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Guy Gavriel Kay

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18 hours ago, Astromech said:

Don't forget Carthage.

Yah -- and it was the Latins / Italians who did it to Carthage. Good catch! :)  Connections everywhere.

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17 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

OK, so, I haven't tried to read any Kay since the 90s, but I have Last LIght of the Sun sitting here, because, VIKINGS. Is that book ok to read by itself first, kinda like Banks Culture, or do I need to read them in publication order?

Last Light is certainly not a bad book at all, but it's not amongst his best (which would probably be The Lions of Al-Rassan).

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So, anyone else finished with Children of Earth and Sky? What did you think about it?


I loved it, as I expected to. His books have yet to disappoint me. Still not sure where I'd put it in regards to his other novels, because it's still so fresh, but I'm thinking somewhere among the better works like Lions and Sarantine.

Spoilers for Children below.
 

Spoiler

Was anyone else really surprised by how happy the ending was, compared to his other works? The Osmanlis invasion doesn't succeed, Cemal is exposed, Orso Faleri becomes the Duke, Leonora and Pero fall in love and live long, fulfilled, loving lives, him becoming a renowned painter and her an accomplished Eldest Daughter of Jad, same thing with Marin and Danica, and they have children too, he becomes a successful banker and she reunites with Neven, her brother.

 

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1 minute ago, Lautrec said:

So, anyone else finished with Children of Earth and Sky? What did you think about it?


I loved it, as I expected to. His books have yet to disappoint me. Still not sure where I'd put it in regards to his other novels, because it's still so fresh, but I'm thinking somewhere among the better works like Lions and Sarantine.

Spoilers for Children below.
 

  Hide contents

Was anyone else really surprised by how happy the ending was, compared to his other works? The Osmanlis invasion doesn't succeed, Cemal is exposed, Orso Faleri becomes the Duke, Leonora and Pero fall in love and live long, fulfilled, loving lives, him becoming a renowned painter and her an accomplished Eldest Daughter of Jad, same thing with Marin and Danica, and they have children too, he becomes a successful banker and she reunites with Neven, her brother.

 

I've only read The Sarantine Mosaic so far, (I plan to read others of his) but that had a broadly happy ending as well. 

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24 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I've only read The Sarantine Mosaic so far, (I plan to read others of his) but that had a broadly happy ending as well. 

Does it really?

 

Spoiler

I'd say it's bittersweet, with maybe leaning on sweet a bit more, but the moment when Crispin finds out that his mosaic will be torn down is heartbreaking, not to mention the death of Valerius II, and what happens to Styliane, while she is no heroine, is also very brutal. Then there are all of the goodbyes Crispin makes as he leaves Sarantium. I guess the very ending is sweet because he makes a great mosaic and reunites with Alixana, but, there is an element of tragedy there as well.

Spoiler below for Children
 

Spoiler

We find out in Children that no one remembers who the artist who made the Varena mosaic is. So while Crispin's mosaic stands and is admired, he is forgotten.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Lautrec said:

Does it really?

 

  Hide contents

I'd say it's bittersweet, with maybe leaning on sweet a bit more, but the moment when Crispin finds out that his mosaic will be torn down is heartbreaking, not to mention the death of Valerius II, and what happens to Styliane, while she is no heroine, is also very brutal. Then there are all of the goodbyes Crispin makes as he leaves Sarantium. I guess the very ending is sweet because he makes a great mosaic and reunites with Alixana, but, there is an element of tragedy there as well.

Spoiler below for Children
 

  Hide contents

We find out in Children that no one remembers who the artist who made the Varena mosaic is. So while Crispin's mosaic stands and is admired, he is forgotten.

 

 

Well, compared to quite a lot of the fantasy fiction I read. 

What was done to Styliane was ghastly, I agree.  OTOH, what she had planned for Alixana if she caught her was even worse

Edited by SeanF

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I finished Children of Earth and Sky earlier today. I really liked it, I think the obvious comparison out of his other books is the Sarantine Mosaic (which I also liked a lot), not just for the many references to the earlier series but also for the structure of how it interweaves the lives of the characters with some major events of that world's history but keeps the focus more on the individuals than on the world-shaking events. I think my only major criticism might be that it took over a hundred pages to really get going, there are a lot of introductions to various characters going on but once the plot did pick up momentum I thought it became a very compelling story. It doesn't have a huge number of action scenes in it but when action is required there were some very tense scenes, and Kay does a good job of showing how suddenly violent incidents could occur in their world. I particularly liked...

The Senjani raid on the Dubravan ship (I think this is where the book really start becoming interesting), the battle between Skandir and the Osmanis and the Senjani fighters raiding the main army.

10 hours ago, Lautrec said:

 

  Hide contents

I'd say it's bittersweet, with maybe leaning on sweet a bit more, but the moment when Crispin finds out that his mosaic will be torn down is heartbreaking, not to mention the death of Valerius II, and what happens to Styliane, while she is no heroine, is also very brutal. Then there are all of the goodbyes Crispin makes as he leaves Sarantium. I guess the very ending is sweet because he makes a great mosaic and reunites with Alixana, but, there is an element of tragedy there as well.

