Review: Daggerspell. Deverry 1 by Katherine Kerr

Even as a young girl, Jill was a favorite of the magical, mysterious Wildfolk, whodeverry 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.

  1. Daggerspell
  2. Darkspell
  3. The Bristling Wood
  4. The Dragon Revenant

This was a spontaneous pick. I saw that there was a Read Along on twitter and joined in! Only took me 4-5 days, which is SUPER quick for me.

It’s Fantasy with your usual dose of old magic, sword fighting and a quest, but this one also features the theme of reincarnation as the center of everything.

We have a main story, that introduces us to Jill and her dad Cullyn, a silver dagger/mercenary but we get 2 interludes that deal with a whole different cast of characters from the past.

Enter Blaen

Enter Brangwen

Enter Gerraent

Enter Galrion

And oh boy. There’s a real trainwreck! Those characters’ lives are all tangled up with one another and one bad decision leads to tons more.

Galrion is in love with Brangwen. Brangwen is in love with Galrion. Galrion is also in love with magic/the dweomer. He thinks he loves it more than he loves Brangwen. Galrion knows that Blaen is also in love with Brangwen. So he manipulates him to propose to her while kinda planning to take back his proposal to study magic. Brangwen is not in love with Blaen though. Gerraent is Brangwen’s brother. He is betrothed to Blaen’s sister, even though he doesn’t love her.

Galrion is disowned by his family (something he planned to happen^^) and goes ahead to study magic. Brangwen wants to come with him but her brother Gerraent won’t let her. Gerraent is lusting after his sister himself. They start a sexual relationship cause Brangwen is dead inside anyways now so she’s like ‘whatever, but let’s die afterwards’. It continues until Blaen finds out. Gerraent kills Blaen. Blaen’s brother kills Gerraent. Galrion comes back to take Brangwen. Brangwen kills herself.

The dude who was kinda the starting point of all of this, Galrion or now Nevyn, vows to make it right. Aaaand, boom! The gods listen and accept. So now he travels the land & tries to find the reincarnations in order to set things right. Only then he can finally die! He’s been doing this for centuries now and every time something horrible happens and he has to wait & start up again.

He’s also using some old magic, the ‘dweomer’, which is a huge topic in the novel, but unfortunately doesn’t get properly explained. People who can use it can see the wildfolk, little gnomes & elves of the forest & their magic can manifest in different ways. Some shift shapes, some manipulate others.. I don’t really know, but I would have liked to know more!

It’s no surprise that Jill is in fact one of those reincarnations. Her dad is also one and let me just say ‘eeeeeeeewwwww’.

Jill is a bit too passive throughout the whole novel. We meet her at different stages in her life but still miss the part in which she learns how to fight. In the end she’s this awesome sword fighter, but we don’t know how it happened and why she’s so strong. Her dad makes most of the decisions for her and if she doesn’t agree she gets a slap in the face. She still loves him though.. And he loves her. A bit too much unfortunately.

In the end, all of the important players come together and Nevyn has his hands full trying to get them to not kill each other/shag their daughter/sister. There’s some evil sorcerer as well and in the end they throw in a dark dweomer for good measure.

I don’t really know. Just after I finished it I had a more positive opinion but now I see a lot of flaws. It WAS easy to read, but the story was kinda lacking and too incesty and insta-lovey for my taste.

I can’t stand it if people lose their minds when someone handsome enters the room. And this whole disaster was based on lust^^

I wish they were able to watch porn in the Middle Ages, that would have taken some of the pressure off and maaaaaybe they didn’t have to drool over their own freaking daughter or sister -.-

Don’t read if you’re not cool with incest.


I don’t think I will continue.


  1. I haven’t thought about this series in AGES. I first read this back when it was published, when my mom accidentally picked it up instead of the newest Deryni novel (by Katherine Kurtz, so you can see where the mistake was made). I think I read the first couple books, but it just kept getting odder, so I stopped.

    Liked by 1 person

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