Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

(audio) Book Thoughts: Daggerspell (Katharine Kerr)

This was just not the story for me

★★★☆☆ 1/4 – CALSPIE 6.59

Title: Daggerspell (Deverry #1)
Author: Katharine Kerr
Narrator: Ruth Urquhart
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
First published: 1986
Edition: Audio & paperback, published by Harper Voyager in 2019

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 righted 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


Going into this, I knew this would be an old school fantasy book and I was actually looking forward to it, but though I liked some of the characters unfortunately the story itself never really grabbed me.

This is very much a classic fantasy book and considering I like the characters themselves just fine I should have liked this novel more than I did. However, for me the interactions between the characters felt quite stale and the plot fell a little flat and was just not that interesting to me. Maybe this type of fantasy with Celtic roots is not my favourite. I have read books in the past in this type of setting that I have enjoyed, but they had more interesting plots than this one. The setting and the lord-and-lady type background was just a little on the boring side.

There were a couple of plot devices I did not really care for. Maybe this whole reincarnation/destiny thing does not do it for me. Then there was the much-discussed incest in this book that I already knew about going into it. To be honest it felt a bit unnecessary, but it did not overly bother me. It is meant to be disgraceful, so of course it is. Did it add anything to this book? Was it needed? No, I don’t think so. Still, I guess it makes for a talking point.

I am well aware that this book is almost forty years old and much has changed in the fantasy genre. Had I read this book twenty years ago, I may well have enjoyed it better. As it stands, it just felt a little on the dry side and I found myself a little bored.

I listened to this one on audio. The narrator suited the story very well and did help me to finish the story.

I have book two and three in this series, but I will not be continuing and the books are going on my unhaul pile.

3.25 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 7.5
  • Ambience: 6.5
  • Language: 7
  • Story: 6.5
  • Pacing: 6
  • Interest: 6.5
  • Enjoyment: 6

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