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Charmed by Dragonspell?
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.