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Darkspell (Deverry, #2)
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Darkspell (Deverry #2)

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  6,507 ratings  ·  69 reviews
In this sequel to her first novel, "Daggerspell", the author returns to the extraordinary world of Deverry and to the three enchanting characters whose poignant love transcends the boundaries of time and even death.
Paperback, 476 pages
Published 1994 by HarperCollins (first published 1987)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistLegend by David Gemmell
Best Heroic Fantasy
280th out of 503 books — 723 voters
Swords and Deviltry by Fritz LeiberMage's Burden by Whit McClendonA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. HowardElric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock
Best Sword and Sorcery
60th out of 117 books — 127 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Penelope Green
Re-read after several years away and it's held up really well. Again, I get irritated when the change of storyline happens but one quickly gets sucked into the new storyline and cranky when you have abandon that one later on.

The pseudo-celtic setting is well constructed and unlike many tales, does not stay totally static over the 400 years the story tells.

Reading with fresh eyes, there is a little homophobia creeping through but that might be the era of books and trying to anticipate the moral o
...more
Nerine Dorman
We continue our journey with Nevyn as he comes up against the sinister Old One – a dark dweomer master who has sent his operatives into Deverry to steal a magical jewel and sow dissent. Of course Jill and Rhodry soon find themselves entangled in the plot, and Katherine Kerr also takes us on a secondary journey to examine more of our central characters’ past lives, and how these influence current events.

The template of the warrior-maiden seems to be cast for Jill, only in her past life we get to
...more
Shari  Mulluane
I am not much of a plot person, being way too much of a character lover but as far as plots go, I prefer one that is complicated and multilayered. Well you do not get any more layered then this story. You have the present storyline that revolves around Jill, Rhodry, and Nevyn fighting against the forces of evil. You have the previous incarnations with their storylines covering the extensive back-story and you have the ever-present question, will Nevyn be able to help Jill fulfill her destiny in ...more
Mark
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
...more
Rhod Chang
To be honest, I like the old, unrevised version better. My guess is that Kerr edited it so that it wasn't quite so negative about homosexuality -- incest in the first book! pedophilia and gay rape in the second. But I liked the family connection, and I love the complexity of Sarcyn's character. And I really, really, really do love the story of Lady Gweniver in the Time of Troubles. When I started re-reading the series, I squealed when I realized the reference back -- remember in Daggerspell when ...more
Federica Leva


Continua l'esilarante avventura di Jill e Rhodry, braccati dai Maestri Oscuri e dal Wyrd, il fato. Sono momenti difficili, per i due amanti. Esiliato dal nobile fratello maggiore, Rhodry è costretto ad indossare una daga d'argento - simbolo di vergogna - e a sopravvivere prestando servizio presso signorotti e ricchi mercanti. Ma un giorno Jill trova nell'erba una strana pietra capace di parlarle e di modificare forma, e d'allora sente su di sé lo sguardo invadente di un dweomer oscuro e pericolo
...more
Lindsey
A very solid "comfort fantasy"... some overuse of tropes but likeable characters, solid worldbuilding, nice hints of things to come. There's nothing revolutionary here (and I wouldn't expect it from a book almost three decades old) but it's a good story and the reincarnation meta-plot is still an interesting conceit. I suspect that once the first four books are read, you could have a great discussion about Campbellian characters and the repercussions of small acts. It's also worth mentioning tha ...more
Sue Gill
I have some reservations about this book. I found the plot enjoyable and entertaining. mostly the characterisation was good. I found it easy to read and it kept me interested.
However I found it to have really unsettling homphobic undertones. The dark magic workers where singled out as using blood and sec energy to fuel their magic. The main dark worker A secular abused his child apprentice. This is understandably seen as horrific however it appears from the way it is written that the horror and
...more
Micah Scelsi
The second book in this series is still keeping me engaged. I still enjoy the concepts of going back and forth in time among various incarnations. This one had perhaps less back and forth, but the time frames were developed a bit more. It gives a very engaging past element regarding a female priestess given a special calling to fight in a war to aid the land. We see a glimpse of a time where kings fight to rule. Also, in the present we see more of the evil characters behind the plot in the first ...more
Kenny
I inhaled this book on a long trip to the mountains.
This book continues in the same way as the first, with more great world building and great characters. I love how the story continues with intrigue, politics and binding tradition all being ways of making the characters work for their pay :) I also appreciate how even though the culture is pretty horribly sexist, still some great female (and male) characters come out hat complexly buck the system.
This time around we start to see more downsides
...more
Jesslyn
I am really enjoying this series again. Very happy that I didn't finish it the first time around (I started in 2008 when Kindle was just getting off the ground and ebooks were scarce) so I have no idea how it is going to end.

This is true epic fantasy, of a kind that we don't seem much of these days. And the ones we see seem to be taking 10+ years to finish and or get the next books out.
Dani
Honestly I feel a little bad giving this book such a low rating. Not because I actually have a higher opinion of it but because a lot of people appeared to really like it and I'm obviously missing something....

I read the revised version before anyone asks.

It's slow. I still can't get drawn into the way that Kerr writes, the looking in from the outside sort of feel that it has really draws me out of the moment. Most of the time I pick up the book to read it I find myself fading off and almost fal
...more
Nick Reys
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
This is the second Deverry book and proves to be just as gripping as the first. Here we are dealing with a present time storyline of Jill and Rhodry's life on the road as silver daggers, and the danger they face from masters of dark dweomer. Jill discovers from Nevyn more about dweomer as he tries to gently encourage her to fulfil her Wyrd (destiny).

We also go back in time to a previous incarnation of Jill and Rhodry and Cullyn (Jill's father). The three souls (and others) have been twisted tog
...more
Broodingferret
Kerr's storytelling showed a marked improvement in this book over Daggerspell. As a whole, Darkspell is less derivative of prior works and more Kerr's own thing; after reading this book, it seems fairly clear that Kerr pretty much used Daggerspell to get the less creative portions of her story out of her system. She still shows too much of a tendency to wrap things up too neatly by the end, but if I remember correctly, that gets better as the series continues. On the up-side, she spent longer on ...more
Deborah
Prince Rhodry is sent into exile by his bratty brother Rhys, who has long felt his position to the throne threatened by Rhodry. Jill goes with him, their journey along the road is frought with danger from both physical and magical forces,

The strong distinctions between good and evil are drawn in this novel; the corruption of innocence being perhaps the most troubling and disturbing element of the dark dweomer magic when we see the rape of a young boy as part of ritual magic, however it is caref
...more
Grianne
...la storia prosegue ed è affascinante, è bello vedere finalmente i cattivi un passo indietro nella comprensione degli eventi e terrorizzati dal potentissimo "buono"...ma ci sono anche alcune cose di questo volume che nn mi hanno entusiasmato troppo.
Per prima la parte in cui Brangwen è reincarnata in Gweniver...è troppo lunga, l'ho trovata noiosa. L'idea in sè di queste reincarnazioni successive è bella, ok la prima in cui Nevyn si rende conto di alcune cose...ok la seconda che cmq è breve (e q
...more
Tatiana
This is the second book of the long Deverry saga. But know that this long saga is written in cycles, and at the end of book 4 (the first cycle), you get a real ending.

I wrote in details about the general story and writing on the Daggerspell page (Book One).

This sequel is as good as the first novel, and takes us deeper into the characters' psychology. We'll discover a new incarnation of our heroes while the present plot is getting more intense and darker. You know how in some stories the villain
...more
Fantasy Literature
Darkspell is the second DEVERRY book and it proves to be just as gripping as the first. Here we are dealing with a present time storyline of Jill and Rhodry's life on the road as silver daggers, and the danger they face from masters of dark dweomer. Jill discovers more about dweomer from Nevyn as he tries to gently encourage her to fulfill her Wyrd (destiny).

We also go back in time to a previous incarnation of Jill and Rhodry and Cullyn (Jill's father). The three souls (and others) have been twi
...more
Neill Smith
Rhodry has been banished by his brother Rhys for crimes committed and Cullyn has blessed his relationship with Jill and has sponsored him into the role of a silver dagger. As the two lovers begin their new life together on the long road a black dweomaster tries to steal the Great Stone of the West which influences the conscience the King of Deverry. This action requires the intercession Nevyn, and Jill and Rhodry find their lives defined by Nevyn's struggle.
Angela
The story continues. Jill is now a silver dagger travelling with the man she loves. She finds a magic stone, and this makes her a target for dark magic. The story set in the past involves a woman who is a fighter and is sworn to be a priestess. Obviously the plot is more complicated than this, and its worth reading the first book to understand this one. The characters are likeable and you do care what happens to them. A good read.
T J
Jan 01, 2013 T J rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good complicate fantasy!
Recommended to T J by: Reading Daggerspell1
Shelves: own
DarkspellKatharine Kerr

