Read Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr Online


Even as a young girl, Jill was a favorite of the magical, mysterious Wildfolk, who appeared to her from their invisible realm. Little did she know her extraordinary friends represented but a glimpse of a forgotten past and a fateful future. Four hundred years-and many lifetimes-ago, one selfish young lord caused the death of two innocent lovers. Then and there he vowed nevEven as a young girl, Jill was a favorite of the magical, mysterious Wildfolk, who appeared to her from their invisible realm. Little did she know her extraordinary friends represented but a glimpse of a forgotten past and a fateful future. Four hundred years-and many lifetimes-ago, one selfish young lord caused the death of two innocent lovers. Then and there he vowed never to rest until he'd righted that wrong-and laid the foundation for the lives of Jill and all those whom she would hold dear: her father, the mercenary soldier Cullyn; the exiled berserker Rhodry Maelwaedd; and the ancient and powerful herbman Nevyn, all bound in a struggle against darkness. . . and a quest to fulfill the destinies determined centuries ago. Here in this newly revised edition comes the incredible novel that began one of the best-loved fantasy seers in recent years--a tale of bold adventure and timeless love, perilous battle and pure magic. For long-standing fans of Deverry and those who have yet to experience this exciting series, Daggerspell is a rare and special treat....

Title : Daggerspell
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553565218
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 454 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Daggerspell Reviews

  • Mark Lawrence
    2019-05-25 20:32

    I first read this book over twenty-five years ago and have just finished my first re-reading of it.Re-reading can be a troubling experience. Many of the fantasy books I loved from my teens and twenties have not withstood the test of time. They've grown dated either by style and focus, or simply by the quality of the writing. And of course as much as general reading tastes and expectations have changed, I've changed too. Dump a few decades on a man and that'll happen.*However*, I'm very pleased to report that this book has aged extremely well. Setting the story aside for a moment, Kerr is an excellent writer of prose. She can paint a picture or evoke strong emotion with a few deft lines. Add to that an intriguing imagination and strong world building, and you have the foundation of a great book.To top it off, the story is engaging, exciting, and unpredictable.The only thing that may put people off, and did give me pause, is the very thing that becomes the book's (and the series') strength. This is a story that revolves around reincarnation (into new people) and tracks a small group of souls over many centuries.The first manifestation of this is when about 20% if the way in you are hauled unceremoniously from the story and characters you're enjoying into a whole new story with new characters and no obvious connection. At this point it feels a bit difficult to muster any enthusiasm for these new people and their woes. But, of course it slowly becomes clear that these are the same people and that we are seeing the start of the entanglement that keeps them reappearing in each other's lives down the centuries.The tale encompasses quite a few battles but the warfare and sword fights are never the real focus and while well handled aren't detailed in terms of violence and gore. This is a story about characters, relationships, magic, and confronting seemingly insurmountable problems.It's really good. And from memory the series continues strongly through the next half dozen and more books.You should give it a try!Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes..

  • Carol.
    2019-05-23 02:29

    Kerr's Deverry series is a classic in the epic fantasy field, and it's no surprise why. World building is excellent, detailed and consistent; she does an amazing job of bringing early, almost primitive, Welsh culture to life, albeit a culture with more magical tendencies than our own. From a village tavern to the women's hall in a lord's dun, to riding patrol through a forest, it feels earthy and real. The magical system is a kind of sophisticated spiritualism that is vital to development of the plot.One of my favorite things about the series is the complexity of character development. We witness people struggling with personal and political issues, occasionally failing, but occasionally overcoming challenges with grace. I particularly enjoy how women are developed; though the culture is at heart sexist, we see the many ways women take power for themselves at different levels of society, from the common lass Jill to the lady of the dun, Lovyan. Also notable is Kerr's refusal to glorify violence, even as one or two of her characters are some of the most feared swordsmen around. An additional noteworthy aspect is that Kerr includes non-nobility classes without glorifying their struggles or minimizing the role they play in maintaining the nobility's lifestyle. One of the central concepts to this series is the idea of 'Wyrd,' an aspect of destiny combined with reincarnation. Characters are not completely fated to a particular course of action, but will find themselves repeating ill-negotiated challenges until their soul gets it right. The central characters in this series are drawn together across space and time because four hundred years ago, family obligations, injustice and tragedy occurred in such a way as to bind their threads together. Nevyn, a sorcerer known as a 'dweomermaster,' is the only one of the people in this situation who is aware of the cycle of Wyrd, and one of his goals is to connect with the others as they enter their new life cycles and correct his mistakes.What adds depth and complexity to the overall plot is that the characters are working out their Wyrd in three different time periods. As we go back in time, we also experience the culture in earlier forms, allowing the reader to get the sense of development of society. Somewhat unfortunately, names are in dialect and it lends itself to confusion in keeping track of each person and their three names. The first time through, I found it confusing, but I was younger then. It's a shame I only discovered the reincarnation end notes after finishing--it might have helped me keep some of the names/personalities straight during the three periods covered. On re-read, the time changes flow better, and the situations playing out slightly differently in the second time period adds to the sense of tragedy to the first and hope for the third.Truly a great read for those who like complex epic fantasy. Star one: world-building. Star two: character development. Star three: nicely developed plot with what could have been very conventional fantasy--yes, there are serfs and nobles, and battles, and elves and even a dwarf, but they are done in a way that feels real, and emphasizes the loss as much as the magic. Star four: complexity in all of the aforementioned categories. The beginning Deverry series achieves a rare pathos, and likely spoiled me for many subsequent fantasies.Cross posted at

