A Time of War by Katharine Kerr

By Katharine Kerr

E-book seven of the prestigious Deverry sequence, an epic delusion rooted in Celtic mythology that intricately interweaves human and elven historical past over a number of hundred years.

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With a flap and a screech, the falcon flew away. ‘It be gone now,’ Jahdo said. ’ ‘Bad geas, lad, bad bad geas! Don’t you understand? ’ ‘But there can’t be a bird that large. ’ ‘Hah! You don’t understand, then. I should have known you didn’t, when you didn’t sound afraid. A mazrak, lad, that’s what it must be. ’ ‘Huh? ’ ‘Just that. ’ Jahdo quite simply didn’t know what to say. While they’d been travelling, Meer had been teaching him lore, just as he’d promised. The bard’s tales had introduced him to an entirely new world, one where the gods moved among men and demons fought them, where spirits roamed the earth and caused mischief, where magic was a necessary part of life, as well, to fend all these presences off or to bend the weaker ones to your will.

More hills. ’ ‘We’ll camp here, then. ’ ‘I can just see it, truly. I thought I’d take the waterskins down. ’ ‘I do, if you don’t mind fetching me one. The lore says that one of the fifty-two contrary things is this: sitting in the rain makes a man thirsty. ’ Jahdo slung the pair of waterskins, joined by a thong, across his shoulders and picked his way through the trees and tangled bracken. The little stream flowed between shallow banks, all slippery with mossy rocks and tiny ferns; predictably enough, he lost his footing and slid into the water.

Although it seemed to Evandar that a mere hour or two had gone by since he’d seen the Gel da’Thae bard and spoken with Jahdo, ten whole days of Time as we measure it in our world had passed for them. They’d been following the stream south, stopping often to rest the horse and mule, since by then they were long out of oats. Although they skirted hills, rising off to the north and east, the river itself seemed headed for lower country. As the river deepened, the banks turned flat and grassy, so that the walking became much easier, even though the forest grew thick and wild to either hand.

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