The kingdom of Deverry is left behind and strange lands to the west, beyond the elven territories are explored. The story delves back into elven history to the fall of the cities and the Great Burning.
This is the sixth book of the Deverry series that I’ve read and I realize that I have never written a review of any of them. I come away from this novel feeling conflicted—I do like the Celtic details in the stories, but this isn’t our reality, so I can’t really call it historical fantasy. I enjoy the magic and the concept of Dweomer plus I like Kerr’s version of Elves. However, I weary of all of the blood & guts warfare. It seems like all the men of this society do is trot off to beat each other senseless, and I don’t ever get as much time with the magic and such as I would like to.
It was kind of interesting in this installment when Kerr re-introduced characters from past volumes. Perrin, for example, who now has a grandson that he can send along with Rhodry on a mission of mercy. We also get to see Rhodry & Jill reunited as old friends, rather than as lovers and enjoy the bitter-sweetness of that moment.
The only author that I can think to compare this series to would be the Deryni books of Katherine Kurtz, also a fantasy version of a Celtic culture with added magic. I adored those books when I was in my twenties and I imagine I would have loved Kerr’s works equally had I encountered them during that time period. I don’t know how I missed them back then.
Bottom line? I wish I liked these books more than I do. I like them well enough to continue reading the series (which is good because I found a bunch of them at the used book store & stocked up) but I think I am past my best-before date for this kind of fantasy.
Book number 301 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.