Friday, August 21, 2009

Katherine Kerr

It is a world of magic where characters are reincarnated to live life over for chances at redemption. Deverry is like an alternate Britain of the past with magic, an elven race and warriors. This Fantasy world is a creation of author Katherine Kerr. Each of her books is set in this complex world, telling the stories of realistic characters as they try to free themselves the the wheel of reincarnation for crimes in past lives.

Deverry is a vivid world of a Britain that never existed with a Celtic flavor. There are various lords that live in duns or castles, protecting their lands with warrior bands. Elves inhabit the Western part of the island while dwarves move among the human cities as blacksmiths and in other jobs. The magic is called dweomar, wielded by practitioners of wisdom.

Daggerspell is the first book of Deverry. It begins the story of several characters with intertwined fates throughout the centuries and many rebirths. Nevyn is a magic user cursed with immortality for causing the tragic deaths of two young lovers. He discovers the cycle about to begin again. His quest is to get everyone to find their true destinies in order to break the curse. The book begins when the outcast warrior Cullyn must take charge of his daughter Jill after her mother dies. In their travels, they become part of the household of a noble family where Jill meets Rhodry the young lord. Jill has a strong magical talent but prefers to become a warrior. These characters continue to work out their destinies in three more books: Darkspell, The Bristling Wood, and The Dragon Revenant, which completes the first part of the story.

Rhodry’s story is the next cycle of books in the series as he tries to reconcile his parentage and find the true path of his life. He travels the land as a warrior for hire on his way to visit his father’s people. A Time of Exile begins with Rhodry’s son wanting to rule his own lands but cannot because of his slow aging father. Jill, his former lover, arrives to ask him for help, so he sets out on a journey that will last through A Time of Omens, Days of Blood and Fire, and Days of Air and Darkness.

The next part of the series begins with The Red Wyvern, telling the story of Lillobriga. She inherited her mother’s powers but not her taste for power. Caught up in the court intrigue, she struggles to master her powers without letting her mother find out about them. The Black Raven continues Lilli’s story as she learns about her magic with Nevyn and tries to save the rightful king of Deverry. A concluding volume, The Fire Dragon, takes place during Rhodry’s time, leading to a final confrontation with an evil sorceress.

Ms. Kerr is finishing up the story of Deverry with some new novels. The Gold Falcon opens another chapter of history with the story of Neb and Branna. This time the kingdom is being threatened by the savage Horsekin tribes and a new war begins. In the next book, The Spirit Stone, the Elven Westlands are threatened by the Horsekin and Prince Dar must seek help from allies to save his land. The Horsekin are wrecking havoc on all people and creatures of Deverry. Neb must find a way to save the kingdom as a mysterious island reappears in the third book, The Shadow Isle. The final book in the Deverry series and this story line will be called The Silver Mage. This book should be published in the next few months.

Katherine Kerr created a complex Fantasy world with the Deverry books. Deverry is a world with a Celtic-like culture, elven race and intriguing magic. Ms. Kerr uses the Celtic belief of reincarnation to create memorable characters that must work out intertwined destinies. Each book has an entertaining plot full of impressive descriptions and suspenseful events. Readers will find the books of Deverry very entertaining. More information can be found at the author’s web site at:

Friday, August 07, 2009

Peter Beagle

*The Katherine Kerr article will be posted the next time.

“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.” (from The Last Unicorn) Thus opens one of the many novels of Fantasy author Peter Beagle. He is a classic author that has been quietly contributing many descriptive, powerful works to the genre for many years. Every one of his books are different, but gives readers memorable characters and stories that stay with you for a long time. He writes in an easy style that conveys many ideas in few words. His books and stories span a vast range of Fantasy worlds in the genre.

The Last Unicorn is a lyrical tale of a unicorn. All the unicorns in the world disappear, leaving one ©female behind. She goes on a quest to find them. Along the way she meets some companions who help her. Schmendrick is a magician. He is not very good with magic and when it works, does not work in the way he intends. Molly Grue is a practical woman with common sense, but believes in legends. Together, they confront King Haggard and his Red Bull. This is a classic book with strong themes and is told in a descriptive prose.

Another book of Mr. Beagle’s has ghosts and ravens in it. A Fine and Private Place is a story of love beyond death. Michael Morgan is a ghost trapped in a cemetary. He fights to maintain his identiy because ghosts forget with time. He meets Laura, they fall in love and struggle to maintain it throughout the book. Mr. Beagle wrote this book at nineteen years of age. It is a moving story of love with a touch of humor. The characters are unforgettable.

A more recent book that demonstrates the author's growth over the years is The Innkeeper's Song. It takes place in a stark Fantasy world where Tikat sees his lover Lukassa die. She is resurected and stolen by a mysterious woman. Tikat goes on a quest to find her. His fate becomes tied up with three cloaked women. The chapters alternate with a different viewpoint character. There is a clever fox too. This book is full of arresting images and interesting characters. It is a memorable story.

Tamsin is a ghost story and coming-of-age tale. Thirteen year old Jenny grows up in New York, but finds herself moved to the English countryside when her mother remarries. Jenny finds herself drawn into a tragic ghost story when she meets Tamsin. She tr ĂȘies to help Tamsin and gets involved with ghosts, boggarts, pookas and the Wild Hunt. It is a beautifully written tale with a lot of magic and adventure. Mr. Beagle uses many of the tropes of Fantasy to give readers an enjoyable story with powerful themes.

Mr. Beagle delves into Contemporary Fantasy with his book The Unicorn Sonata. Joey Rivera helps out in a music store in Los Angeles. One day a strange boy named Indigo comes into the shop. He plays haunting music on a strange horn. The music stays with Joey and eventually leads her over the fairy border into the world of Shei'rah. Joey and her grandmother help the Elders or un ĂȘicorns against a mysterious blindess affecting the unicorns. This is a good story for young adults. Mature readers can enjoy this story of music and healing too. It is another entertaining book with a wonderful setting and is illustrated.

These are just a few of the many books of this talented author. Peter Beagle writes entertaining, powerful Fantasy books for all ages. He has a vivid imagination coupled with a subtle storytelling style. His books contain memorable characters that explore such themes as love, death, music and many others. Readers will not be disappointed with this author's works. There is enjoyment to be had in any of his books. Many of his books in recent years have been collections of short stories. They are worth checking out.