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A Song for Arbonne | [Guy Gavriel Kay]

A Song for Arbonne

A Song for Arbonne is Guy Gavriel Kay's critically acclaimed fantasy of love, both courtly and forbidden, and of kingdoms endlessly opposed - one dominated by male rulers and their male god, the other guided by women and their goddess.
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Publisher's Summary

A Song for Arbonne is Guy Gavriel Kay's critically acclaimed fantasy of love, both courtly and forbidden, and of kingdoms endlessly opposed - one dominated by male rulers and their male god, the other guided by women and their goddess.

©2002 Guy Gavriel Kay; (P)2009 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (168 )
5 star
 (87)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (105 )
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3 star
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Story
4.6 (101 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Yaryna Toronto, Ontario, Canada 07-23-10
    Yaryna Toronto, Ontario, Canada 07-23-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An alternate world"

    A powerful story, rich in history and detail, despite not being set in any real historical events.

    Yes, the first half an hour is a tad hard to follow, with a tremendous amount of new characters being rapidly introduced in a complex mish mash of time and geography. However, once events start unfolding, the story brims with magic and detail, and you find yourself engrossed. By the way, I don't mean magic in the fantastical sense of the word. I mean that Kay has created an alternate world, different from our own, and yet not so foreign that it doesn't ring true. It is simply a complex, rich place with traditions and beliefs and coincidences that start to weave together in a way that is full of mystery, awe and beauty... as well as a great deal of ugliness and hate.

    The singing is wonderful, really filling out the politics, religion and geography of the region that start to feel familiar and tangible half way through the book. The mass of characters fill out, becoming very discernable individuals, clashing and coming together to tell this story. The story seems simple, but is brought together in a complex way.

    Wonderful narration. And the singing! Superb.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Santa Ana, CA, USA 08-12-09
    John Santa Ana, CA, USA 08-12-09
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    "First 50 pages makes it 4 not 5 stars"

    Ok, I will admit to being a bit of a GGK fanboy. I love his work almost universally. I even have his book of poetry (I treasure it.)
    That being said I found Last Light of the Sun hard to get into and the intro to the mosaic books very confusing.
    Now that you know were I stand I will address A Song for Arbonne. The beginning of this book is tough. There are a lot of characters with strange names introduced very fast. This is hard to handle in the printed version. I found that with the wonderful character voices used in the audio version actual names became less important than knowing who was who from there voice. Buy the time the story gets rolling you learn the names.
    The descriptive writing in this book is breath taking. People and places come to life. If you are a fan of music and the idea that something as everyday as a song can change the world this book is for you.
    Often in audio books male readers butcher the female characters. I think this narrator did as good of a job with the females as the males. Multiple characters sing, both girls and boys, and they were all very well done. I really liked the slight but present troubadour style that was applied to the singing.
    To sum up: A little hard at the very beginning but well worth the effort.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanna O'Connor, Australia 11-20-13
    Suzanna O'Connor, Australia 11-20-13
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    "Another Amazing Book by Guy Gavriel Kay"

    This is a beautiful, complex novel set in a fictional mediaeval world, probably the same world as his Sarantine series, but in a different area. Like most books by this author, the characters are complex, and the plot weaves richly together towards a stunning ending. It is very well read. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris Richmond, VA, United States 05-25-13
    chris Richmond, VA, United States 05-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "My favorite audio book."

    This is my favorite performance of a book. For me what sets it apart is that the verses are sung instead of spoken. I read the book years ago, and it has always been one of my favorites, but Euan Morton's reading, and singing, of it really brought Arbonne alive for me with it's Court of Love and the exalting of Troubadours... He just brought out the different cultures that Guy Kay had created in a way that made them understandable to me. A great book written by Guy Kay, and read by Euan Morton...



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeighAna LONGVIEW, TX, United States 03-16-14
    LeighAna LONGVIEW, TX, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Beautifull Written Tale!"
    Where does A Song for Arbonne rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a top ranked story. I can't possibly give books a number rank, I've listened to too many. I'll go with percentages. This is a top ten percent book. I've never listened to or read anything by Kay, but I'll be diving into his works after this one.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The shadowing of history. This book mirrors, in a fantasy world, the Albigensian Crusade and the story of the Cathars.


    Which character – as performed by Euan Morton – was your favorite?

    Blaise definitely, but his women were soft and well done. No annoying high pitched voices or impressions that he was trying too hard.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me sigh. At the end. Because it was over.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 03-30-13
    William 03-30-13 Member Since 2009
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    "No brainer, amazing buy!!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Song for Arbonne the most enjoyable?

    The main character and his development are exceptional.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters and unexpected plot twists... and some of the expected ones.


    What about Euan Morton’s performance did you like?

    He is consistent with his characters and even made the short singing parts worth hearing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, you have to pay too close attention to listen for very long periods.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent use of a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher United States 07-15-12
    Christopher United States 07-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Lyrical fantasy"
    What made the experience of listening to A Song for Arbonne the most enjoyable?

    Kay remains a master at weaving together his fantastic tapestries, allowing for subtle character development and amazing world-creation.


    What does Euan Morton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator underplays the difference between the characters' voices, so that it feels more like a single narrator throughout. The story itself it so engaging that I think this is wise, as different voices can be distracting. The inclusion of original tunes for the lyrics and a nice tenor definitely adds color to the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Saline, MI, United States 12-05-11
    Amazon Customer Saline, MI, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2011

    jlarke

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    "Couldn't handle Morton's performance"

    I'm a big fan of the book, but Morton's reading didn't work for me at all. His voices tend to sound similar to one another, and when he tries hard to differentiate them, they sound forced. I will give him credit for bringing the music to life - it's a key plot point in the book and he clearly worked at it. Perhaps it would require a cast rather than a single reader to really do this book justice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Colorado, USA 10-22-09
    Thomas Colorado, USA 10-22-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Morton's Narration Saved This One For Me"

    This audiobook is probably more for those into character development than action. I bought this because I'm a fan of Euan Morton's narration, and that is the best part of this audiobook to me. Morton again is a marvel and who knew, he can even sing!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachael Saad 07-21-09 Member Since 2004
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    "****PASS****"

    I have listened to this book painfully for 3 and half hours trying to give it a chance. During that time I can't tell you who the main characters are or what the story is about. So far the book has gone in so many directions its like going in circles with new/more characters at every turn. Sorry but this is over written and says little.

    2 of 11 people found this review helpful
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