The Gold Falcon: Starts a new Deverry sequence

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy novel reviews Katharine Kerr Deverry The Gold FalconThe Gold Falcon by Katharine Kerr

With The Gold Falcon, Katharine Kerr is starting a new phase in the Deverry series. We move on fifty years or so from the climactic ending of The Fire Dragon, and times have changed. The Horsekin have started marauding the Deverry border, killing the men and enslaving the women. There is a fragile alliance between the Deverry folk, the Rhiddaer, and the West Folk (Kerr’s version of elves). And Alshandra’s repute as a goddess is growing, Raena now considered a martyr to the cause.

Our main dweomer workers who hold the book together here are Dallandra and Salamander, who has fought hard to retrieve his sanity. The latter rescues two young lads from the slaughter of their village by Horsekin, and takes them to the sanctuary of Tieryn Cadryc’s dun. Neb, the older of the two, is a very familiar soul to Salamander — finally the soul of Nevyn has been reborn. In the same Dun he discovers the reborn soul of Cullyn (now called Gerran) and Jill (now called Branna), and realizes that fateful times are coming.

The Gold Falcon fits well into the overall sequence of Deverry novels, but on its own is not that entertaining, since it is mostly setting up future events and giving us hints of the doom that waits if the Horsekin cannot be stopped. It was interesting, though, to see Neb and Branna being drawn to each other and discovering their potential dweomer power. And it’s frustrating and heartbreaking to read about Rhodry’s current plight (as the dragon Rori).

Kerr writes fantastically well about the medieval life of Deverry. Every little detail reinforces the fact that she has enormous skill at world building, such as hearing about each gwerbret’s hall having an honour side (for the nobles) and a riders side (for the common born). We hear about the women having to make marriages for the sake of bloodlines and needing to be above reproach so that no one can doubt the parentage of the heirs to come.

Kerr gives us a completely different and equally realized culture when we ride with the West Folk on the plainlands. Here the women have much more freedom and there is a casual approach to leadership. The marked difference between the two people is emphasized well.

I did enjoy The Gold Falcon, but it took a good fifty pages before I relaxed into the new characters — especially with Nevyn and Jill carrying different names and essentially being fresh to the story. In some respects it is great having familiar characters turn up again in the Deverry novels — it lends the books a feeling of comfort — but in other respects it can be hard to invest in the new character as much as you did in the old. I like Neb, but I liked Nevyn more. On the other hand, I far prefer Branna to Jill, so I guess it runs both ways!

The Gold Falcon is a decent enough entry into the Deverry sequence, but certainly not a standalone novel, and slightly disappointing after the brilliance of The Fire Dragon.

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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