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Abnett, Dan
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Elrod, P. N.
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Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
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Graham, Mitchell
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Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
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Keyes, Greg
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King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
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Reviewing Literature
The Books of Katharine Kerr

Born in Ohio in 1944, Katharine Kerr has extensively studied medieval and Dark Age history.  She has helped to create fantasy role-playing modules, but now dedicates all her time to writing fiction.
Average Review Score: 4.5 out of 5

The first book of the Deverry series.  Kerr's series is set in a fantasy world with a Celtic basis, rather than a medieval one, where few people are aware of the elves, dwarfs, Wildfolk and magic that are among them.  I'll quickly bring up one of my few gripes with this book; Kerr's use of the old word 'dweomer' in place of 'magic'.  I can see why she'd do it, but ultimately my opinion is, if you mean magic, then say magic.  The same goes for her archaic use of 'somewhat' rather than 'something'.  Kerr's world would make for compelling reading simply as shown, but she adds a fascinating new layer to her fantasy epic: the story is told in three time periods in which the reincarnated souls of the main characters are brought together to try to ammend the disasterous result of their first meeting.  I was worried at first that this would cause a lack of continuity (and indeed, when each of the three stories begins, it does break the flow of the book), but thankfully Kerr lets us use the character of Nevyn as a mooring post, because he is bound to immortality until he can unravel the tangled 'Wyrd' that draws the souls involved together.  I very much enjoyed Kerr's take on elves, dwarfs and fairy-folk, giving a subtle twist to familiar concepts.  I found this book an enjoyable read all round, but it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi that other series openers (particularly Feist's 'Magician' and Martin's 'A Game Of Thrones') have and which grabs you and immerses you totally and irrevocably in the story.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series.  The version I read of this book was the author's extended text.
4 out of 5
The second Deverry novel.  The author picks up the story with Rhodry and Jill on the road as silver dagger mercenaries, following the events of the previous book.  Soon we're plunged back in time once more to another period when Nevyn witnessed the coming together of the souls tangled with his own destiny.  This time Jill's previous incarnation is a warrior priestess and Rhodry's is her loyal and loving man-at-arms.  Of all the flashback sequences so far I enjoyed this one the most and it's particularly moving when Nevyn reaches the moment when he realises that Gweniver is too maddened by warfare to fulfill her destiny as a sorceress.  When the story returns to the present it follows the plot of two dark magicians out to steal a powerful gem which falls into Jill and Rhodry's protection.  I enjoyed the plot of this book much more than I did 'Daggerspell' and particularly liked the subtlety of character Kerr uses for her villains, showing that they're not evil simply for the sake of being evil.  The things that bothered me in the first book ('somewhat' and 'dweomer') suddenly weren't an issue any more either, making this an enjoyable read all round. As with 'Daggerspell' the version I read of this book was the expanded 'special edition' version.
5 out of 5

If you liked Kerr:
Then you may enjoy David A. Gemmell's Rigante series, which deals with another psuedo-Celtic culture.

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