When I read the description I actually thought the plot might be a little corny and since it was so long, I thought it might drag on a bit. However, for the most part, my initial impression could not have been more wrong. Well-described characters who are each unique with a past and personality fill this novel virtually from end to end with action, suspense, a little philosophy, and a story of real human struggles with choices and their consequences. The plot is not shallow or corny, but a well-worked and thorough framework for the tale of heroic people in difficult times.
I've never read any of Kay's work before, but after this, he's in my top ten list of authors.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reader
There’s really not much more to say than I LOVED TIGANA. Not too long ago, I was introduced to Guy Gavriel Kay with The Lions of Al-Rassan and I was really impressed with his ability to develop characters that you couldn’t help but fall in love with, flaws and all.
Tigana had that AND it was a true high fantasy, where Lions was more historical fiction with a touch of magic. It had been a long time since I had read good high fantasy and, man, I had no idea how much I missed it. So much of what I’ve read lately has been hard, gritty fantasy in the vein of Martin, Weeks, and Abercrombie, I had almost forgotten that fantasy can come in many flavors.
There’s just something about the elegance of high speech flowing from the mouths of true, noble characters that really speaks to me and Kay nailed it. I’m serious when I say this is the best high fantasy I’ve read outside of Tolkien.
As I mentioned previously, Kay has a way with characters and that was especially true in Tigana. I don’t think there was a single character that I couldn’t relate to expect for Alberico.
Combined with that, the story is beautifully written, part wonder, part glory, part sadness. It has all of the bittersweet elements that a great fantasy novel needs.
After reading Tigana, there’s no doubt in my mind that I will read more from Kay’s catalog–I owe it to myself and you owe it to yourself to read Tigana if you like fantasy at all. And if you prefer audio books, this is perfect–Simon Vance’s performance could not have been more fitting.
When I like something I'll let you know. If I don't, I'll let you know that too!
If you enjoy visiting a mystical and magical world you will enjoy Tigana. I don't understand others comments about the narrator. I find his performances contribute to my listening enjoyment.
This book rates very very high on my list of outstanding audiobooks. Not only is the story engaging, but the descriptive writing is luxurious, and the characters grab the heart and don't let go. In addition, the narrator - Simon Vance - is amazing!
It is impossible to pick just one. It is the interplay between the characters that create an ebb and flow to the relationships, and polish or cloud the many facets of each of the characters. One thing I can say for sure...I didn't want to see any of them perish, except Alberico. It was very easy to like the various characters and to become emotionally attached to most of them - something that created great sadness as the conflicts unfolded and moved towards the story's climax.
Vance's clarity is a delight, and his ability to individualize each character is much appreciated. Beyond this, however, his ability to model the language so there is a play of light and shadow to his reading - he does not just read words and sentences, but he imbues the flow of language with nuances and meaning going well beyond the words - this is pure vocal and intellectual artistry.
I have to say this book is a really really long read. It's difficult to listen to. At times you're lost in the who's who, and some characters are so similar you can easily get them mixed up.
I'm afraid this book is probably a better read, than it is a listen - at least the first time around. It's a LONG story, and very slow. The writing is excellent, but all the same, you never feel completely immersed in the story. While I liked a few of the characters, I felt incredibly frustrated at the slow pacing of this story.
If you don't mind waiting until the very end of the story for a grand climax, and FINALLY seeing things happen. (and with a book this long, that's a LONG wait) You might be better off finding something a littler punchier than Tigana.
I believed that no author would ever meet Dorothy
Dunnett's standard as my all time favorite. Now Kay is so close to that standard that I really couldn't say which author I would take to the "desert Island with one book". Yes it is fantasy--almost-- it is historical --almost. It is without a doubt GREAT!
I admit, this is hard to get started with this book. There are a lot of characters, and since they are working under a shroud of lost cultural memory, at first they don't know who is friend or foe, and sometimes they assume different iidentities, further confusing an already convoluted landscape. The listener/reader is going to be lost along with with the characters for a while...maybe even the first 1/3 of the book. However, Guy Gavriel Kay develops complex characters who are living through difficult times and he develops the characters masterfully and only then will the plot(s) unfold. I don't think you will like this book if you are looking for action start to finish, but if you can get through the character development, it is a wonderful book. It reads like poetry.
Good Book Lover
I loved reading Tigana, and I loved listening to it almost as much. Simon Vance is a good narrator. Kay really develops his characters in this novel, unlike in Last Light of the Sun, which I also just finished, and was very disappointed with. Any Kay fan should enjoy this audiobook.
It is SO nice to read a writer who KNOWs how to develop a character without resorting to an internal, rambling and somewhat naive soliloquy. One who knows the art of creating AND developing Interesting Characters. LOTS of them ...but who doesn't have a NEED to tell you EVERY SINGLE (completely irrelevent) detail. Someone who can tell even tell WHICH details ARE needed to suggest a story in your mind. An author who knows HOW to use setting to set atmosphere within the piece. An ARTIST who knows how to develop the drama :) That being said, onto the: WOW. What a strange story. A tale written with beautifully ironic and poetic strokes. Can you tell that I REALLY liked this one? Form your own opinion... this is just mine :)
This is a rich, vibrant story of pride, conquest and revolution. The characters come to life, the action is balanced well with character development and the intricacy is well-balanced as well, adding to the depth rather than bogging the story down. While a few of the names are pronounced by the narrator in ways I wouldn't have personally, it isn't a terrible distraction. This is a highly recommended listen!