A series of {{Fantasy}} novels, notable for its extensive use of {{Reincarnation}} and the resulting highly {{anachronic order}}, written by Katharine Kerr.

Near the end of the first century AD, one Celtic tribe fled their homeland in Gaul to escape Roman rule. Traveling by magical means, they were transported to another universe, where they founded their own kingdom, which they called Deverry.

The main narrative thread starts ten centuries later. Through the use of frequent and extended {{Flashback}}s, the main story is intertwined with the stories of the character's [[{{Reincarnation}} previous incarnations]], revealing how present circumstances stem from events occurring in a previous lifetime. This illustrates the concept of Wyrd, or karma. As the series progresses, the flashbacks become longer, with some of the later books being [[WholeEpisodeFlashback more than half flashback]].

Originally intended by the author to be a short story, the work took on a life of its own, growing longer and longer. The series finally reached its conclusion with the publication of the fifteenth book in 2009. The author likens the series to a play, dividing it into four "acts," each containing three or four books.

The novels use a richly detailed system of magic, called ''dweomer'', which is based upon real-world magical traditions, such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaballah Kaballah]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosicrucianism Rosicrucianism]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Order_of_the_Golden_Dawn the Golden Dawn]] Although dweomer is nominally a path to spiritual enlightenment, it produces quite spectacular displays, and can be powerful enough to steer the destiny of nations. Dweomer requires both an inherent gift as well as long study to use, and is a combination of [[FunctionalMagic Theurgy and Force Magic]].

'''Note: Spoilers follow.'''

[[AC: Act One: ''Deverry'']]
* ''Daggerspell''
* ''Darkspell''
* ''The Bristling Wood'' - [[Main/{{MarketBasedTitle}} published in the UK]] as ''Dawnspell: The Bristling Wood''
* ''The Dragon Revenant'' - published in the UK as ''Dragonspell: The Southern Sea''

Centuries earlier a young prince has found out that the Dweomer is his true calling in life. In his haste to begin learning magic, he makes mistakes and is disowned by his father, receiving the name No One (written as Nevyn for the reader's convenience). A bit later, this causes the tragic death of his former lover, her brother, as well as another nobleman. Having learned about reincarnation, he swears never to rest until he had put his errors right, and the [[Main/{{PowersThatBe}} Powers That Be]] accept his oath, [[WhoWantsToLiveForever granting him immortality]].

Time and again, the principals in that ancient tragedy are reborn, and repeat the same destructive patterns - as seen in the many flashbacks. As the series begins, they are reborn once more, this time as Jill, daughter of the notorious mercenary Cullyn, and Rhodry, a young nobleman. The characters struggle to find their destiny in life, while the followers of the [[Main/{{BlackMagic}} dark dweomer]] attempt to plunge the kingdom into war.

The first two books were later reissued in a [[ReCut revised edition]]. Changes to ''Daggerspell'' are minimal, but ''Darkspell'' contains a number of [[RetCon significant changes]], mostly to the character of Sarcyn, who was brought more in line with how Kerr originally envisioned him before [[ExecutiveMeddling her editor overruled her]]. As a result, the old version is considered to be [[CanonDiscontinuity non-canon]].

[[AC: Act Two: ''The Westlands'']]
* ''A Time of Exile''
* ''A Time of Omens''
* ''Days of Blood and Fire'' published in the UK as ''A Time of War''
* ''Days of Air and Darkness'' published in the UK as ''A Time of Justice''

Several decades later Nevyn is dead, Jill is a powerful dweomer master, and Rhodry has a problem; he isn't visibly aging. As a [[HalfHumanHybrid half-elf]], he can expect to live for another century, but he has no right to the noble title he holds. Revealing this would mean a disastrous war, so instead Rhodry fakes his own death and [[RidingIntoTheSunset rides off into the sunset]], straight into another threat arising from his previous lives.

This time, the main threat comes from the [[{{TheFairFolk}} Guardians]]. Evandar, leader of the Bright Court, has been [[TheChessmaster manipulating the affairs]] of men, elves, and dwarves for millennia, in pursuit of his grand schemes. Unfortunately, his wife has plans of her own. Posing as a Goddess, she raises an army to conquer Deverry which, unknown to her, would also provide karmic retribution for the acts of the Deverrians' ancestors, when Evandar brought them out of Gaul.