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-05-21 19:41

    Daggerspell is an epic fantasy novel built on the idea of reincarnation. If we have failed to fulfill our destiny in one life, we are compelled to return to this life in another form to do that. As I read this novel, I was confronted with my feelings about that inalienable destiny. There are some people that you have in your life that seem only to bring pain and hardship, and the comfort is that when you leave this life, you leave that pain they cause you behind. In this novel, that is not the case. And more importantly, a person cannot run from themselves and the anguish their own actions will deliver them. In some ways, that was a bitter pill to swallow as I read. The blessing in this novel was that one man, Nevyn, which sounds like ‘no one’ has lived through three lives and walks that anguished road with those people who he failed to help the first time.Another integral part of this novel is the Welsh-like feel to their world. I’m not an expert on Welsh language, so if I’m wrong, I apologize. But it felt as though this novel used some of the Welsh language particulars and it felt pretty distinct and authentic to me. I was afraid that the names and the language would be an issue, but it wasn’t. After I read the novel, I read through the glossary, and surprisingly, I was able to discern what most of the terms meant through context. The Characters:Nevyn and Jill were standout characters for me. I felt deeply for Nevyn. The huge burden of seeing people he had cared for in the first go-round suffer through their Wyrd (destiny) again and again until they got it right. That was tough. I loved that he had followed his own destiny, not without loss or sacrifice, and had used this incredible skills as a dweomerman (magician/wizard) to help people and to fight for the forces of light. In the first life, he made a selfish choice, and it cost the life of a woman he loved. He had vowed to help her find her destiny, and it took him three life cycles to do it. That’s determination. Jill was young but she had substance and a strong heart. One of her choices in this novel gave me heartburn. For a romantic, I was surprised I didn’t want her to follow that path and go in another way. I’m glad that this worked out despite my apprehensions about it. Cullyn was also a compelling character. He had me worried a few times. He was a man who had one heck of a wyrd to work out, and it was a rough one. What I loved is that he was able to overcome that dark destiny through the power of his integrity and love for his daughter. Rhodry was a character that didn’t quite convince me he was worthy of Jill. He was a decent person, a little spoiled, but I didn’t feel he was Jill’s wyrd, at least not in a good way. I guess the author knows better than me about such things. In the first life cycle, it was like watching a car wreck before it happens, I mean literally. That really took me out of my comfort zones. I was actually shouting at the book, saying, “Please don’t do that.” It took some fortification to keep reading after that, but part of me couldn’t let go of this story because like any good fiction novel, it made me ask the central question. “What happens next?” I’m not a believer in reincarnation, but the way things work out for the characters in that life cycle kind of made me glad that it exists in this novel.Magic and Magical Folks:I loved that Jill could see and interact with the Wildfolk. Especially the cute gray gnome who was often her boon companion and her comfort through her tough young life. I liked this idea that those marked by the dweomer are able to perceive the Wildfolk. It was also interesting how many ‘normal’ folks feared the magic and many more didn’t even believe in it. It seemed strange to me since this felt so real, and their lives were deeply affected by the power of the magic around them. I appreciated how within this landscape of humanity there were pockets of legendary creatures, such as a dwarf metalsmith who gives Jill her silver dagger, and the Westfolk, who are actually elves. I really liked the elves!My final thoughts:I went into reading this cold. I had never heard of this book until it was recommended on the fantasy group. I saw it at the bookstore and thought, “Why not?” And I am glad I read it. I think the writing was strong, the storyline interesting, although a bit on the tragic side in some ways. It felt intricate and complex and deep, and that appeals to me. The idea of having to work out the consequences of the choices you make in life resonates with me, and for a foundation of a fantasy novel, it works surprisingly well. I think I would like to continue this series to see where Kerr takes this story and the characters next. I recommend it to readers who enjoy epic fantasy.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-05-30 20:40

    Uhh so I really liked the pretty setting and the idea of multiple lives buuuut totally missed the memo on how she gets raped by her brother in more than one of them. I'm definitely not here to sit through that. Plus, the writing and dialogue were kind of... off. They just felt unrealistic and like something a beginning or younger author would do in an initial draft. So there were some promising elements in this book, but I just wasn't a fan in the end.

