The Deverry Novels by Katharine Kerr

I’ve recently begun re-reading the Deverry novels; I just went through Daggerspell, Darkspell and I’m onto The Bristling Wood (basically ‘Act 1’ as the author has described the books as being the various parts of a long play). This is an excellent series, but one that I found quite by accident.

Back when I was a fairly young kid, maybe 12 or 13, a friend of my mother was visting our house and upon realizing that I read the same type of books as him, offered to trade his set of books by David Eddings for my ‘Deryni’ series by Katherine Kurtz. Now I read my books over and over again, so I didn’t understand what he meant… it seems perfectly logical to most folks that since we had both read our books once, this was a permanent trade, but I was quite surprised when I eventually figured that out. Of course, I could have just asked for my books back, but that didn’t seem appropriate and I certainly had enjoyed the Belgariad (although the second set of books by Mr. Eddings seemed way too much of a retelling of the first… right down to the same characters… sure they were the descendants of the first set, but really… would they all end up with roughly the same personalites?). Anyway, I’ve always wanted to pick up the Deryni series again so I tend to look for them in bargain bins at bookstores and the like. Well, when I thought I had discovered a whole new series by the same person I immediately bought the first four books in the Deverry series. Of course, it was not the same person at all, Kerr instead of Kurtz, but I didn’t figure that out right away. So, I ended up reading a great series of books completely by accident.

How do you decide what to read? As a kid, I used to pick up the first book in a ton of new series and decided which ones I liked from there, but now (with the notable exception of Robert Jordan’s series) I haven’t picked up a book by a new-to-me author in ages. I know I could just go and grab some recent books from the library, but are there any good/great blogs/sites focused on the fantasy genre?

The Deverry Novels by Katharine Kerr

2 Responses

  1. When I lived in your area (~4 weeks ago), the King county libraries had a habit of putting new acquisitions on displays near the checkout desk. I’d grab two or three fantasy/sci-fi off of this. If anything held my attention after 60 minutes of reading, I’d finish the book and then devour a bunch of other titles by the same author. Another fun mechanism is to wander into the local Half-Price books (or other used book seller) and pick up a few random books from names you don’t know.

    My final mechanism, again using King County Libraries though any library would work this way, is to look up books in the online catalog based on the genre you like. Again, grab 3-4 authors you don’t recognize and read some of their stuff. If you ‘oops’ and start in the middle of a series, just stop reading after 40 pages to see if you like the writing style. If you do like the style, close the book and get the start of the series.

    My favorite of the above options is the random grab from the library’s online catalog.

    Scott Seely October 23, 2006 at 7:58 pm #
  2. Thanks Scott, I’ll have to try the library method… I do go to the local library every few weeks with the kids, I just don’t usually look for anything for myself 🙂

    Duncan October 24, 2006 at 9:04 am #

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