This was a great sequel to Daggerspell and book 2 of the Deverry Series. If you like a complex multi-storylined book series. You will highly enjoy this book and the rest of the series. Katherine Kerr series is rooted in Celtic mythology and fantasy to max.
In Darkspell you get treated to the dark side of Dweomer (magic)and the trouble it has brought from the land overseas. Rhodry, Lisa and the Dweomer master, Nevyn are back together in Deverry to hunt down who is using dar
...more
Lizzie Newell
I was eager to read about Rhodry and Jill and how they dealt with being silver daggers together, but the story went off on tangents and didn't address the hanging questions. I was also bothered by the stereotypical bad guys and the causal inclusion of torture. Despite all that I'm still going to read the next book.
Joan Nicholson
Epic fantasy!

The Deverry series is a truly epic work and Kerr's grasp of Celtic history makes a rich tapestry on which her characters move through their many incarnations. The depth of personalities involve you with her people and lead you deeper into the tale.
Megan
Book #2 of the Deverry series is one of my favorites. OK, they're all my favorites. Smiling's my favorite. Candy's my favorite. Singing is my favorite. Deverry is my favorite.

Brangwen's incarnation as Gweniver in this book has always haunted me, I think because even though it flat-out says that she's crazy, I never quite realized it until this read. I thought she was totally badass, and loved her for it, but this reading I was a lot sadder about her fate.

The main storyline is also intense in thi
...more
Leslie Anne
This is my least favorite book in the Devvery series, mostly because it is so much darker than the rest. When I re-read this book I skip over the parts dealing with the dark magic.
Bea
Actually, the second book is much the same as the first - interesting main story interlaced with tales from the past, but switching between the present and the past wasn't very well done, it felt intrusive. Moreover the first "glimpse in past" was more like side story. I didn't get why it was exactly in that place of book or what was the purpose of so long side-story, even if it's about Jill's incarnation. Thanks to lack of my interest, I've read the Gwen tale even faster than I'm reading usuall ...more
Richard
Rhodry is still a shitty main character to hang any part of the book on but the strength of the rest of the story covers his shortcomings.
Jess
This one I remember even less well than the first one. Apparently this book was extensively re-written at some point and I've just read the author's "definitive" edition. That could be why so much of the story is unfamiliar to me, but it also feels like the re-written parts are obvious. Like the seams are showing where those parts were grafted on, and some of them feel rather heavy-handed. Overall I'm invested in the characters enough to excuse the weakness of some of the writing in this book; I ...more
Cheryl Simmons
This, like the first one wasps ok, not great, but not awful. I think I will read some other authors before reading the third one in this series.
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Original vs. Author's Definitive Version 1 12 Aug 16, 2013 07:05PM  
UK ebook/Kindle version? 1 9 Mar 10, 2012 09:47PM  
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Born in Ohio, 1944. Moved to San Francisco Bay Area in 1962 and has lived there ever since. Katharine Kerr has read extensively in the fields of classical archeology, and medieval and dark ages history and literature, and these influences are clear in her work. Her epic Deverry series has won widespread praise and millions of fans around the world.
More about Katharine Kerr...

Other Books in the Series

Deverry (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Daggerspell (Deverry, #1)
  • The Bristling Wood (Deverry, #3)
  • The Dragon Revenant (Deverry, #4)
  • A Time of Exile (The Westlands, #1)
  • A Time of Omens (The Westlands, #2)
  • Days of Blood and Fire (The Westlands, #3)
  • Days of Air and Darkness (The Westlands, #4)
  • The Red Wyvern (The Dragon Mage, #1)
  • The Black Raven (The Dragon Mage, #2)
  • The Fire Dragon (Deverry, #11; Dragon Mage, #3)
Daggerspell (Deverry, #1) A Time of Exile (The Westlands, #1) The Dragon Revenant (Deverry, #4) The Bristling Wood (Deverry, #3) Days of Air and Darkness (The Westlands, #4)

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