  • Dani
    2019-06-06 23:42

    So I'm maybe 100 pages into this book and I don't know... My first mistake was reading this after Robin Hobb a woman who can really suck me in. I understand her characters and what they think and feel and most importantly why they make the choices they do. I don't understand any of the choices these characters make. The book reads like its some weird out of body experience. I feel like a shadow or ghost reading about these characters. I get a vague sense of their emotions sometimes but mostly its like "huh? why did he do that?"No really. Why did he kill his friend then let his sister go? That's some bipolar shit that I can't relate to at all. And its not like reading about incest is new to me. Its in a ton of fantasy and manga. But why?? Seriously!? What is this person thinking?? Do you know? Cause I don't. Hopefully the writing improves but.... this book is rated so highly and so far I don't understand why.Also: I have this tingly feeling I'm going to die and I don't want to die a virgin so sure I'll just let my bro fuck me in the woods IS NOT A REAL RESPONSE!!!! Who thinks like that!? NoBODY!

  • Barry Mulvany
    2019-05-27 03:19

    That was a surprisingly good book. It's set in a Celtic/Gallic kind of alternate world in a fairly primitive society. Nobles and lords might only a have a few men at arms and a large battle involves only a few hundred people. It is quite cool to see these small scale battles rather than ones involving thousands of people. We have around five or six main POV characters, from nobles to mercenaries to healers. What is really interesting is that in this world people have a 'Wyrd', a kind of fate that they need to work out and it can take many lifetimes to achieve. Your Wyrd can become entangled with others and actions in one life can have consequences in another. So with all characters here we spend most of our time in the 'current' timeline but we also have two other stories of their previous lives and we can see how their fates became entangled. It is really well done. All the characters are well written and sympathetic, even the bad guys. For a story first published in 1987 I think it really holds its own. Yes there are elves and dwarves in it, but they honestly seem quite ordinary and don't have a huge part to play. It really is quite an original story and I don't recall reading anything like it which is refreshing. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series when I can as I'm very curious as to where it is going.

  • Tatiana
    2019-05-30 03:34

    The Deverry saga is a long fantasy saga, but the great thing is that the it is organized in cycles, the first one being the first 4 books ("The Deverry cycle"). And at the end of a cycle, you get a real ending.So if you hesitate to buy this book, thinking that you'll have to wait too long to know the end, don't. You'll have a real ending at the end of book 4.The story is set in an alternative 11th century, Kerr imagining a celtic culture having survived and evolved into the Middle Ages thanks to a group of Gaulish-like people having settled long ago in a new territory.Our heroes are Jill, Rhodry, Cullyn and Nevyn. Rhodry is a young lord threatened with death by another lord and his army, for an unknown reason. Jill, orphan of mother since she was 7 but now a young adult, follows her father Cullyn on "the long road". He is a silver dagger, a mercenary, a dishonoured man kicked out from his warband and compelled to sell his service here and there. She too now is a silver dagger, probably the only girl having ever done that, but she has never known anything else. Nevyn is a very smart and old herbman. Or rather, this is how everyone sees him. He is actually a four-century year old sorcerer, or more precisely "dweomermaster".The dweomer is at the center of The Deverry Cycle. This is the name given to magic. A magic common folk is afraid of or don't believe in, but that is truly known only by long trained dweomermasters. The dweomer is a very spiritual magic: it gives you the possibility to use telepathy with another trained mind, to meditate, to see omens, etc. A dweomermaster is also able to see and communicate with the Wildfolk (gnomes, sprites, undines or salamanders), elemental spirits.Spirits that Jill is also able to see, an ability denoting her predisposition for dweomer. And Nevyn mission, among others, is precisely to bring her to the dweomer and to train her, but he cannot force her. He can drop hints, but the choice must entirely come from her. A difficult task, that unfortunately he has failed to accomplish several times in the past, when Jill's soul lived in other bodies... And he will have no rest until he accomplishes it.The great originality of course of this saga is to make the readers discover in long flashbacks the past lives of our heroes. This creates a very deep psychology of characters and is just fascinating. The depiction of both the system of magic and the spiritual world, and the fictional 11th celtic culture are enthralling. Kerr has obviously done quite an amount of research on both these subjects before beginning her saga. I've always liked it when you can relate fantasy or fantastic works to history, and this is definitely the case here. I admire the blending of historical references and pure imagination.The thing I also completely dig is Kerr's writing, and I definitely don't understand why some reviewers here criticized it. One thing for sure: her sytle is literary, and I guess some people find it tedious because they're only used to read books with very basic styles. However, it is not difficult at all to follow her writing, which is very visual, direct and lively. No overlong boring passages, every sentence hits its target.I saw some people complained about the incest and the sexual scenes. It's true that Kerr doesn't hesitate in taking risks with her story and she explores new territories. And this is really enjoyable. You read something new, something daring. Anyway Kerr's writing is always classy and careful, and the books remain material suitable for teens, there's nothing "sordid" here. The "sexual scenes" (not yet in Book 1) are necessary because a dark character is involved in ritual sex, and later a protagonist is sexually abused. Kerr is not showing our heroes making out. Those few "sex scenes" are here to serve as key points in the story, and are not described in visual details.Concerning the incest, that is at the center of Book 1, there is no scabrous details, and that people would stop reading the book just because it talks about it is very weird.To finish, I really recommend this book to everyone!! I lent the first book to my best friend and to one of my teen student, and they both loved it!! They bought all the others! :D