[[AC: Act Three: ''The Dragon Mage'']]
* ''The Red Wyvern''
* ''The Black Raven''
* ''The Fire Dragon''

The fake goddess who inspired them is dead, but the invading hordes remain. Now, the former priestess of the hordes must resettle into her old life, while her deeds in a past life begin to catch up with her. In the end, [[spoiler: a despairing Rhodry agrees to be transformed into a dragon]].

[[AC: Act Four: ''The Silver Wyrm'']]
* ''The Gold Falcon''
* ''The Spirit Stone''
* ''The Shadow Isle''
* ''The Silver Mage''

A few decades later, Jill and Nevyn have both reincarnated, and taken up the problems left from their previous lives, including Rhodry, [[spoiler: whose transformation was never meant to be.]]

(NB: ''The Black Raven'' was originally intended to contain the material in ''The Fire Dragon'' as well; likewise ''The Silver Wyrm'' was split into ''The Spirit Stone'' and ''The Shadow Isle''.)

!!These books provide examples of:
* AllBeerIsAle: At least some of the beer brewed in Deverry is small beer. After the siege of Cengarn, Rhodry remarks that once the beer runs out, they'll be forced to drink vinegar-sanitized water.
* AnachronicOrder - Flashbacks to previous incarnations and to the youth of long lived characters. Doubly so in that later there is one flashback to what used to be the "current" timeline. The chronologically earliest flashback is in the very last book.
* AndThatWouldBeWrong - Rori's suggestion to save Berwynna and Mic when they first meet.
* BarbieDollAnatomy - Rhodry notices this about his blue lady, but is too entranced to care.
* BookEnds - "In the Hall of Light, there are no lies."
* BrotherSisterIncest - Twice, with major plot significance
* ButICantBePregnant - Rhys' first wife is cast off for barrenness, remarries to a widower who needs a wife to help raise the children of his previous marriage, and gives birth to a healthy boy a year later. It seems ''she'' wasn't the infertile one in her previous marriage...
* CareerVersusMan - Jill has to face this choice once Rhodry becomes Gwerbret, as there was no way the life of a high-ranking noble's wife would leave her with enough free time to study magic. She ultimately decides to choose the dweomer over her lover and leaves him.
* CatapultNightmare - Rhodry at Dun Hiraedd, when Alastyr attacks him in his dreams. Berwynna right at the beginning of The Silver Mage.
* TheChainsOfCommanding - Glyn the First.
* ChekhovsArmoury - As noted in ContinuityLockout below, here are tons of references that only make sense later. One example: Rhodry's silver dagger is modified by Otho in book 2, which makes it reappear to him in book 5 after being stolen from him at the end of book 3, [[spoiler:it seemingly disappears in book 11, and turns out to be the cause of his unhealing wound]] in book 15.
* CompeteForTheMaidensHand - Cullyn inadvertently ended up in one of these in his youth over Jill's mother, and only avoided getting hung for murder because witnesses stepped forward to prove that the other guy started it. He ''did'' end up exiled and forced to become a Silver Dagger because of it, and Seryan followed him and ended up a barmaid in a nothing village in the middle of nowhere. Cullyn later swore to never again kill over a woman after this, which would enable him to break free of the four-hundred year old chain of wyrd tying him to Rhodry.
* TheConstant - Brangwen's grave, Cannobaen to a certain degree, and the westernmost dun in Eldidd, which is in ruins in the "current" time. Averted with the royal broch in Dun Deverry.
* ConsummateLiar - Laz Moj.
* ContinuityLockout - The author has written the books to be accessible for the first-time reader, but you need to read them a couple more times to understand '''how''' extensively each book is linked to the others. Sometimes ''many books in advance''.
* CultureClash - Between the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Gel da'thae]] and the alliance besieging Zakh Gral.
* CursedWithAwesome - Nevyn's [[WhoWantsToLiveForever endless life]] makes it possible for him to become a peerless master of magic, but after a few cycles of seeing others reincarnate, he begins to wonder whether he'll ever find the relief of death. [[spoiler:Similarly, Rhodry's transformation into a dragon makes him practically invulnerable, but drives him mad.]]
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: The Cantrae faction during the Time of Troubles.
* DragonRider - Rhodry, eventually, but no psychic bond.
* TheFairFolk - The Guardians, but not the Elves.
