Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Kerr, Katharine

(1944-    ) US author whose relatively complex Deverry sequence (still in progress) began with Daggerspell (1986; rev 1993). Set in the Kingdom of Deverry – an imaginary Western European post-Roman country – between the 7th and 11th centuries, the Deverry novels tell a complicated story of several characters whose destinies entangle through successive Reincarnations. The series is notable less for its topos – which is populated, although sparsely, with fairly conventional dwarves, elves and dragons – than for the intelligence with which KK limns the details of her world, especially its linguistic aspects. The eight novels so far published fall into two quartets, with a third projected. The remaining volumes of the Kingdom of Deverry sequence are Darkspell (1987; rev 1994), The Bristling Wood (1989; vt Dawnspell: The Bristling Wood 1989 UK) and The Dragon Revenant (1990; vt Dawnspell: The Southern Sea 1990 UK). The Westlands CycleA Time of Exile (1991), A Time of Omens (1992 UK), A Time of War: Days of Blood and Fire (1993 UK; vt Days of Blood and Fire 1993 US) and A Time of Justice: Days of Air and Darkness (1994 UK; vt Days of Blood and Fire 1994 US) – is the better of the two. The later volumes are more polished and assured than the earlier ones.

Freezeframes (coll of linked stories, dated 1994 but 1995 UK; vt Freeze Frames 1995 US), which includes an earlier short novel, Resurrection (1992 chap), combines elements of sf with supernatural elements. It was announced as the first of a longer sequence. Like the individual Deverry novels, it comprises a closely knit series of novellas: KK seems to be attracted to multi-volume sequences braided from novellas arranged several per volume. [GF]

other works: Polar City Blues (1990), sf; Weird Tales from Shakespeare (anth 1994) and Enchanted Forests (anth 1995), both ed with Martin H Greenberg.

Katharine Kerr

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.