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 :)
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.
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!
Characters were typical fantasy characters: innocent boy, ousted prince, wizard, nubile young woman, random fighters, character drafted against his will becoming a hero for the cause.. and a host of other similar, formulaic cast members. Every man is a hero, every woman is a mix between innocent and incredibly beautiful (and willing.. for the right cause). There were some plot twists here, but never anything earth shattering or that interesting. And in multiple cases, I found myself thinking the people actually did something so OUT of character that the 'teachable moment' was unbelievable and mildly annoying.
Too much of the character development hinges on backstory. There are unnecessary subplots that take up room in this book that could have been better used to really develop the story. The sometimes weird sex scenes didn't help either: they fluctuated from useless and violating to just plain violating. The only one that seemed important to the plot was incestuous. How's that for weird?
I did love the story between Brandin and Dianora, but considering she was a slave... in hindsight I'm not sure what to make of it either. Definitely not an attempt here for truly strong female characters (all end up in (what passes for) every woman's fantasy, and all are celebrated for annoyingly mild acts of courage. Cutting off her hair gets tears and sympathetic looks, while cutting off his fingers gets advice and something like, "get back out there, soldier!")
It earns three stars for good vocabulary use, and being generally ok. The premise was very interesting, and the storytelling rich enough to keep me listening. Not really worth my credit, though.
Yes, and the narrator did an excellent job here, as usual.
Oh please no. Just.. no.
Wish I'd skipped the author commentary at the end. The book is so-so on it's own merit (interesting story, but nothing else) but the author's attempts to explain the greater themes- which failed completely here- just irritated me. If I was rating this book by what I was SUPPOSED to get out of it, I would give it 1 star. He does explain, in a way, why this book failed so completely: he had a grand plan for discussion of social issues, and then tried to build it into a story. That could have worked with a different author. Instead, it was a case of, "Jack of all trades, master of none."
Nothing is better than the well-written sci-fi story. I'm even trying to write one too. But these days, I have expanded my taste --a bit.
The author's very poetic writing style. The dialogue in particular was so authentic sounding. Characters of many fantasies sound like regular 21st century blokes, but these seemed legitimately foreign. Also his similes were so precise and insightful. I didn't hear a single world that was out of place.
The idea that the name of a people was obliterated from memory. I'm glad the author's after word was included because it added a lot to the reading.
Excellent. Someone could have told me that there was an entire cast and I would have believed them. His female voices could not pass, but I was so into the story, that they blended right in.
When some of the central characters admitted that they cared for each other. There were too such moments but they were written differently so they did not seem redundant. I liked that because as I begin to care about characters, I feel like I'm part of that moment. *sniff* I'm sorry. . .
Sometimes characters acted outside of what I considerate to be their believable range of behavior. The incest seemed to serve no purpose and neither character seemed to give it a 2nd thought. Incest is a big deal. The two romantic "hook-ups" in the end made no sense. Both sere out of the blue and had no basis. Im OK with a twist, but the twist needs to make sense. And both felt like an after thought like when Leia and Han suddenly were in love and Luke was out. It would have been good to know the rules of magic or get an exposition of what wizards could and could not do. Explain why everyone just destiny just do that head explosion thing. Or why everyone doesn't just teleport with some archers, let fly some arrows and blink out again. Also the sister of Berd, died in disgrace by doing the opposite of her mission. That's a big deal too What's up with that. And she does not even have a face to face with her lover/brother. I was expecting that confrontation, and it never came. None of this kept me from enjoying the story, but there is.
The reader was decent. The story itself, well it was dry. I felt like I was walking through a desert with little to drink.
The book kept going over the same principles constantly. Completely redundant.
Began reading sci-fi 71 years ago, at age 4, will continue until my clock quits ticking.. Best education one could have ever wished for.
This is a fine story, filled with memorable characters, romance and all the elements of what makes the genre so entertaining. It is given life with the talents of Simon Vance who's narrative is breathtaking.