* EncyclopediaExposita - Quotes from genuine 9th century Welsh poetry and the fictional ''The Secret Book of Cadwallon the Druid''
* {{Expy}} - Only for the 835-843 timeline, but: Nevyn is Merlin, Maryn is King Arthur, Maddyn is Lancelot, Merodda is Morgan le Fay and many others. The whole plot arc plays out as a retelling of the King Arthur legend.
* FictionalDocument - ''The Secret Book of Cadwallon the Druid'' and the Pseudo-Iamblicus Scroll are the most prominent.
* FiveRaces - There are five intelligent species, the others associated with one of the four classical ElementalPowers in the series' magic system: Elves to air, Dwarves to earth, Gel da Thae to fire, and Dwrgi to water. Since HumansAreSpecial, they get ElementNumberFive, aethyr.
* {{Flashback}} - Major parts of most books deal with the past, going beyond any normal use. The characters' current lives [[VisionsOfAnotherSelf often echo their previous ones]], though usually with significant differences.
* ForeShadowing - A lot, with probably the most significant one being "Rhodry's Wyrd is Eldidd's Wyrd".
* ForeverWar - Nevyn notes that the civil wars are turning into this.
* HalfHumanHybrid - Most often half-elves, but there are hybrids of all the non-human races.
* HeartbrokenBadass - Rhodry, Laz Moj
* HeelFaceTurn - Laz Moj manages this after he has a HeelRealization of evil done in previous lives as [[spoiler:Alastyr and Tren]].
* HeirClubForMen - The death of a king who had no sons and three daughters - each of whom had married a powerful noble and given him a son - resulted in the century long SuccessionCrisis referred to in the series as the Time of Troubles. Trouble brews in Eldidd in the first arc when Gwerbret Rhys turns out to be sterile and unable to produce an heir.
* HostageSituation - Prince Mael of Aberwyn spent about twenty years of his life in one. He was captured during his first campaign as a soldier during the Time of Troubles, and not ransomed back for decades because the King of Cerrmor felt that the secure border he gained by having a royal hostage was far more valuable than the gold he'd get by returning him. The young prince, with nothing to do all that time but read in his tower cell, ended up becoming a philosopher, who would be come known as Mael the Seer, or Mael y Gwaedd (later contracted to Maelwaedd).
* ImmortalProcreationClause - The Elves. Played straight, though it does come up in a [[DiscussedTrope discussion]] between Dallandra and Calonderiel.
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty - Elves age normally through childhood and adolescence into adulthood, then stop aging until a year or so before they're about to die of old age.
* ImportantHaircut - Jill, after leaving her home village with her father; Lilli (twice), first when running away from her mother, and later when mourning for [[spoiler:Branoic]].
* {{Karma}} - Bad actions will have consequences in your next life, [[CallItKarma if not earlier]]. The elven priests also tried to [[InvokedTrope invoke]] it to justify their excesses.
* LegacyCharacter - Nevyn's common explanation for having the same name and skills as an old advisor or sorcerer mentioned in historical accounts. Either the name Nevyn is a title passed on from teacher to student, or [[KingBobTheNth he is a descendant of the Nevyn they're thinking of]].
* LieToTheBeholder - The illusion Evandar placed on Dalla. Worked on all humans but not elves.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis - The narrator of the books is an 18th century Deverrian woman, though this is only made explicit at the end of the final book.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters - There are four major time periods and seven minor ones, and over twenty characters who reincarnate in more than one of them (Not to mention Nevyn appearing in person in many of them). And then there are those characters who are only in one time period.
* LongRunningBookSeries
* LossOfIdentity - Rhodry in ''The Dragon Revenant'', Laz Moj for a short while in the beginning of ''The Silver Mage''.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy - Bellyra, but she's a good enough person not to be in actual {{Yandere}} territory.
* ManipulativeBastard - Laz Moj. Nevyn feels like he might be one when ending the civil war.
* MarketBasedTitle
* MarriageBeforeRomance - Sevinna and Dwaen, in ''Days of Air and Darkness''.
* MayflyDecemberRomance - Aderyn and Dallandra, with the former being bitterly aware of it.
* MeaningfulName - Nevyn and Yraen, though you need to check the spelling guide.
