The Black Raven (Dragon Mage, No 2)

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9780006482604: The Black Raven (Dragon Mage, No 2)

Book ten of the celebrated Deverry series, an epic fantasy rooted in Celtic mythology that intricately interweaves human and elven history over several hundred years.

At the end of the Civil Wars, Prince Maryn stands on the brink of bringing peace at last to the torn kingdom, but powerful magics threaten his reign and his life. Only Nevyn’s young apprentice, Lilli, can see the horrifying power of the curse, her dead mother’s legacy of evil, that could bring disaster upon them all. But she has only untried magic for a weapon as she fights to save her beloved prince.

Centuries later, the ancient evil rises again, threatening a raging tide of war that could destroy Deverry forever. Out in the lonely Northlands the savage Horsekin are gathering their armies to march west and conquer the kingdom promised them by their blood-maddened goddess, Alshandra, and her human priestess, Raena. Directly in their path lies the peaceful city of Cerr Cawnen, trembling in the fear of war.

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Review:

The Black Raven is Book Two of The Dragon Mage, and the tenth volume of the Deverry series, a fantasy epic consisting of three interrelated quartets. As Katherine Kerr says, the past and the present weave together in these novels, and the final volume will link with the first to reveal an overall design akin to a Celtic knot threading back and forth upon itself. This is a strange pseudo-Celtic world in which reincarnation is a reality and past lives forever affect the present in surprising and unexpected ways, so that while The Black Raven can be read alone, it is advisable to begin with the first book Daggerspell.

In a complex novel of civil war, sacrifice and power, what impresses most is that an epic canvas is used to tell a strongly characterised and very human tale of hatred and destructive evil, and of the consequences of past malevolence on both the heroine Lilli, and the Prince Maryn. By keeping the narrative tightly focused around a small number of characters, and by maintaining strict limits to the rather elaborately conceived elements of magic and the supernatural, Katherine Kerr ensures that her fantastical history does not overwhelm the more personal and affecting dimensions of the tale. The result is a polished, emotionally involving and powerful novel in which even the dreams of a dragon may come evocatively to life. --Gary S. Dalkin

Review:

‘An unusually scholarly writer of fantasy.’
TELEGRAPH

‘Much as I dislike comparing anything to THE LORD OF THE RINGS, I have to admit that on this occasion it’s justified.’
INTERZONE

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