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The Black Raven [Paperback]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Duality, dweomer, detail... Sept. 11 2001
By Esther
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book in the Dragon Mage series, which chronicles the fortunes of the inhabitants of Deverry and those of the Northlands and Westlands in various centuries.
I found this sequel to The Red Wyvern slightly unsatisfying, but still an absolute charm of a novel, with the kind of detail a fantasy trainspotter like me thrives upon. Kerr does feudal villages and castles and fantasy/history exceedingly well; her characters are multidimensional and challenging - particularly the women, which I believe is deliberate: the men tend to be more distant - romantic figures or even caricatures - which I suppose might annoy you if you are a man. But this is quite unashamedly a book from a woman's point of view: for instance, when the men go to war the action of the novel tends to stay with the women left behind. This works very well indeed: it's not a feminist treatise, just an honest authorial perspective.
In The Black Raven, we meet my favourite Lillorigga again, this time on the horns of a different dreadful dilemma, torn between her good, honest, loving, considerate, brave, strong, boring husband-to-be and the not altogether natural charisma and charms of the importunate Prince Maryn; working with dangerous magic to unravel a deadly curse on the Prince at the expense of her health and not entirely free of the spectre of her evil dead mother.
But it's Niffa who takes my fancy in this one. Just coming into the awareness of her psychic abilities and hounded by Raena, the misguided sorceress with little conscience and too much power for her own - or anybody else's - good, Niffa mourns her murdered husband and is comforted by the family ferrets, unaware that her pain and persecution is a repetition of that of Lillorigga and her mother, doomed to continue, cycle upon cycle, in different incarnations, until, presumably, the battle between the supernatural forces which blights the lives of the inhabitants of Deverry and, centuries later, Cerr Cawnen, is resolved.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Raven Review March 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a fan of this Katharine Kerr series in its entirety I found this book to be a must read, and one that I could not put down. Her style of writing has remained as easy to read and all engrossing as when she first began the series. This last series though has tended to focus on fewer time-line scenarios than her previous books. While in after-thought I find this a little tedious (the book mainly revolving around the Llilorigga-Maryn, and Rhodry-Raena story-lines) you can tell that the story is coming to some grand conclusion which makes it worth the read!If you have read the series from the beginning it is a little disappointing compared to the excitement of the initial Daggerspell series, but we are still comparing greatness to not-so-exciting greatness! Its not a book to be read out of sequence, start with Daggerspell and from there you can't go wrong!
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3.0 out of 5 stars could be better July 8 2000
Format:Paperback
This book was ok...but definitely not what she could really do. Compared ot Daggerspell, this one didn't really outshine the rest. As I read each one, it got better and better, therefore I expected this one to be the best so far. But the Red Wyvern was like the climax...I hope the rest of the books don't turn out to be like this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written.... April 16 2000
By Mark
Format:Paperback
As a reader of fantasy novels for many years I rate Ketherine Kerr's series very highly. The Dragon mage series is her best yet. As many of series decline with quality (most notably Jordan - sorry if this offends anybody!) Kerr's books just get better. I was totally captivated by the book and am looking forward to the remaing couple of books in the series. Katherine if your reading this can you speed them up? :-)
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