This book never went anywhere. Characters, Devon for instance, never advanced. Yes, there was some backfill of their history but not much. At the end I was kicking myself for wasting so much time listening. Not even the brilliant Simon Vance could save this one.
Well written and performed. I have found few single Fantasy books that have the feel of a complex Trilogy. This book does and leaves you looking for more but with the acceptance that the story is over. Characters possess human qualities not present in many fantasies, far less of the normal black and white of good and evil, with more shades of gray. Characters struggle with their own choices and the impact their decisions have on others. I enjoyed it immensely.
The description of the world, the politics, and the environment is quite detailed in this book. I just feel like the characters are so cardboard, I did not click with one single character in this book. I am interested in individuals and relationships, not so much in politics and national culture. If you are interested in an sociological view of a magical world, this is the book for you.
epic, heart-wrenching, memory
Devin, moved the story and brought along emotion, innocence and intelligence.
The ending, when we learn who the fool truly is and he gets his vengeance.
The moment after Catriana's rescue when she and Alessan are finally able to be weak and support one another.
This book was beautiful and astounding in every way. The prose was beautiful, the twists and turns well thought out, and the characters deep. I felt for nearly all of them, even the evil tyrant who created the mess they're in. A great sweeping fantasy adventure.
The characters were not perfect. They were well developed humans. The good guys didn't always win and they didn't always survive. I missed the book for weeks after.
That is the thing. No one character stood out throughout the whole book. they all were terrific when it was their time.
Simon Vance did a really good job.
Thought provoking tale
Devin, the thinker.
Does there seem to be a theme running through my answers? Yes. This tale pushes us to rethink how we view the interaction of leaders and their choices for the people they lead, and for themselves. Not all is as it seems from the outside looking in.
The story features a classic scenario of outcast heroes on their way to free their society from tyranny. However, this story is not the point of the book. The book is about memories, self and identity. What composes these things? Choices and how the effect the world around us.
There are some similarities to the Game of Thrones series in style, but Guy Gavriel Kay writes in a unique manner that I haven't seen reproduced by any other author. There are a dozen similar plot lines, but few go beyond the swashbuckling aspect like Kay chooses to. The closest similar series I can recall are Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.
Listening to Tigana was a magical experience that I will definitely repeat. The story was very moving and relatable despite being set in an entirely fictional world.
There were many memorable moments. The prologue had tears in my eyes; the exchange in the hunting lodge; Katriana's daring mission; Baird's experience with the nightwalkers; the whole ending.
All of his performances were amazing but Brandon was probably my favorite. The different accents, especially for the Egrathans and the Barbadians helped me hold on to the idea that these were foreign invaders. (I don't know if I'm spelling any of these names correctly.)
There were many, many parts that moved me to tears or laughter but the ending left a lasting impression on me.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
First off - Simon Vance is amazing and he improves anything he sets his voice to. I listened to this book as part of a book club. There were many people that almost gave up or gave up on this book. The book starts very slowly so just be aware that it takes a few hours to get going.
The author was the man that helped Tolkien's son put together Silmarillion so you get the idea on his style. Many compare him to GRR Martin, which is pretty accurate. But at least Martin is enriching a world for a huge series. The author spends a lot of time on ambiance and loves to introduce characters wherever and give you various tidbits on the world even into the almost end of the book. It's just really strange pacing is what I'm getting at.
The good is that it's a decent fantasy story that explores, predominantly, what would happen if a magician was able to wipe out a culture by taking away its name. It also deals with a prince's long journey to bring down the two new leaders after the fall of said culture.
So the pluses are - standard fantasy with pretty prose & solid and believable ending.
Minuses- Too many characters using first person narrative, not enough action, didn't care about barely any of the characters.
Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my all-time favourite authors. I have all his books in hardcover and re-read them regularly to experience the richness of his worlds and the complex relationships of the characters. Here are no long, drawn-out, many-tomed series that seem never-ending. I enjoy getting into the heads of his characters and there are not so many points of view that one ever gets confused.
Of all his books Tigana is perhaps my favourite, along with The Lions of Al Rassan. The story is epic and moving filled with camaraderie and poignant irony, a lot like life. I got this as an audio book because I thought that the story would lend itself to the oral method and I was not disappointed. Simon Vance does and admirable job telling the story and changing accents for the various peoples. My only problem, because I know the story so well, is that some of his voices were not ones I would have imagined. Still, his reading/portraying is clear and easy to understand and his pronunciations are impeccable.
Now I will happily listen again as well as read again.