  • Helen
    2019-06-01 22:33

    One of the things I enjoy about this is the vocab. It's just so Welsh, reminds me of home.Characters have been set up, action started and appetites whetted. Initially, the time changes were confusing but you quickly get to grips with this. Part two to follow.

  • Benjamin Thomas
    2019-06-14 00:33

    This is actually a re-read for me. I had read the first two books in this series way back, probably over 25 years ago. At that time I was a neophyte when it comes to reading fantasy fiction and I don't remember liking either book very well. They were more complicated than the easier-to-read Dragonlance-style stuff I was into at that time and I think I had built up a sort of negative attitude towards them. But over the years, through one form or another, I have accumulated the entire series with the idea of one day reading through them all. So this was the week that I finally put aside my previous prejudices and began anew.Wow, I'm so glad I did. I was intrigued with the central idea of reincarnation mixed in a fantasy realm and but I also found the story and the characters to be very interesting. It certainly kept my interest throughout the novel and while the ending was satisfying it certainly sets up the follow-on novels well.In the past I've found that novels, particularly fantasy novels that have lots and lots of characters, are a problem for me. I just lose track of who's who. Perhaps my mind isn't what it once was but I think I've always been this way and I simply find keeping track of them all to be a turnoff. I realized with this novel (and the entire series of 15 novels), that I would need a way to keep track of them all, especially given that we're dealing with reincarnations of the same characters over many time periods and mostly with different names. After all, just knowing that Garreant in the year 643 is the same person (in reincarnated form) as Cullyn in the 1060s isn't enough because that character will have 8 other reincarnations over the entire series, all with different names. So I made myself a cheat sheet. I am happy to be living in the age of Wikipedia and so I did a quick search for Deverry characters and found a great table that has been developed and posted there. It cross-tabulates all of the major characters and their timeframes so it's actually pretty easy to keep track of. I printed it, cut it out and will carry it in each book as I read through them. It worked great and I felt much more connected to the story this time around.This is definitely a keeper and I look forward to my further adventures in the land of Deverry.

  • Amanda
    2019-06-09 03:35

    This is the first book in Katharine Kerr's long-running series about Deverry and the Westlands. It introduces the three linked characters of Jill, Rhodry and Nevyn. This book - and indeed the series - is set up in such a way that it will jump from future to past and back again. It can make for complicated reading and an issue with pacing, but it genuinely brings the events to life.The idea is that in the year 643 Galrion (who is to become Nevyn) makes a series of decisions that causes his lady love Brangwen to turn away from a life of dweomer (the name for magic) and become embroiled in an incestuous relationship with her own brother. Nevyn makes a vow that he will never rest until he has put things right. Consequently, he is unable to die and experiences the characters being reborn again and again while he tries to bring Brangwen to a life of dweomer. Jill is the latest woman that has the soul of Brangwen. The strength of Kerr's writing is not so much in the story itself, but in the characters who inhabit it, and in the way she is able to tell each of the short stories about one of the lives that Brangwen lives. Her ability to invest you in what is essentially a short story is exceptionally good.There are some tired cliches - the Elves for instance. Here called the Westfolk or the Elcyion Lacar, they are nomads with pointed ears and cat pupil eyes. They are foreign to the humans, and able to see the Wildfolk - the denizens of the etheric plane.I also got frustrated with two recurring over-uses of description. Many of the characters, especially the women, toss their heads. Constantly. Many of the characters keen in mourning. Frequently. Barring these two things, the writing flows well.I enjoyed the heavy Celt flavouring to Deverry, it was tied richly into the story. I do have a small complaint that a number of the names are familiar and Kerr does not bring on the characters of those in the secondary string enough for you to tell easily between your Pedyr's and your Daumur's. I thoroughly enjoyed this first instalment of the series and will read onwards eagerly.

