Friday 30 October 2009

The Silver Mage - Katharine Kerr

The Silver Mage is the fifteenth book in the *very* long-running Deverry series. Here Katharine Kerr seeks to wrap up those last few plot points and bring the sequence to a resounding end.

Oh dear. I've followed this series faithfully, to the extent of doing a full re-read in preparation of the release of this final book, and I am more than disappointed with the way Kerr has finished things off.

To be honest, this series has been limping along for a while, but every now and again Kerr would produce a book that sparkled amongst the relative dross that made up the rest of the second two 'Acts' that the Deverry series comprised. This compelled me to keep on reading to see whether the same quality would be repeated, but sadly it was rare that Kerr would ever produce two decent books in a row and none of her books have lived up to the promise of those first four novels.

In this book we deal mainly with Rhodry's storyline - the other plot points are dealt with summarily and all too briefly. Kerr has been building the renewed threat of the Horsekin, but this is completed with no drama and almost slips past without the reader noticing.

In fact, the whole novel suffers from a lack of drama or incidence. There is no gripping final battle. No beloved character comes anywhere near to dying. The series really just slips out with a whimper and not a bang.

To be fair, the Rhodry plotline is emotional enough - especially in the moment where he realises that his time as a dragon has reduced Arzosah to something less than she should be. I was glad that his resolution helped to also resolve the situation with Avain, who has been hovering around in the background for a long while.

There was zero resolution to the shape-shifting otter people - I'm left unsure as to exactly why Kerr even introduced them in the first place! I disliked the way that *everyone* needed to be married off or partnered up in the end. And I believe Laz was treated unfairly by Kerr, considering that he had started to feel remorse for his actions in prior lives.

To be perfectly honest, I feel extremely dissatisfied and short-changed by this effort - especially after the long wait for the series to end. I can only hope that all of those other authors stringing out long series take note and learn how NOT to finish their own stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment