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A Time of Omens (Novel of the Westlands) by [Kerr, Katharine]
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A Time of Omens (Novel of the Westlands) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 413 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The workings of fate cut across centuries to affect the lives of people destined to bring a vanishing race into the cycle of incarnation in the latest fantasy by the author of A Time of Exile (LJ 3/15/91) . Prince Rhodry and his fate-linked companions fight creatures of dark magic in a story that takes place over three centuries and as many serial incarnations. The world of Deverry is richly detailed, and Kerr's characters are genuinely appealing, but the intricate plot requires familiarity with earlier titles. This graceful fantasy adventure is for libraries that already have other titles in the series.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Sixth of Kerr's Celtic/elf/reincarnation/magic novels of the Westlands (A Time of Exile, 1991, etc.), in which the author weaves numerous past and present narrative threads primarily, one is obliged to conclude, to disguise the inadequacy of the plot. Here, the powerful dweomer-master (magician) Jill journeys among Bardek's remotest islands to search for the meaning of a riddling inscription on a ring belonging to the half-elven King Rhodry of Deverry. In so doing, Jill contacts Dallandra, an influential once- human sorceress who has lived on the etheric plane for centuries. Dallandra's lover, Evandar, is a Guardian, one of a highly magical, mysterious nonhuman race that exists only on the etheric plane. It transpires that the Guardians are caught in some sort of astral trap, possibly self-made, wherein they are doomed to dwindle and vanish--unless Dallandra can enlist Jill's help in translating the Guardians from the etheric plane to the mundane, a move that will save them but which many Guardians are most reluctant to make. A slender plot padded out with the usual reincarnational forays into the past: adequate for undemanding series fans, tediously self-referential for everyone else, and not nearly distinctive enough to break out of the mold. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3724 KB
  • Print Length: 413 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (May 20, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 2, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4CF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,232 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am surprised there are no other reviews of this book, as it is part of one of the truly outstanding series in fantasy fiction, and certainly deserving of some of the attention currently being heaped upon the contemporaneous "World of Time" series by Jordan, or the recent "A Song of Ice and Fire" begun by Martin. While lacking in some of the richness of detail and characterization present in those works, nonetheless this series is deserving of serious attention by fans of the genre.
Set within a celtic realm, Kerr's tale actually follows the interwoven stories of several different characters spread across a time span of several hundred years in the history of the Westlands. Some readers used to the more conventional use of a linear plot may find this disconcerting, but Kerr has used it effectively and originally in evolving her story over the past six books. The realms of Westlands are varied and richly landscaped, and the mythology behind the world intriguing. The only flaw that prevented me from assigning 5 stars to this book was Kerr's sketchy handling of Jill's time spent in Anmurdio, a problem similar to those that plagued Kerr's first book, "Daggerspell." Nonetheless, a worthy successor to previous books in the series, and definately well worth the read.
One final note of complaint, directed at the publisher: It would be helpful, for those of us with a geographical bent, to provide maps of the Westlands with all of the books in the series. Since the second, book maps have been absent, except for a partial map available in "The Dragon Revenant." Even more irritating is the lack of provision in certain books of a full and complete character list covering at least the major characters in all six books. With all the shifts in plot line in time that take place, as well as the reappearance of certain characters in later books, it would be helpful to have this aid for one's memory.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those unfamiliar with the series, it is told in a nonlinear, braided style, alternating between the 'present day' with Jill and Rhodry, and various narrative threads in the past. Characters who fail to learn lessons in a current life are reborn to work through their problems until the souls involved finally get it *right* - so characters can die, and tragically, and only the magicians of the dweomer know that it ends nothing and solves nothing.
This volume picks up the thread of the Time of Troubles where _The Bristling Wood_ left off, and is continued in _The Red Wyvern_. In the present day, picking up a thread from _The Dragon Revenant_, Salamander has turned his talent for dweomer into a living as a stage magician in the Bardek archipelago; as a half-elf, he has a life long enough to search for the soul of his beloved wife, dead untimely of fever, until he finds her reincarnation. Alas, the dweomer can't just be turned on and off like a lightswitch, and he'll pay for his abandonment of his true calling someday if he doesn't look out.
In the time of troubles, Maryn, the young Marked Prince of Pyrdon, is being groomed by Nevyn as the high king who can bring the wars to a halt, since he has close blood ties to all the contending claims for the throne, except Cerrmor - and since Cerrmor's heir is Princess Bellyra, an unmarried girl of Maryn's own age, that's not a problem. Cerrmor is in dire straits, and will welcome Maryn as a suitor for Bellyra with open arms - if he can get there alive. (Bellyra, for her part, is intelligent enough to realize that he'll never love her; she's just what he needs for the kingdom's sovereignty, and maybe a friend and ally, but no more.)
Some followers of the dark dweomer attempted to work magic against Maryn by creating a curse tablet.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been reading this series since 1998, and love it. Having it available in eBook format is a fantastic plus; I'm on limited space, and need to cut back on the physical volumes.

Unfortunately, this Kindle edition - unlike the physically printed "dead tree" edition - is marred by myriad typos and formatting errors. Some of them are minor (using the wrong apostrophe for abbreviations; hyphenation marks where they don't belong); some are more significant (spelling mistakes, probably from OCR errors that weren't caught on a proof-read; poor text flow - missing paragraph breaks and similar.)

The book itself - indeed, the entire series - is a fantastic read, and well worth the asking price. Sadly, the eBook edition needs more polish before it can be called a properly finished product. The same applies to the other three books in the Westlands cycle of the overall series (I haven't yet bought the other 11 books for my Kindle.)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Book 6 in the Deverry saga, which is composed of different cycles, or parts. So, it is also Book 2 of the Westland cycle (the second cycle).

The cycles share the same characters and progress in chronological order (however with flashbacks inside of them), but focus on different plots.

A Time of Exile (Book 5, or Book 1 of the new cycle) set this new plot: a mysterious rose ring owned by Rhodry, his return to his father's people (the Elves, also know as Westfolk), and the destiny of Dallandra, who was once Aderyn's wife.

A Time of Omens follows this plot, and has Jill travel to the Bardekian Islands, accompanied with Salamander, in search of lore, while a long flashback make us learn more about the time of the civil wars.

This new book offers a variety of locations and some pivotal elements that will reveal themselves essential to the following books and even cycles. The writing remains as lively and efficient as before, while the characters reveal new facets of their personality.

As always, a very good novel!
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