  • Stine
    2019-05-27 21:43

    Ehmm... A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and now I regret reading it. This book really wasn't my type of book. Not that I have a particular type, but this just isn't it.First I have to confess that the only reason I finished this book, was because I went on a trip and hadn't thought of bringing more than one book. This is something I deeply regret. Why?????The story in itself isn't all that bad, I find the overall plot quite intriguing actually, but not all the politics in this book. Frankly I was bored out of my mind. The only times I were interested were when we finally got Jills point of view (and it didn't really happen all that often). Some of the parts I didn't really understand why were there in the first place (Year 696 anyone?), I get that Aderyn is important but less words please. And I really shouldn't be complaining since I have no trouble reading G. R. R. Martin, but still... I have a feeling that most of the parts I felt were unnecessary will be explained in future books, but I'm not sure if I have the patience for that. I particularly had some trouble with the incest part of the story. It isn't exactly like it was approved of in the book, but the fact that he almost couldn't help himself just made me mad. Just because you love someone deeply you don't have to want to fuck them! THIS BOOK WAS REALLY ANTICLIMACTIC! The evil guy just escapes? And his minions just die? What? Oh, and yeah, Exile? BECAUSE HE DID SOMETHING "BAD" IN HIS LAST LIFE? Maybe I'm just in the wrong mood, but I will definitely not be reading this again.

  • Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
    2019-05-30 21:22

    Ohhhh....yippeee!!Another epic fantasy series that I can get into!!Wonderful world building and I love how it flips back and forth....and the premise of the book??So freakin' unique and out of the box!I have been having such a hard time trying to find a decent epic/high fantasy that isn't one dimensional and with a female protagonist. I honestly think I read them all until I came across this series!

  • Beth
    2019-05-21 21:46

    I read this with a reading group and so have done a fair amount of pondering and typing about it already, so this review will be shorter than my usual.The main thing I can say about it that I haven't elsewhere, is that Ms. Kerr's reach and her grasp are near perfectly matched. How often do you think "I can see what he/she was trying to do, but..."? I did not have that thought at any point reading this novel. I was especially impressed with how lean the writing is. Not in the sense of being sparse or lacking in description, but rather its having no flab, every scene having a purpose whether building character, building suspense, or moving the action forward. I truly admire the craft put into it.How the sections are interleaved with regards to time must have needed a lot of planning, but that didn't translate to distance between me and the story. I felt so much for these souls*: I cried, I cheered for them, I wanted to shake some sense into them.*there's a reason I use the word "souls" but it's on the spoiler-y side.Great storytelling and great characters. Loved it.

