
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