* MeaningfulRename: Galrion to Nevyn. Also, Dun Hiraedd was not the original name of that city, but the soldiers who were transferred there dubbed it Fort Homesick, and the name stuck.
* MeleeATrois - Though not in the actual battles, the civil war is this on the national scale.
* MustMakeAmends - Nevyn spends several hundred years trying to get the chance to teach magic to various incarnations of his lover Brangwen after he had caused her death.
-->"Brangwen, my love, forgive me! If we ever meet again, I swear I'll put this right. I swear to you—I'll never rest until I set this right."
* NameAmnesia: Prince Galrion is stripped of his rank, wealth and even his name by his father. His father issues a decree that ever after Galrion is to only be called "Nevyn". That's not a name. It's a word that quite literally means 'no-one'.
* NoManOfWomanBorn - The most obvious one is that Lord Corbyn "can never be slain in battle except by sword, but he'll never be slain by any man's hand." A frequently used one is any reference to no one. Since that is the literal translation of Nevyn's name...
* ObfuscatingStupidity - Salamander, who prattles endlessly and travels as a common gerthddyn (roaming bard) to conceal the fact that he's a sorcerer.
-->'''Jill:''' Do you have to babble on about everything?
-->'''Salamander:''' Well, actually, I do, because it relieves my feelings and makes me sound like a fool, which is exactly what I want our enemies to think me.
* PoorCommunicationKills - The series would be a lot shorter and quite different if the Dweomer-masters of different races had better contacts between each other. This is mostly justified, though, in that this is only obvious to a (modern) reader who [[FridgeLogic starts thinking about it]].
* PropheciesAreAlwaysRight - Often vague, but they do come true. In some way.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld - Elves don't visibly age until a year or so before they're about to die of old age. Nevyn and Aderyn both look old, but are several hundred years older than most people would think.
* {{Reincarnation}} - Central to both the themes and plots.
** ReincarnationRomance - The main point of the first four books is to snap Jill and Rhodry out of theirs.
* {{Retcon}} - ''Daggerspell'' and ''Darkspell'' were later released in a revised edition. Changes to the former are minimal, but there are considerable changes to the latter, especially the character of Sarcyn, who was rewritten to be more in line with how Kerr originally envisioned him.
* SacredHospitality - Not as strong as in some other places, but a definite element of the Deverrian culture.
* SillyReasonForWar - The first war shown in the series is fought over pig food. Of course, the ''real'' reason was that the two noble families in question had hated each other for generations, the swine rights issue was just the excuse (They'd run out of good ones over the course of three generations of on and off feuding).
* SpareToTheThrone: Nevyn was once the third heir out of four. Rhodry was the youngest of three sons, and outlived both his brothers. Yraen was the younger son of a younger son.
* SpurnedIntoSuicide - The eventual result of Galrion leaving Brangwen.
* SuccessionCrisis - The cause of both Deverrian civil wars. Also nearly occurred in ''The Dragon Revenant'', with Rhys dead without issue and Rhodry missing.
* TakeAThirdOption - Towards the end of ''The Dragon Revenant'', Nevyn comments that he didn't see this possibility when he was young.
* TrialByCombat - Part of the Deverrian justice code, but generally discouraged. Also, if one party is obviously a superior fighter than the other, the weaker party may seek a champion to fight on his behalf to prevent such trials from becoming judicially sanctioned murder.
* UnexpectedSuccessor - Pertyc Maelwaedd, with a bit of OfferedTheCrown mixed in. Maryn, in the Time of Troubles (being from a fourth faction that didn't even exist when the wars began).
* WhamEpisode - The end of The Fire Dragon, which is also the source of most of the spoiler tags on this page.
* TheWisePrince - Rhodry, Glyn the First. Rhodry enjoys most of his reign, actually, but you only see him at the beginning and the end when he's not so happy with the job.
* WretchedHive - Slaith is a NotSoSafeHarbor (type 1) and the Bilge is TheCityNarrows for Cerrmor.
* [[YouKilledMyFather You Killed My Brother]] - Averted. Rhodry did kill Meer's brother, and they both know it, but Meer acknowledges that things like that happen when two soldiers on opposite sides of a war meet on a battlefield and doesn't hold a grudge.