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
    2019-06-10 22:40

    This book came highly recommended, so I’m sorry to say that despite its strengths, it has not inspired me to seek out the 15 sequels.For a fantasy novel first written in the 80s, this has aged reasonably well, though not so well as another recent find of mine, the wonderful The Ladies of Mandrigyn. Daggerspell is listed as epic fantasy, though there’s no more than a hint of an Enemy--as opposed to a mere antagonist--in this volume. While Kerr incorporates some old-fashioned elements (I can’t remember when I last read a fantasy book that actually included elves and dwarves), the plot is an unusual one, with the first half following the same group of main characters through multiple incarnations over the span of four hundred years. The second half focuses in on the “modern-day” plotline, involving the rebellion of a minor lord against his prince.But if the plot is innovative, the characters are standard fantasy creations: Jill, the Exceptional Girl; Rhodry, the Noble Prince; Nevyn, the Wise Old Man; Cullyn, the Swordmaster with a Dark Past. They aren't flat, but they never did much to grab my attention, and while seeing the variations in their love rectangle in their several incarnations was a novelty, I didn’t find said love rectangle nearly interesting enough the first time to want to see it repeated twice more. And the “star-crossed lovers” rationale is used to shortcut through actual relationship development, making it hard for me to care about these supposedly life-altering passions. The rebellion in the latter half of the book interested me more: here the story moves at a brisk pace, with enough political complications to please those who prefer intrigue to fighting in their fantasy. It is also nice to see characters who are reasonably quick on the uptake: when there’s a “no man can kill him” prophecy about an opponent, I worried they’d be lost for half the book, but it only takes a few pages for the guys to appeal to Jill.The story takes place in an alternate version of medieval Wales, and Kerr’s worldbuilding deserves the praise it’s been consistently given; much fantasy takes place in “quasi-medieval” worlds, but this one feels like an authentic medieval setting, as well-researched and thought through as historical fiction. The physical and political details of the world ring true: initially I was surprised, for instance, at the small size of the warbands, but for local chieftains with limited resources at their disposal, the numbers make sense. The dialogue is somewhat stylized, but in a consistent way that gives appropriate flavor to the characters’ speech, and the writing style is adequate.In the end, a competent fantasy with textured worldbuilding, but rather staid character roles and personalities that left me uninspired. While this book has an independent plot arc, it’s clearly the first in a series, with many loose ends and a story that, standing alone, has little resonance. I wouldn’t discourage others from picking this up, particularly those who love long fantasy series, but as for me, I’m unlikely to continue.

  • Ruth Macleod
    2019-06-17 03:31

    Book 1 of 15 in total, the first in a long series it has a lot to live up to and a lot to accomplish, however it did just that. Daggerspell is probably one of my favourite books in this series as well as a favourite in general. Set in a sort of celtic time the world Katherine Kerr has created is both detailed and thoroughly real, you can immerse yourself in the culture seamlessly and the way she describes things such as the magic and peoples past lives is wonderfully detailed but still understandable.The plot surrounds the main characters of Nevyn, Jill, Cullyn and Rhodry. The premiss being that the characters fate (wryd) is linked together throughout all their lives, and when they die, they are destined to be reborn in new lives but their souls will still find each other. Its a great concept and one you cant help but get absorbed in as the souls jump from one life to the next, making the same mistakes and improving others. Jill as the main female character is wonderful and everything a strong lead should be, she's smart and strong and she makes the perfect character for all people who prefer female leads.Nevyn as the main male lead is a wonderful character that you cant help but feel sorry for and hope he achieves his dream.Would recommend to any fantasy lover.

  • I'm Booked
    2019-06-03 00:40

    I really enjoyed this book! After reading epic fantasy series by Goodkind, Jordan and Martin I was burnt out by the genre; It seemed like every new book that I tried paled in comparison to the GOT series. Luckily, a fellow lover of fantasy recommended that I check out this series and I'm very glad that I did! I enjoyed it so much that I felt that I had to pay it forward, in the hopes that someone else might read these words and decide to pick up one of the best fantasy novels that I've read in YEARS, (with the exception of The Game of Thrones, of course.)Daggerspell was a well written novel with well developed characters and an interesting plot line. I loved how Kerr utilized the ideas of karma and reincarnation to develop her wonderfully original world. At times it vaguely reminded me of Cloud Atlas and at other times it reminded me of the Wheel of Time but at no time did it ever lose my interest.Daggerspell invited me into the multiple lives of it's main charters and I enjoyed it so much that I practically put my own life on hold until I had finished it. I've already purchased the next three books in the series and I look forward to revisiting Kerr's world soon!

  • Carly
    2019-05-19 02:44

    I didn't finish this book, so I can't rate it. I got approximately 75% of the way through, and it is actually revulsion for aspects of the plot that caused me to stop.Books whose major themes are rape and incest bother me.This is a book in which the major characters are reincarnated over and over, typically as family members, and each time they are reincarnated, rape, murder, and/or incest results, from brother-sister to (ughh) father-daughter. Reincarnation is an interesting idea, but I don't really understand what is being reincarnated here. Clearly it is not memories; if it is souls, how can souls that are capable of these horrific acts ever be "good" or "pure" in other lives?I really wish I could like and/or finish the book; I am enchanted by the worldbuilding, which is based on Welsh culture and legend. It actually takes place in Annwn, which is sort of the Welsh equivalent to Tir na nOg. The main non-flashback protagonist is a strong and likeable female character. I really, really want to like this book, or at least make it to the end. It just has too much of a depressing ick-factor for me. I can't finish it.

