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Dawnspell: The Bristling Wood

(Deverry #3)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  6,528 ratings  ·  95 reviews

Book Three of the celebrated Deverry series, an epic fantasy rooted in Celtic mythology that intricately interweaves human and elven history over several hundred years.

A cracking read

An end to exile, heroes scattered and darkness rising
When Jill and Rhodry are forced apart by unexpected circumstance, Rhodry vows to find her, no matter what it takes. But before he can,

Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by HarperVoyager (first published February 1st 1989)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,528 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Start your review of Dawnspell: The Bristling Wood (The Deverry Series, Book 3)
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aria  Tatiana
This saga has many books, but it's composed of several parts. Book 1 to 4 are the Deverry Cycle. At the end of Book 4 (note that Bristling Wood is the US title and Dawnspell the UK title, but they are the same novel), you get a real ending. So don't hesitate to buy this book or the previous ones thinking it will be too long before you know the end.

I gave a detailed comment about Kerr's writing (strong, visual but with also an elevated style), the story and the big plus of the saga on my comment
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An entirely forgettable series. Interesting magic system, and Nevyn is a great character, along with the reincarnation concept... but something about the series strikes flat for me. It doesn't help that the author seems utterly pretentious with her forward, notes on pronunciation, and afterword. She is also extremely defensive about her work and her reasoning, taking pages to garrulously explain her methods and defend her choices based on common criticisms of the series. I wish she'd be above ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In this installment of the Deverry novels, we have two unfinished tales--the ongoing "current" story of Nevyn, Rhodry, and Jill and a new story of an earlier reincarnation of the souls of Galrion, Blaen, and Brangwen as Necyn, Maddyn, and Branoic. This book rolls right along, with intriguing characters around our main protagonists and plenty of plot twists. I will be diving into the final book in this arc of the Deverry books soon.
Sotiris Karaiskos
After two excellent books, the third part of the series didn't seem so satisfying to me. The expected story from the past didn't had the same intensity while the sequel to the main story, although interesting enough, works more like an introduction to the next part. Of course in both cases there is some thought behind and the story and the description of the world goes a step further and all this makes this book has its value.

Μετά από δύο εξαιρετικά βιβλία το τρίτο μέρος της σειράς δεν μου
Barry Mulvany
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As it's a third book in a series I won't go into too much detail here. The atmosphere, writing and characterisation was as good as ever however I found the story not quite as engaging as the previous books. The 'historical' timeline was actually even better than the 'current' timeline, set as it was at the end of the civil war and the formation of the silver daggers but it seemed to end far too early. Looking back it took up nearly half the book, I flew through it but it only seemed to tell half ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dawnspell is a bridge book: the flashback (which begins one of my favourite sequences within sequences) is a set-up, the modern day is a set-up and nothing gets resolved before the cliffhanger at the end. It's a bit flabby, and hilariously the bad guys literally have a conversation over the fire about how the plot is absurdly convoluted.

This killed me when it first came out - the prospect of YEARS to find out what was going to happen - but rereading with Dragonspell safely on my shelf I can just
The Perryn story line, for all of its pain, is one that has always stood out to me as especially important in this series. It taught me some amount of perspective, because what revulsion I felt towards Perryn's action was tempered by the measure of pity I also felt for him. He truly didn't seem to realize what he was doing, but he harmed someone in a horrible way. Is he executed for his crime, or is he helped? Punishment, or rehabilitation? Which *should* it have been? I don't think there's a ...more
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are totally awesome books and I recommend them to pretty much any fantasy reader. I remembered them as quite complicated and was a bit nervous restarting the series, but I've found they're also remarkably readable and once I start reading, I want to keep on going and going.

I've got one more to reread in the initial sequence, and they I'll be up to books I haven't read before.

I remember starting the fifth one when it came out, but I didn't stick at it for some reason. I think I was too
Eva Kristin
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a pleasure to see how Kerr's characters and world is being fleshed out in this third book of the series. While the second book had male homosexuality depicted in a truly horrendus way, this one just showed a somewhat dated view on abortion, which is to be expected since it was written thirty years ago.
Mar 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a nice paced fantasy story with a good mix of realism and magic. The characters are pretty typical and there is a tad too much politics for my taste. I was sad to find that the book ends in an abrupt cliff hanger that requires the reader to continue on with the series.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
I am really enjoying these books!

