The next installment of the Deverry saga has arrived. Book One of the Dragon Mage continues the medieval-style Celtic world mixed with magic. But the book structure is perplexing to the new reader. In the short prologue, "In a Far Distant Land," we observe a human rescued from death by magic and promised the love of the woman he desires. Part One, in the North Country-again short-introduces new characters, another time and place, but the worker of magic, Evander, from the prologue is present. Part Two, at an earlier time in Deverry, is the bulk of the book and centers on a young girl, Lillorigga, caught up in the civil war between her Boar clan, which plays regent to the toddler king, and the Prince Maryn, who lays claim to the throne under an ancient emblem of the red wyvern, a dragon-like creature. The plot develops as a power struggle between good and evil with shifting alliances and mortal blows. In Part Three, we return to the North Country and a fast-paced ministory of evil destroying good, with Evander and his wicked, magical brother very present. The epilogue is, naturally, "In a Far and Distant Land" and continues the tale of characters from the prologue. A story that appeals to historical-style fantasy readers is at the center of this book, but the surrounding pieces are confusing to the new reader of Kerr's work. The "Table of Reincarnating Characters" at the very end of the book, after the pronunciation guide and glossary, gave some clues to these relationships. So, is there help? Web pages! At www.sff.net/people/kathkerr/plan.htm Kerr explains her structure for the Deverry novels and the "Twisted TimeLine" (a characteristic common to many of her books), in which past and present are inextricably intertwined, and the story comes clear. Deverry is a place worthy of a return visit, with convincing plot lines, a subtle use of magic, and an attention to detail that is fascinating. The characters, particularly the women, create interest and concern for the reader about their future. The book does not stand alone very well, and the vocabulary and Twisted TimeLine are disconcerting, so readers are likely to be Kerr fans or fantasy series fans who know how to put down and take up a story later. The next volume is scheduled for late 1998. The dragon on the cover is only a representation-no dragons here. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
The latest in Kerr's best-selling "Deverry" series of Celtic fantasy features a young woman with magical powers.
First of a series within a series: Although set within Kerr's existing Celtic fantasy world of Deverry (A Time of Omens, 1992, etc.), this one kicks off a new set of characters and doings. Again, the struggles of the past reverberate down the ages, and the chief characterssuch as the mysterious "dweomermaster," Nevynexist in multiple reincarnations. Long ago in the time of the Civil Wars, young, magically talented Lillorigga quarrels with her cruel and manipulative mother, Merodda; in the present, Merodda will be reincarnated as Raena, the Raven Woman, deadly foe of the half-elfin hero Rhodry Maelwaedd.
More of the usual.