  • Sarah Mac
    2019-05-28 01:44

    Eh. It's alright. The Deverry universe is essentially Celtic reincarnation role-play fantasy, complete with elves & gnomes, though it also borrows heavily from standard Tolkien tropes. Some parts were good, other parts tedious as hell. The magic & the cheesy elvish stuff was fine (& frankly, I'm surprised how many people are put off by the bad-karma incest -- y'all so squeamish, it's more like Shakespeare than George RR Martin >:P). But the MCs were flat, the pacing was awful, & the lack of chapters made boring scenes even more tedious & unending. By the end I just wanted to finish it & have done. 2.5 stars, rounded up 3 for the good bits. EDIT, 2/1/18: Opened the second book, read a few pages, cringed, & added both to the donate bag. My time, space, & patience are limited; I'm definitely not bothering with a series that doesn't hook my attention, let alone fills me with ambivalence.

  • kaśyap
    2019-06-03 19:23

    An interesting start to an epic fantasy series. The setting is a very well realised Celtic/Gaulish world. It follows a set of characters over centuries through their various rebirths and one character who lives through the whole period. Its pacing is not in a linear time.I felt that Except for Nevyn and Brangwen/Jill the other characters haven’t been very well realised. Especially Rhodry who seems to be some kind of prophesised saviour comes off as very annoying and childish. Nevyn and Brangwen’s tale at the beginning is quite tragic and poor Nevyn, the most likable character, seems to have the cruellest wyrd.But on the whole, the novel felt kind of mundane to me. I'm not really sure if i would continue with it.

  • Mark
    2019-06-15 21:38

    It has been 16 years since I first picked up the first Deverry novel, DaggerSpell, and here in am, 16 years later, about to finish the fifteenth and final one.Has the journey been worth it? Yes. Was the wait too long? Yes.I would not recommend anyone starts reading the Deverry cycle unless they intend to read them all, as the macroscopic story is at least as important as the microscopic ones, and as such I am reviewing the books as a set.I almost give them 4 stars (excellent) but in the end I am not enjoying them quite as much as I did in my early 20's and so I settled on 3 stars (good). As fantasy novels go the concepts and the writing are really excellent but for me the last couple of books haven't been as enjoyable as the early ones and it's a lot to expect people to read fifteen novels. That said I don't regret a single minute of the time I spent in Deverry. I even used to own a 'deverry' domain and use the handle of 'Rhodry' when t'internet was young. Highly recommended IF you have the stomach for a lot of reading.

  • James Latimer
    2019-06-03 00:29

    Loved the classic nature of this story, with real echoes of Celtic Britain and some interesting twists of its own. Also loved the fact that it was fantasy for adults, unlike some of its contemporaries. Feel this is now completely overlooked and underrated, which is a shame.

  • Kathi
    2019-06-12 02:23

    9/10Magic, reincarnation, romance, battles, betrayals, and a definite Celtic feel to the story--what more could you ask?

  • Joyce
    2019-05-23 03:29


  • Allie
    2019-05-30 22:39

    For the love of God -----whhyyy?? I made it to page 101. Everything about this book sounded good to me, and it was good, up until the (view spoiler)[ incestuous act. Holy fucking PUKE!! That's a subject that makes me cringe. (hide spoiler)]No. Just NO.

  • Megan
    2019-06-01 22:47

    What better way to start off the new year than with a re-read of my favorite fantasy series? It is so great getting back to spending time with the characters I've loved for years. Daggerspell is a wonderful start to the long-running and many-volumed series that leaves you wanting more and more and more.Back when I was in high school, I picked up The Fire Dragon without realizing that it was book #11 in this series. I started reading it and was all, "Who are these people? What is going on? Why don't I get this?" Then I took a look in the front of the book and saw allllllll those other titles. Realizing my mistake I ran to the library, found Daggerspell, and immediately started reading it. It was love at first page.Jill and Rhodry are two of my favorite fantasy characters. I've seen Rhodry referred to as a "wet noodle," comments that there are too many words (ok?), and the fact that in each life the characters often repeat their own past mistakes without realizing it, and that's bothersome. If you say so. To me, I see the exploration of the past lives as a way of showing how the characters have changed over their lifetimes. By the time we get to Jill's time period, we can see how Gerraent ((view spoiler)[now Cullyn (hide spoiler)]) has redeemed himself and untangled some of the knots he wove in the beginning. Rhodry is obviously a young man who needs to prove himself, and I always saw him as a strong person except when it comes to the one person he truly loves. And Jill, I mean wow. Even if she's stubborn and headstrong, she's always been someone I considered a true strong heroine. Not to mention Nevyn and his evolution from prince to herbman and powerful Master of the Aethyr.To all the nay-sayers, sorry you didn't like it. But to me, this is high fantasy at its best. There has to be something in it if Kit has amassed such a loyal following over the years.

