A Time of Omens: Treading water

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsepic fantasy book reviews Katharine Kerr Deverry A Time of ExileA Time of Omens by Katharine Kerr

A Time of Omens, the second book of the second Deverry quartet, is no more than a competent entry. Despite the easy reading, it took me days to get through and I really struggled at times to muster much interest in the doings of Rhodry.

Rhodry spends a number of years wandering in the Westlands, integrating himself into the lives of the Elcyion Lacar. Jill has gone seeking the remnant of the Elven race that fled south when the Hordes destroyed their homelands. We spend a lot of time in Evandar’s dreamlike world, but because he doesn’t feel compassion or understand human emotions, I don’t find him endearing and can’t enjoy his storyline. We get the obligatory visit to a past incarnation of Rhodry (this time a continuation of the timeline where Maryn is become High King of all Deverry), and the book finishes off with a quick canter to a few years down the line (approx 1100, when most of the ‘present’ storyline has been 1090’s up until now).

So, we are essentially reading a number of different short stories in our path to understanding the overall tapestry. I love all the interwoven threads, but this makes the pace slow. Just when you are enjoying the stories of one set of characters, you pick up with another set and have to learn affection for them. It helps that Kerr is dealing with reborn souls, so they are essentially the same character, but they have enough differing characteristics for them to jar slightly until you begin to pick up and follow their particular storyline. Katharine Kerr never forgets a character once they’ve proved useful and been introduced, so we see, for example, Perryn still hovering in the background and stepping into the story here and there.

The ending of A Time of Omens is abrupt and, up to that point, not a great deal really happens! As the title suggests, this novel is about omens and bad tidings coming together. I’m sure they are a huge foretelling for the next couple of novels, but we seem to be treading water while Kerr puts everything in place.

So, A Time of Omens is a disappointing entry into the Deverry series, but a necessary one. Big warning here: new readers should not step into the Deverry series at this point! Go all the way back to Daggerspell!

Deverry — (1986-2009) Publisher: Even as a young girl,  Jill was a favorite of the magical, mysterious  Wildfolk, who appeared to her from their invisible  realm. Little did she know her extraordinary  friends represented but a glimpse of a forgotten past  and a fateful future. Four hundred years-and many  lifetimes-ago, one selfish young lord caused the  death of two innocent lovers. Then and there he  vowed never to rest until he’d rightened that  wrong — and laid the foundation for the lives of Jill  and all those whom she would hold dear: her  father, the mercenary soldier Cullyn; the exiled  berserker Rhodry Maelwaedd; and the ancient and  powerful herbman Nevyn, all bound in a struggle against  darkness… and a quest to fulfill the  destinies determined centuries ago. Here in this newly  revised edition comes the incredible novel that  began one of the best-loved fantasy seers in recent  years — a tale of bold adventure and timeless  love, perilous battle and pure magic.

Act one: Deverry — In the UK, the third book is Dawnspell: The Bristling Wood, and the fourth book is Dragonspell: The Southern Sea.

Katharine Kerr Deverry Daggerspell, Darkspell, The Bristling Wood, The Dragon RevenantKatharine Kerr Deverry Daggerspell, Darkspell, The Bristling Wood, The Dragon RevenantKatharine Kerr Deverry Daggerspell, Darkspell, The Bristling Wood, The Dragon RevenantKatharine Kerr Deverry Daggerspell, Darkspell, The Bristling Wood, The Dragon Revenant

Act two: The Westlands — in the UK, the third book is A Time of War and the fourth book is A Time of Justice.

Deverry Katherine Kerr The Westlands: A Time of Exile, A Time of Omens, Days of Blood and Fire, Days of Air and DarknessDeverry Katherine Kerr The Westlands: A Time of Exile, A Time of Omens, Days of Blood and Fire, Days of Air and DarknessDeverry Katherine Kerr The Westlands: A Time of Exile, A Time of Omens, Days of Blood and Fire, Days of Air and DarknessDeverry Katherine Kerr The Westlands: A Time of Exile, A Time of Omens, Days of Blood and Fire, Days of Air and Darkness

Act three: The Dragon Mage

Katharine Kerr Deverry Dragon Mage: The Red Wyvern, The Black Raven, The Fire DragonKatharine Kerr Deverry Dragon Mage: The Red Wyvern, The Black Raven, The Fire DragonKatharine Kerr Deverry Dragon Mage: The Red Wyvern, The Black Raven, The Fire Dragon

Act four: The Silver Wyrm — in the UK, these are continuations of Act Three: The Dragon Mage.

Katharine Kerr Deverry The Silver Wyrm: 1. The Gold Falcon 2. The Spirit Stone 3. The Shadow Isle 4. The Silver MageKatharine Kerr Deverry The Silver Wyrm: 1. The Gold Falcon 2. The Spirit Stone 3. The Shadow Isle 4. The Silver MageKatharine Kerr Deverry The Silver Wyrm: 1. The Gold Falcon 2. The Spirit Stone 3. The Shadow Isle 4. The Silver MageKatharine Kerr Deverry The Silver Wyrm: 1. The Gold Falcon 2. The Spirit Stone 3. The Shadow Isle 4. The Silver Mage


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AMANDA RUTTER, one of our guest reviewers, used to be an accountant in the UK but she escaped the world of numbers and is now living in a fantasy world she creates. She runs Angry Robot's YA imprint, Strange Chemistry. And we knew her when....

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