The Fire Dragon (Dragon Mage Series #3)

The Fire Dragon (Dragon Mage Series #3)

by Katharine Kerr

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Overview

Katharine Kerr has enchanted readers with her magical Deverry and Westlands cycle, and now she brings to a breathtaking conclusion the epic saga begun with The Red Wyvern and The Black Raven.

The final chapter begins in the holy city as it rises from the ashes of Deverry's long wars. Prince Maryn prepares to claim the high kingship, but still the rebel Boar clan stands fast against him. And at court, his illicit passion for the young dweomer apprentice, Lilli, threatens to revive a curse that only she — at her own peril — can lift.

It is a drama that will be played out centuries later in the city of Cerr Cawnen. Among the many who take refuge in the lakeside citadel, nestled in a volcano's shadow, are a Westfolk band guided by the elven enchantress Dallandra and protected by Rhodry Maelwaedd and his fiery guardian dragon.

Meanwhile, from the north come the savage Horsekin slavers, ancient foe of the Westfolk, now bent on the domination of Cerr Cawnen. They are awaited by the sorceress Raena, their self-sworn high priestess and the votary of an evil goddess. Now, as Rhodry and Raena renew their timeless enmity, the fate of the city and every soul within it hangs in the balance — and on an act of self-sacrifice dangerous beyond imagining.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553582475
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/2001
Series: Deverry Series , #11
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 528,080
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.92(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Katharine Kerr first became involved in the field of fantasy through role-playing games, feeling so intrigued that she began writing articles for gaming magazines and for some time was a contributing editor to Dragon magazine. This interest soon led her into the field of fantasy writing, with her first Deverry novel, Daggerspell, appearing in 1986. Since then, Kerr has written many more fantasy and science fiction novels. Her Deverry series has hit The Times (London) and the Australian bestseller lists.

Read an Excerpt

Sunlight streamed into the tower room and pooled on the wooden floor. Grey gnomes with spindle legs and warty faces materialized in the warmth and lolled like cats. Despite his great age, Nevyn felt tempted to join them. He sat in the chamber's only chair and considered his apprentice, who was sitting cross-legged among the gnomes. She turned her face up to the sun and ran one hand through her blonde hair, which fell to her shoulders in a ragged wave.

"Spring's truly here," Lilli said. "I'm so glad of it, and yet I dread summer. You must, too."

"I do," Nevyn said. "It won't be long now before the army rides out, and the gods only know what the battles will bring."

"Just so. All I can do is pray that Branoic rides home safely."

"You've grown truly fond of Branoic, haven't you?"

"I have. The prince doesn't like it much." Lilli opened her eyes and turned to look up at him. "You don't think he'd do anything dishonorable, would you?"

"Prince Maryn, you mean? What sort of dishonor — "

"Letting Branno be killed in battle. Putting him in harm's way somehow. It sounds so horrid when I say it aloud. I can't imagine Maryn doing such a thing, truly. I'm just frightened, I suppose, and it's coloring my fancies."

"No doubt." Nevyn hesitated, wondering if her fear were only fancy or some half-seen omen. As apprentices so often did, she picked up his thought.

"I've been meaning to ask you somewhat," Lilli went on. "You know how the omens used to come to me? I'd be sewing or thinking of some ordinary thing, and then all of a sudden the words would come bursting out of my mouth?"

"I remember it well."

"It doesn't happen anymore."

"Good." Nevyn smiled at her. "It's a common thing, that a person marked for the dweomer will have some wild gift, but when she starts a proper course of study, she loses the knack. Later, once you truly understand what you're doing, the gift will return to you."

"I see. To tell you the truth, I'm just as glad. I'd be terrified if I could see — well, you know — someone's death."

"Just so." Nevyn hesitated, thinking. It was likely that if grave harm befell either the prince or her betrothed, she would know, no matter how far away she was. He decided that worrying her the more would serve no purpose and changed the subject. "I need to be on my way. The prince is holding a council — at noon, he said, so I suppose I'd better get myself there." He stood up, stretching his arms above his head. "You may finish the lesson I set you from the dweomer book."

"Those awful lists?"

"I realize that the memory work is tedious." Nevyn arranged a mock-fierce expression. "But those calls and invocations will come in handy some fine day. Learn that first page for today."

"I do understand. I've got part of them off by heart already."

"Splendid. Keep at it. But if you finish before I get back, there's no need for you to stay shut up inside. The more sun you get, the better."

Nevyn hurried down the stone stairs, which still exuded a wintry chill, and walked out to the sunlight and the main ward of Dun Deverry and the looming towers of the dun itself. Not even the bright spring day could turn the smoke-blackened stone cheerful. The fortress spread out over the top of a hill, bound by six high stone walls, lying at intervals down the hill like chains upon the earth. Tall towers, squat brochs, wooden sheds, long barracks, and stables — they sprawled in a plan turned random by hundreds of years of decay, the fires of war, and the disasters of siege, followed by what new building and fortifying the kings had been able to afford. In among the buildings lay cobbled wards and plain dirt yards, cut up by stone walls, some isolated, all confusing.

In the center of this tangle, however, lay a proper ward, and in its center rose the tidy cluster of brochs and towers that housed the prince, his family, his personal guards, and the many officials and servants that made up his court. Against the black stone, bright banners displayed a red wyvern on a cream ground, lifting and trembling in the breeze. As Nevyn was crossing this ward, he saw Princess Bellyra just leaving the main broch tower. With two pages and one of her husband's bards in attendance, she was heading for the door of one of the side buildings. Dressed in blue linen, she walked slowly, her hands resting on her belly, heavy with her third child. Her honey-colored hair was bound up in a scarf stiff with embroidery, as befitted a married woman of her rank.

"Nevyn!" she called out. "Are you off to the high council?"

"I am, Your Highness. Why are you going inside in this lovely weather?"

"It's that bit of old map you found for me. I simply have to go see the room it refers to."

"Ah, indeed. I'm curious about it myself, actually. If you could let me know what you find?"

"I will. But you'd best hurry. Maryn's been looking for you."

Nevyn bowed, then hurried through the double doors of the central broch. The great hall covered the entire ground floor, a huge round room scattered with wooden tables, benches, and a small collection of chairs at the table reserved for the prince himself. At either side stood enormous stone hearths, one for the prince's riders and the servants, the other, far grander, for the noble-born. Despite the spring warmth outside, fires smoldered in each to drive off the damp.

Nevyn wove his way through the tables and the dogs scattered on the straw-strewn floor. About halfway between doors and hearths a stone staircase spiralled up the wall. He'd climbed only a few steps when someone hailed him from below. He turned to see Councillor Oggyn just mounting the stairs himself. He was a stout man, Oggyn, and egg-bald, though he sported a bristling black beard. He was carrying an armful of rolled parchments.

"Good day," Nevyn said. "Are those the ledgers?"

"They are, my lord," Oggyn said. "I've recorded all the dues and taxes owed our prince by the royal demesne. I'm cursed glad he can count on the Cerrmor taxes for a while longer."

"So am I. Getting the army fit to march would strip his local holdings bare."

"Just so. We'll have to wait for provisions from the south, and that's that. I just hope our prince sees reason. I know he's impatient to be on the move."

"Oh, I'm sure he will. I'm hoping that our enemies are as badly off as we are."

They climbed in silence to the first landing, where Oggyn paused to catch his breath. He looked out over the great hall below while he mopped his bald head with a rag.

"Somewhat else I wanted to lay before you, my lord," Oggyn said. "I saw our princess going about her investigations just now. Is that wise?"

"Well, the midwives all swear that the walking will do her naught but good."

"Splendid, but that's not quite my meaning. That bard. Is he fit company for her?"

"Ah. I see."

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Fire Dragon 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Fire Dragon, the third book in the second series by Katharine Kerr is an outstanding book. It is the newest book in the Dragon Mage series I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recomend it.
magemanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third book in the Dragon Mage sequence. In this book we spend about half of our time in the past, concluding the storyline concerning Lillorigga, princess Bellyra, Maddyn the bard and the prince Maryn. The second half of the book shifts the plot forwards concerning Rhodry, Dallandra, Niffa, Raena and the dragon Arzosah. In my opinion this is by far the best book written by Katharine Kerr in the whole Deverry series. I was gripped throughout. Of necessity considering the curse of the dweomer tablet, the first half of the story was bleak and heartbreaking. A number of my very favourite characters from this particular timeline came to fairly dire ends, which left me close to tears. Each of the various characters was treated with respect, except for Maryn and Oggyn - by the end of this section, it became very easy to hate both of them.I was mightily relieved that Rhodry's story pushed forwards - but the ending to the book also left me near weeping with how sad, and yet how appropriate it was. Rhodry truly stepped forward to save the people he both cared for and had grown apart from. He and Arzosah became true soul mates in terms of how they viewed each other.The other character that came into her own in this novel was Dallandra. I made no secret in my reviews of the previous Deverry books that I held a great dislike for this Elven dweomer master. Her treatment of Aderyn and the way she pandered to Evandar's every whim annoyed me intensely, and every part of her journey seemed particularly boring in comparison to the other threads of the story that were occurring. However, here she became a compassionate and wise teacher, someone who put others before herself and sought only to do what is right - including trying at the very end to redeem Raena.This novel left a very powerful impact, and I sense that Kerr is starting to unwind the real crux of the Deverry tale. I look forward eagerly to more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the complete series. It would help to be able to look up people from and their roles from the previous books if at all possible.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The last post wan in 2013 hehehe. And the first revew was in the year 2000!!! Ninjago wasnt even thaught of!!! -ZaneMasterOfIce739
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok here take this stick put in your mouth and when you feel a spasm bite down and push
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'll admit, the two books following Darkspell were a little tough to swallow, but Fire Dragon and those after Time of Exile are too well rewarding! I love Katherine Kerr's characters, and you get a feel that Kerr puts her all into creating 3-d, memorable people to populate Deverry and the Westlands. Bravo!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book brings back the spark of the first few books of the Deverry series. It includes the conclusion for Prince Maryn's way to the throne as well as some excitement in the present. The Maryn story has an extremely depressing end, yet not all endings can be happy. This was probably one of the more interesting looks into the Prince Maryn story. There is a dry period in the middle of the present story, but reading it through is rewarded with numerous surprises in the end. Loyal Deverry readers should prepare to be shocked repeatedly in the last 50 or so pages.