  • Scarlet
    2019-06-18 22:22

    Daggerspell is a very promising book, whether it meets the expectations or not is totally up to the person reading, for me I'm afraid I liked the book more at the beginning, but started to lose interest later.I liked the timing of the story, while some people may not like it I absolutely loved the past/present switch, I actually got upset when it stopped, the notion of incarnation was also well played in the book.The characters on the other hand weren't as good, my favorite character would have to be Nevyn, his wisdom and rational decisions does match his age, he is not driven by emotions, and I felt really sorry for him, for everything he had to go through, Jill unfortunately got on my nerve most of the time, sure I liked her personality at some point but my first impression on her was 'stereotypical', she was seven and she didn't like sewing?! if that's not stereotypical then what is? Rhodry was just the worst character in the book for me, he is very selfish and childish (view spoiler)[ he did draw on his brother even if he provoked him! but apparently apologizing for mistakes is very shameful, so he would rather die, without any regard for his mother, his warband, or his clan,and the book portrait him as the good guy! a true leader should be willing to humiliate himself for his people, Rhodry was not fit to be a leader, he is but a spoiled child(hide spoiler)]All in all, the book was good, but it could have been better.

  • Férial
    2019-06-15 20:29

    At first, when I started this read, I feared it would be something like J.Vance's Suldrun's Garden. At least, as far as the writing and the "abrupt" way of telling the story were concerned. Yes. "Feared" is the word. I am sorry to say that I didn't like Vance's "style".But, there was no need to fear. This book was something different and gradually, I started to relax.I have loved Daggerspell. The story is based on 5 characters whom we follow through their different reincarnations (3 so far). Something tragic happened 400 years ago and one of the characters vowed that he wouldn't rest until he had set things right (I still do not agree with the fact that he should be the only one to blame but anyway). This is the only character who did not go through any reincarnation because he actually never died. He is 400 y/o and a powerful dweomermaster (dweomer = magic in the world of Deverry).Throughout the book, we skip twice from the present time to the past as we follow the characters' different reincarnations. We learn how their past actions interfere with their lives and how those lives are all linked.Well, it was a good read and I am now eager to learn more about Jill, Rhodhry, Nevvyn, Lyovan and Cullyn.

  • Misha
    2019-05-27 03:32

    I had mostly eschewed reading fantasy novels before this one, unless it was written for younger readers, such as The Chronicles of Narnia or Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. About the only exception I made for fantasy written for adults was Roger Zelazny's stuff because he didn't use the stock fantasy characters such as mages, elves, etc. I can't recall what it was that made me pick up this book. I think it was that I had a good friend who loved fantasy and I wanted to understand what it was all about, so I bought this at the campus bookstore. And I loved it.On the surface, it's a mostly conventional pseudo-Medieval fantasy with humans, elves and other standard fantasy races. But then Kerr threw reincarnation and destiny into the mix and captured this reader's heart. The story of Nevyn, Jill and Rhodry and how their fates intertwined across several lifetimes was good stuff. I devoured the next few books as fast as I could buy them.

  • David Shaw
    2019-06-04 02:39

    Welcome to the world of Deverry, where the lives are made up and the points don't matter!I presume if you're reading this you already know the synopsis of the book, so I won't bore you by rehashing it. I simply wanted to state, as a huge, huge fan of the Deverry series, please don't be put off by the fact the series is 15 books long. While all the books do take place in the same land, the series is split into story arcs of three or four books each. You will see recurring characters and places, but each of these arcs is largely self-contained.Don't go into Daggerspell with the idea of it being a story in itself, either. It is, of course; though it's largely setting up the rest of the story arc. I would strongly suggest reading Daggerspell and then the next in the series, Darkspell, before you make a judgement as to whether you wish to continue.

  • Kate
    2019-05-20 03:44

    Alright I admit to reading the whole series... and owning a fair chunk of them as well. I know its not the stuff classics are made of and well not really high brow intelligent mind expanding stuff. Whatever - it makes for great bedtime reading.Over the years I have enjoyed returning to lands beyond boarders with shape shifter type elves who weave in and out of years and dimensions. Along with some magical age defying humans in cold drafty castles that have special "dweomer power" plotting and fighting their way through time. it really is just good honest escapisim. I was a little sad when I finished the final one this year there was comfort in coming back to the make believe world of Deverry.