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Ysabel | [Guy Gavriel Kay]

Ysabel

Saint-Sauveur Cathedral of Aix-en-Provence is an ancient structure of many secrets -a perfect monument to fill the lens of a celebrated photographer, and a perfect place for the photographer's son, Ned Marriner, to lose himself while his father works. But the cathedral isn't the empty edifice it appears to be. Its history is very much alive in the present day - and it's calling out to Ned...
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Publisher's Summary

Saint-Sauveur Cathedral of Aix-en-Provence is an ancient structure of many secrets -a perfect monument to fill the lens of a celebrated photographer, and a perfect place for the photographer's son, Ned Marriner, to lose himself while his father works.

But the cathedral isn't the empty edifice it appears to be. Its history is very much alive in the present day - and it's calling out to Ned...

©2008 Guy Gavriel Kay; (P)2008 Penguin

What the Critics Say

World Fantasy Award, Best Novel, 2008

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (190 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (56)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.1 (83 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Story
4.1 (84 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
 (26)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Andrew Stone San Diego 06-06-09
    Andrew Stone San Diego 06-06-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    544
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1903
    64
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    95
    1
    Overall
    "Magic, Humor, Love, Romance & Mystery"

    Fast paced story which held me bound to listen and complete in just two days.

    "Ysabel" is a fun and unique story centered around a 15 yr old boy in modern France.

    The story is fit for a broad spectrum of readers. From teens to grand parents.

    Myself being in my mid 50s found this book because I love the narration of Kate Reading who I first listen to reading "Eye of the World" by Robert Jordan(I also highly recommend). Her narration of "Ysable" is superb.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pie Saint Petersburg, FL, United States 02-28-09
    Pie Saint Petersburg, FL, United States 02-28-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    215
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    189
    79
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    18
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    Overall
    "Quality writing. Excellent story."

    I had doubts when the story started: the hero is 15 and talks like a stoner dude . But I remembered reading books by this author (a long time ago) ....and enjoying them. So, I hung in there. Excellent read. I really enjoyed the story (and it's been a while since I could say that without qualifying the statement ).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Chesterton, IN, United States 11-03-09
    Mary Chesterton, IN, United States 11-03-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "A good story, well read."

    If you liked Sepulchre and Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, you'll like Ysabel. I liked this book very much. It's similar to Sepulchre and Labyrinth - a tangling of characters from different times (although from a much earlier period). Set in the same region - Provence. Narrative is well written and moves along, and the descriptions of the earlier history is very interesting. Characters are well defined. Kate Reading does a good job of portraying all the voices -- even the men.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey Hilliard, OH, United States 01-02-13
    Corey Hilliard, OH, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2012

    coreysanders

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
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    "Beautiful Writing, Different Type of Story"
    What made the experience of listening to Ysabel the most enjoyable?

    Kate Reading's reading was excellent as always. Kay's writing was full of the beauty and emotion that as a frequent reader I have come to expect.


    What other book might you compare Ysabel to and why?

    Ysabel is similar in style and tone to all of the other Kays books that I've read - Tigana, Song for Arbonne, Lions of Al Rassan - but also very different. It isn't as historical in flavor. The elements are there, but the setting is modern-day with talk of iPods and the Internet. Also, the main characters are teen-agers, so it has something of a young-adult feel to it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I think I enjoyed the final wrap up the most. Normally, I am disappointed at the end of a book, but I think the destination made the journey worthwhile in Ysabel.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    How long will your love last?


    Any additional comments?

    It often takes me a bit to get fully engaged in a new Kay novel. Ysabel, however, was probably the hardest for me to get in to. I think that since the setting and main character ran counter to my more traditional fantasy expectations, I had reservations on how much I would like the book. Also, the action is sparse. I am glad, though, that I stuck with it. The second half of the book was beautiful and worth the extra effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michele El Paso, TX, United States 07-30-09
    michele El Paso, TX, United States 07-30-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    70
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Every book written by Guy Gavriel Kay is a masterpiece!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Bellingham, WA, USA 05-04-09
    Jennifer Bellingham, WA, USA 05-04-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    "Worst narration I've heard yet"

    I nearly gave up on this book. All the male characters sounded alike and they all sounded like delirious surfer dudes. The narration of female characters was better, but not strong, and all the lovely descriptive passages were just not well conveyed at all. The only positive I have to report is that I'm planning to buy and read the actual book to get the taste of the narration out of my brain.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Sydney, Australia 06-20-14
    Donna Sydney, Australia 06-20-14 Member Since 2012

    Donna

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    14
    6
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    "One of my favourites"

    I thought this story was one of Kay's best. It wasn't long but the characterisations were excellent & while it might have been a bit predictable I was caught up in the performance. Very enjoyable & crying out for a sequel or prequel or both!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-30-13
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    82
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "Surprisingly good"
    Where does Ysabel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I wasn't sure about this book based on some of the reviews, but I was surprised to find it to be pretty good. The storyline was different and interesting. The characters were fun and believable.


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

    I love Kate Reading. It was strange to hear her reading something other than WOT.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 06-28-09
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 06-28-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    269
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    151
    62
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    12
    3
    Overall
    "Decent"

    It's good, but nothing that would make me run out to buy anything else by this author. A lot of things are left unexplained and a few simply don't make sense at all. The main character is interesting, but all the others are a bit flat. It is a fun sort of supernatural adventure, but it's airport reading. If that's the sort of thing you're looking for, this is perfectly good for it. If you like deeper social commentary or insight into the human condition through the vehicle of other worldly interpretation, pass on this one.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Bloomington, IN, United States 03-24-09
    Mary Bloomington, IN, United States 03-24-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
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    84
    60
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    11
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    Overall
    "Definitely worth the credit"

    The narration of the story was wonderful, and I like the fact that though this story was a relatively light read, there is still a lot of content to think about after the story ends. I especially liked the themes of love, revenge and reconciliation that the author addresses in this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Janine
    BRACKNELL, United Kingdom
    9/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Haunting story, magnificent narration"

    Such a difficult book to review.

    Unlike Kay's other work, this is a fey novel. Kay is a master of his art and this book is no exception. The plot races, unfolding surely in his hands. His characters are precisely, lovingly portrayed with his signature realism. These are real people dealing with unreal situations and events.

    Quick synopsis: a young teenager is transplanted from Montreal to Aix en Provence when he accompanies his photographer father and his team on a photo shoot. He is dragged into an old, old story of betrayal and love that spans millennia, wrecks lives and even cultures. He struggles to understand his place in the tale while racing against time to save a friend.

    The descriptions of Provence are truly beautiful. Such an inspiring place, drenched in sunshine and blood alike.

    Kate Reading is... There aren't enough words to describe her skill. The tone of her voice is soothing, exciting, enticing - a real pleasure to listen to. She handles a 15 year old boy and a millennia old man with ease - not a small feat. She can make even the most turgid story fantastic.

    I have listened, re-listened and listened again. I'm in love with the story and the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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