For the three books, I'm disappointed when the past interjects into the present and disrupts the story, and then I'm disappointed when the past "ends" and the present resumes. I will say while I felt like the story Gweniver/Ricyn/Dannyn dragged a bit and kept going when it should have been cut off, I felt like the story of Maddyn/Owaen/Branoic did not wind down. It just stopped. I guess we can assume that the "one true King" was put on the throne based on the
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume is a bit slower than other volumes and a bit more upsetting, in my opinion. There are only 2 main timeframes in this one: the main one with Jill and a slightly comical, yet equally compelling genderbender. I think the side plot might be loosely based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but then again it could also be based on just about any time a kingdom had no clear and rightful heir. I'm curious to find out if the next book continues to focus on these two plots or not.
I don't
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
This was a good build-up to the next book. Reading about Perryn was creepy and awful. I liked reading about the founding of the silver daggers, but the previous few books covered how the previous incarnation of the characters influenced the modern day retelling, and I didn't see any repeat of the Maddyn-Branoic-Owaen tragedy in 843.

I'm reminded of this author's delicate humour, like:

As the evening wore on, a fair amount of customers drifted into the inn. As soon as they realised that Nevyn was
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this is absolutely NOT a review of this novel, just a brief comment. It's mildly annoying that we end this volume on a cliff-hanger, when the previous volumes have all been pretty self-contained, but what's absolutely unconscionable is that my library system offered the first three books as audiobooks, but now the fourth book, the one that not only concludes the first arc of the series but is THE SECOND HALF OF A STORY THAT ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER is only available as an ebook.

May 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hesitating between 3 and 4 stars. I still quite like this volume in the series but I have issues with some parts of it. I also think that this is where it starts getting less interesting (for the next few books at least, I haven't finished the entire series). Rereading/listening it and am still hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the rest.
Dion Cassidy
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dweomer and unknown magic this time around.

We see the beginnings of the Silver Daggers in this past life.

Jill and Rhodry are still out on the road.

Nevyn is still settitng things up in the background. We have Salamander also looking for Rhodry as well.

The book ends on a cliff hanger or new beginning depends on how you look at it, we finally get to Bardek.
Kurt Werle
More rape? I'm done. Done with stories across time. Done with mechanics that pop up randomly and arbitrarily (wild folk). Done with gushing descriptions of astral projection.

Just not my cup o' tea.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-re-read
Of the original books I've always found this the one that feels like a bridge to the future than a book that's great to read in it's own right. This doesn't make it a bad book in fact far from it the political machinations make this one an interesting read and it does set up book 4 nicely.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2017 reread
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arg!!! this book ends on a huge cliffhanger. But over all it is a very good book.
Amber Ivers
This story had a few spots that made me want to keep reading. It was really slow at times and hard to not give up. It got interesting at the end.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as interesting and enjoyable as the other books in the series.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That book is totally awesome.
Nick Reys
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosalyn Young
I plowed through all the books except this one. I dont know if its because I wanted the story to go another way or if its because the characters and their choices seemed off (I cant seem to put my finger on it). Its a nice solid ending to a great series that very neatly and logically tied up all the loose ends. ...more
Feb 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite of the series so far! In this book the modern day plot follows Jill and Rhodry as they are forced apart by circumstance, and ends on a real cliffhanger where Rhodry vanishes, and it is up to Jill and Salamander to try and find him. In the past we meet another incarnation of Jill and Rhodry, at a time when the silver daggers are brought into being and Rhodry fights to bring the one true king of Deverry to power.

As I said in a previous review, because the flashbacks tend to be
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series by Katharine Kerr, about a strange, vaguely Welsh world in which reincarnation is a reality, magic exists, and the sins of the past become the problems of the present continues to both impress and entertain.

The book continues to weeve together a tale of 'the present', together with characterization of the past of the incarnations of those it follows. That is the souls of those the Grand Sorcerer 'Nevyn' wronged in his earliest mortal life. As tensions mount, politics becomes more
Sep 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic, z__eng, z__r
I read the previous books long ago, so I was a little lost at the start. But only for short time, soon I could easily recall who is who and what happened. That means I liked the second book more than I thought :) And partly it was because the first, and not short part of book, is venture into the past - about 200 years back. So plenty of time to refresh the memory. Considering that it's story in story, it was long, but luckily interesting. Mostly thanks to Nevyn, who plays not a small role in ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Jill and Rhodry continues in this the third book of the Devvery series by Katherine Kerr. At this point the characters are more developed, we have gotten to like and loathe with equal passion both the good and the bad. At times even our hero's are irritating. Such feelings when reading a book are a sign that the author has really got into your soul!

The to and fro between the past and present remain the bulk of the story as it does with the earlier novels; this is necessary though
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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.

Other books in the series

Deverry (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Daggerspell (Deverry, #1)
  • Darkspell (Deverry, #2)
  • 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)

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