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Submitted by Michelle
(Aug 26, 2005)
These books at first glance look like an innocent Celtic/Middle Ages/Mythology fantasy series, probably aimed at young teenagers. Be warned! In this case the saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover' can be used quite literally. These books seem to be at times nothing more than a vehicle for the author's wild sexual fantasies. Other reviewers have made comments about how the books are so brilliant because of their 'humanly flawed characters'. Being a nymphomaniac is NOT a 'human flaw', it is a mental problem. Yet many of Katharine Kerr's (or should I call her by her REAL BIRTH NAME, Nancy Brahtin?) share this problem and she makes no effort to imply that what they are doing is wrong. Perhaps she should make them form a Nymphomaniacs Anonymous where they can talk about their problems? Kerr/Brahtin creates a world of sexual deviancy where the characters derive their ultimate pleasure from orgasm rather than someone telling you that they love you. Which is, if you ask me, a twisted and perverted representation of the human race (or elves, as the case my be). Another fault is her continuing pathetic attempt to be original by making her characters constantly saying things like 'Ah by the black hairy ass of the Lord of Hell' (and just how do they know so much about the Lord of Hell's arse anyway? have they seen it) and keening. A keen, according to the Macquarie dictionary, is a wailing lament for the dead, a defintion which is often made ridiculous in context because her characters keen many times when no one has died!
Yet despite all this, there is a certain addictiveness to the series that means I can't help liking it a little. So I call upon the people to read the books and from their own decisions. Good luck!
Submitted by Lewis
(Jul 16, 2005)
I'm 15 (another 15 yr old readign this series!) and i love it so far. I'm up to Dragonspell (UK release name) and i can safely say that this is one of the best serieses i have ever read.
The constant time-switching is quite original, and a nice break from the traditional single minded advneture, pretty much like telling a lot of stories at once, which you can relate together (The different stories are past lives of the people in the main plot) gradually it reveals Nevyn's strife over the years, though they are only sub-plots, they are quite expansive in themselves, though you may find yourself pining because of gaps between the main story.
Nevyn's original story of his exile is, in my opinion, one of the best parts i have read so far. It starts off showing the main story as a small girl being taken away by her father, and becomign a warrior (which in deverry is a highly unorthadox and unheard of). As Nevyn comes into the picture, you feel the story 'pan out' as you realise that this story is only a small part of the actual plot.
Read this series, if you can get through the first book and grow accustomed to the constant time-flitting, you will truly love this series.
Submitted by Anonymous
(Apr 16, 2005)
I think that this series is one of the most interesting fantasy series of all time. It is a different take on the tried and true formula out there. I think a lot of research has been done, and it is worth persevering through the three series of books she has written. Some of them go down in patches, but Daggerspell starts it off with the present day settings (1066 in the book or somewhere around there), and then goes back 400 years. It slowly unravels into a Tapestry of histroy, intrigue, and bloodshed. Great Series.
Submitted by Elijah
(Nov 30, 2003)
I found this series while rummaging about in my house for a new book to read. And I found one of the best series ever written. All the traditional elements can be found, and new slightly unorthodox elements are present.
The constant changing of centuries is a refreshing way to write a book. We follow the characters across the centuries allowing us to see the growth of each character through each 'incarnation'. Gerraent's pride, Nevyn's sorrow, Blaen's honour...constantly seen yet constantly changing. I highly recommend this series as it is a wonderful and fascinating read.
Submitted by mark toogood
(Oct 19, 2003)
What an excellent series! This series has (very) strong characters, ones which are developed not only throughout each book but the series as a whole. The sub-plots have elements of mystery as well as action, where you are honestly suprised by some 'turns' in the story (i.e. where you find out 'Cullyn' was previously one of the original silver daggers). However, the greatest thing about the series is the way the 'magicks' are understated and often unspectacular- this makes them far more real and doesnt 'wear them out', so when you read about Nevyn's first real Dweomer battle and the other major one in the last book you get a great feel of significance, rather than 'ah right, another fight with lightening bolts and flames'.
I think Nevyn is the best character in the book (there are 3 main characters, Nevyn, Rhodry and Jill). He is a little like Belgarath (Belgariad/Malloreon) in that he is often understated but respected by those that know his true power, however, throughout the series one of the main themes is his relentless disapointment and pain caused by his task in hand (i.e. his failed attempts and the at times frustrating way he cannot tell anyone about dweomer unless they directly ask). This complements the usual sword and sorcery action so well. By the end you REALLY want him to succeed, not just because he's the 'good guy', but because he deserves it.
The way Kerr skips back in time for large portions of some of the books is slightly confusing at first, but once you get into it you are just as interested to find out more about earlier character experiences as you are about the main 'current time' story. I found this a postive point but some might not, and because of the celtic language used a lot in the character and place names, it is hard to get into the series, but definately worth it.