'''Tropes related to Magic:'''

* AstralProjection - Quite well detailed. The written form is consistent enough to almost qualify as StockFootage.
* AuraVision - Viewing auras is the basic skill, with manipulating them being the advanced form.
* ClingyMacGuffin - Rhodry's silver dagger. The other silver daggers work similarly for Otho, but aren't {{MacGuffin}}s.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience - The auras on the Ethereal plane.
* DreamWeaver - Dalla, possibly others.
* HermeticMagic - The magic system is quite detailed, being based on the Kabbalistic system and then expanded with other sources.
* IKnowYourTrueName - Dragons and the Guardians. There's a restriction, though: it requires a certain kind of pronunciation of the name, usually acquired in magical or priestly training. This also means the name can still be used in casual conversation.
* MagicAIsMagicA - Consistent to the degree that there's noticeable repetition in different books when the characters build Bodies of Light or create Seals. The limitations of magic are also clearly shown, affect the story and are commented upon by the dweomerworkers.
* MagiciansAreWizards - Salamander as the Great Krysello in Bardek.
* MindManipulation - A important part of the Dweomer power set. Often done through the victim's aura.
** BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood - Nevyn on Rhodry, Dallandra on Verrarc; in both cases to protect someone.
** CharmPerson - Often described as "spinning" the target's aura.
** {{Deprogram}} - Rhodry is lucky and gets his memories back. Camdel, not so much...
** FakeMemories - Aderyn to Corbyn's messengers.
** FightingFromTheInside - Jahdo against Verrarc's suggestion.
** HypnoticEyes - Since eyes are the WindowsOfTheSoul, eye-contact is usually necessary, at least to initiate the manipulation.
** LaserGuidedAmnesia - Nevyn makes Rhodry forget that Bocc is a thief; many other uses as well.
** MindRape - Alastyr and Sarcyn against Camdel, Baruma against Rhodry. Physical pain, humiliation and physical rape are used in conjuction with magic.
** PerceptionFilter - Pulling one's own aura close.
** {{Telepathy}} - Mind-to-mind speech, often through fire but sometimes water or some other element.
*** ThinkInText - Mainly the widest-known italic convention is used to show the above. It has other uses in the series, but this is the most obvious.
** TongueTied - Jahdo in ''Days of Blood and Fire'' thanks to Verrarc's clever use of ensorcellment.
* MundaneUtility - The elemental spirits of fire are used a lot to light candles and fires.
* PsychicLink - Weak, but Jill/Branna and Nevyn/Neb have one, and Perryn could tell what direction Jill was in.
* ShapeShifting - Much more natural to elven dweomermasters, but at least humans can learn it as well. [[spoiler: The "Water" race, Dwergi, also have a natural form of shapeshifting.]]
** {{Animorphism}} - Mortal practitioners have the ability to transform into a single animal, which is a reflection of their inner nature.
** BalefulPolymorph - Discussed but never actually performed. Shapeshifting is a difficult enough process when doing it to one's self, so performing it on an unwilling subject would be even less likely to work without killing the subject (and there are easier ways to kill a man with magic). Besides, as discussed in the tropes below, none of the stories involving this trope mention anything about the resultant frog being big enough to ride.
** TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody - Jill (Hawk) once almost attacks Dallandra (Linnet.. sorta) when both are shifted.
** NoConservationOfEnergy - Averted, a magician's mazrak form is the same mass as their normal form. This tends to make a mazrak easy to identify, as 150+ pound birds are not natural.
** ShapeshifterModeLock - In ''The Silver Mage''
** ShapeshifterBaggage - Averted; most shifters either return to where they shifted, or have a bag to carry clothes in. Shapeshifters also retain mass, making them damn big in animal form.
** ShapeshifterDefaultForm - The Guardians consider the humanoid form to be their "natural" one.
** VoluntaryShapeshifting - In fact, learning even the one form requires years of training for mortals.
* TalkingInYourDreams - Used a lot; Dallandra is the most prominent but the Guardians, Nevyn, Nananna and Niffa are also proficient. Considering that Rhodry doesn't have any training in magic, he manages pretty well in this too.
* VisionQuest - Aderyn at the end of his training.
* WeatherControlMachine - Nevyn, Dallandra and Jill, the first two causing WeatherDissonance when a PersonalRaincloud appears over only one of the armies present.
* WrongContextMagic - Perryn's abilities to Nevyn and Elaeno.
* YourMindMakesItReal - The Ethereal and other planes.