461 pages

English language

Published July 9, 2003 by Tandem Library.


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4 stars (2 reviews)

In a world beyond physical reality, Nevyn, the wandering and mysterious sorcerer who relinquished a maiden's hand in marriage and so forged a terrible bond between three souls, searches for atonement for the tragic wrongs of his youth

7 editions

reviewed Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr

Traditional sword and sorcery, with enough twists to keep me interested

4 stars

I think it is fair to say the setting is inspired both by Tolkien and the Celtic (e.g. Mary Stewart) take on the King Arthur/Merlin myth.

There are some interesting plot twists that also serve as character development.

As someone who grew up around the time the book was written, I found the "New-agey" take on magic a bit jarring. Reincarnation plays a big role, as do things like "the astral plane" and "auras". It might be just me, but it feels like that terminology ties the book to the 1980s a bit.

Full credit to Kerr for giving her female protagonists agency and complexity in a way that works in a traditionally patriarchal setting.

Terrific gritty Celtic fantasy

5 stars

Kerr is among the best at fantasy storytelling and world-building. This book is the first of her Deverry cycle, in which she follows a group of souls through various incarnations in an early Celtic-type world. The story centers around a group of mercenaries called "silver daggers" for the distinctive weapon each fighter carries, obtainable only after being sworn to the band.

Other characters include a wizard, Nevyn; the young daughter (Jill) of one of the silver daggers. Adventure, magic, politics...they're all here in abundance and well-told. Highest recommendation!