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Waterdancing Wench

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  1. Waterdancing Wench

    Guy Gavriel Kay

    It’s interesting to note that magic seems to have met the same fate in his writing – from the high fantasy realm of the Fionavar Tapestry with its recognizably Tolkienian roots; to Tigana, which is the only one of his books in which I recall there were wizards who wrought actual magic; to Esperana, Arbonne, etc., where there are a few clairvoyant individuals but more often than not what appears to be the hand of the God(dess) is in fact a clever ruse orchestrated by a wily old priest(ess). No, not King, more in the vein of Zelazny. I always imagined Fionavar as a (loose equivalent of) Amber. There is alternate historical fantasy and then there is alternate historical fantasy. In terms of keeping the shape of the European landmass as well as the general contours of medieval history intact, Kate Elliot’s “Crown of Stars†and Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel’s Legacy†come to mind. However, I think it’s safe to say that Guy Gavriel Kay is much closer to what I think of as fantasy or speculative fiction than either of the above, despite the fact that Carey’s world obeys all the laws of physics. Further proof (if any was needed after ASOIAF) that ‘tis not magic that maketh the genre. Really? Haha I would list my preferences in precisely the reverse order ie. Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, The Sarantine Mosaic. It may be simplistic but I tend to look at it as some people prefer Tyrion in King's Landing (One. Two. Three.) and others Jon on the Wall (Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!). Tigana focuses on the repercussions of big, cataclysmic history-making events, whereas I think Sarantine Mosaic is more subtle, intimate, and nuanced.
  2. Waterdancing Wench

    References and Homages

    This is probably more an influence than a reference, and if a reference a very loose one, but the Young Dragon (Daeron I? all these Targ names get reused so many times I lose track) reminds me more than a little of Alexander the Great. "A conquest that lasted a summer" and all that. Anyway just wanted to throw that out there.