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Everything posted by salinea

  1. salinea

    Guy Gavriel Kay

    I totally agree. I don't think Lions or Priviledge are romance. But they both have strong elements of romance. (Almost every fantasy novels have some elements of romance, hence my formulation ^^) I don't think Priviledge of Sword revolves any more around the romance points than Lions do. Swordspoint may set romance as more central, but even there, I wouldn't call it a romance novel. There are other driving points, the picture of a social milieu (comedy of manner), the various intrigues, all of Michael's subplot, the elements of swashbuckling, etc. Theme is not the same thing as plot, nor as tone. I think you can address a lot of different themes through a lot of different genres, so I'm not sure how relevant it is. That didn't disturb me. Also, I wouldn't have called it "nationalist" (it's a bit avant la lettre for that). But attachment to cultural identities (with religion playing a big role to those cultures) is a natural thing to treat given the subject. I didn't feel like Kay was trying to make a point about how attached we had to be to nationalist ideas so much as aknowledge the strong role that those cultural identities play in people's life, in their histories (with smallcap and bigcap H), in their motivation, and in their art... Of course I have personnal ties to all three identities (Jewish, Arab, and Western), so that whole theme had a lot of resonnance to me. I liked it, but I would have liked it so much more if I had been feeling Kay was playing with me. I didn't like the epilogue much either, so i guess I'm with you on your spoiler point too, although maybe I wouldn't go as far as you
  2. salinea

    Guy Gavriel Kay

    I think I'm the only person who called his writing "chick lit". It wasn't an accusation - I wasn't using it to demean his work - but I was using it in an ironic way to make fun of the people who have missuse the name of "chick lit" to describe other novels (and in their mouth at the time, it was definitly an accusation), which I feel have some things in common with Kay's writing (It all started with a thread about Ellen Kushner's Priviledge of the Sword, but I think other female writers have a similar aesthetism to Kay's writing : Jaqueline Carey or Judith Tarr for example). By the way, none of those books are "chick lit" in the true sense of the word, although they do seem to have some strong elements of romance (as you comment about Lions ^^) and seem to be more popular among female reader.
  3. salinea

    Guy Gavriel Kay

    I think the problem is when overused it creates the feeling of a cheap effect. It's too obvious. The reader loves being manipulated, but doesn't want to be aware of how they're being manipulated. I'd agree Kay overuses it in Lions (although I still loved that novel). I think some people would say that GRRM abuse it as well (mostly in order to create cliffhanger) even if he gets away with it because of the other qualities of his work.
  4. salinea

    Guy Gavriel Kay

    It's Chick Lit Oh, okay. Hmmm. Kay's my Jordan. Meaning that he used to be my favourite fantasy writer, before I read ASOIAF, and then along the way I started liking him less and being annoyed by some of his gimmicks. He is, overall, a very good writer. Top of second tier if not first tier - not quite to the level of Barker but definitly the level of Robin Hobb I'd say. He's a very decent stylist up until the point when his gimmicks start being annoying. He writes very good and likeable characters, and his stories are very much character driven. His characters tend to be very charismatic, witty, intelligent and beautiful - all of them - which can be slightly annoying though. His writng is lyrical, and most of the themes he writers about are bittersweet and melancholy, with little manicheism. He's remarkable as a fantasy writer for writing lots of standalone fantasy. There's usually little magical elements to his writing as well, and the most popular of his novel are very closely patterned after historical periods. As a result his plotting seldom involves epic element. His best novels are Lions of Al Rassan and Tigana. The Sarantine Mosaic and Song for Arbonne are also pretty good. I was a bit disapointed by Last Light of the Sun, and I haven't read Ysabel. The Fionnavar Tapestry is usually not reccomended to start of with Kay because it's different from his other novels - being a trilogy, High Fantasy, and of a very obvious Tolkienite influence (he collaborated to the writing to the Silmarillion and said he needed to get it out of his system or some such), I still have a personnal fondness for those novels but they're generally less well written and mature than his other works.
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