Spoiler below for Children
 

  Hide contents

We find out in Children that no one remembers who the artist who made the Varena mosaic is. So while Crispin's mosaic stands and is admired, he is forgotten.

 

 

I think Crispin might be OK with that, I think he'd consider his work being appreciated more important than people giving him credit for it.

In general I'd agree with you that The Sarantine Mosaic was a fairly bittersweet ending.

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11 hours ago, SeanF said:

Well, compared to quite a lot of the fantasy fiction I read. 

What was done to Styliane was ghastly, I agree.  OTOH, what she had planned for Alixana if she caught her was even worse



You must read really depressing fantasy then :P 

 

 

51 minutes ago, williamjm said:

I finished Children of Earth and Sky earlier today. I really liked it, I think the obvious comparison out of his other books is the Sarantine Mosaic (which I also liked a lot), not just for the many references to the earlier series but also for the structure of how it interweaves the lives of the characters with some major events of that world's history but keeps the focus more on the individuals than on the world-shaking events. I think my only major criticism might be that it took over a hundred pages to really get going, there are a lot of introductions to various characters going on but once the plot did pick up momentum I thought it became a very compelling story. It doesn't have a huge number of action scenes in it but when action is required there were some very tense scenes, and Kay does a good job of showing how suddenly violent incidents could occur in their world. I particularly liked...

 

  Reveal hidden contents

The Senjani raid on the Dubravan ship (I think this is where the book really start becoming interesting), the battle between Skandir and the Osmanis and the Senjani fighters raiding the main army.

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

I think Crispin might be OK with that, I think he'd consider his work being appreciated more important than people giving him credit for it.

In general I'd agree with you that The Sarantine Mosaic was a fairly bittersweet ending.

 

Spoiler

Well maybe he would be fine, but I was very sad because I really like him :P .Probably my favourite of Kay's protagonists.

 

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I am taking a small break from reading Children at the moment.  For the third time, the plot has been advanced by some of the central characters getting into a new situation/confrontation, only to the same main character kill someone.  It's a teensy bit repetitive.  

Apart from that, the quality of the writing is GGK at his best, and it's always fun to read his books and identify all the historical comparative events.

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I finished the novel early this week.  There were some lovely tributes to the Sarantium first novel in particular.  But there was just a bit too much of what one might have wished to witness that happens off stage and is summarized. Also a rather too much telling the reader what to think philosophically, etc. by the narrator.  But it was a satisfying read, and very novels are that for me these days.

 

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Finished Children of Earth and Sky. Loved it. Agree with what others have said above, but those points didn't bother me while reading. Kay has a way with prose that when he meanders into philosophy or pulls back into omniscient narrator that weaves tells offscreen events, I still resonate emotionally with the text. He's never heavy handed with the philosophy in the same way that, eg, Bakker can be. 

Loved all the references to Sarantium. Some excellent Easter eggs. 

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Speaking of Children of Earth and Sky I saw link on Goodreads to this painting, it was suggested this was one of Kay's inspirations for the story.

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On 3/10/2012 at 9:13 PM, Sis Who Swears said:

Oooh exciting! Currently on a GGK kick, read Under Heaven first, then the Sarantine Duology, next is Lions or Last Light... So far Under Heaven is my favourite though.

 

Thanks for the heads up!

Yes, Under Heaven is my new favorite.  I like Tigana, but the ending bothered me a bit. Not that everything must be tidy, but it was a little jumbled

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Began reading the new book, noticed it's in the same fictional world as Sarantine and Lions.

 

I wonder if his Chinese books actually take place in the same world.  We wouldn't know, would we, given the setting and isolation?  It wouldn't surprise me if they do.

Since he's slowly going forward in time, I suppose we'll know in the next few books, since it seems this one is right at the start of the Age of Discovery.   Should be interesting.  I'm willing to make a small bet we're going to get an alternate history of either the Aztec or Inca conquests.

 

Edit: Book done, it was aight, but nothing astounding.  Why does my Kindle copy have Questions for Discussion at the end? 

Edited by Claustrophobic Jurble

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It's weird. A nation called Khitai certainly exists in the Sarantine/Lions/Children world, but the world has a different number of moons in the eastern novels. So either the sky is different (like in Elizabeth Bear's excellent Eternal Sky trilogy) or they're set in slightly different parallel versions of one another.

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On ‎5‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 11:34 AM, Lautrec said:

So, anyone else finished with Children of Earth and Sky? What did you think about it?


I loved it, as I expected to. His books have yet to disappoint me. Still not sure where I'd put it in regards to his other novels, because it's still so fresh, but I'm thinking somewhere among the better works like Lions and Sarantine.

Spoilers for Children below.
 

  Hide contents

Was anyone else really surprised by how happy the ending was, compared to his other works? The Osmanlis invasion doesn't succeed, Cemal is exposed, Orso Faleri becomes the Duke, Leonora and Pero fall in love and live long, fulfilled, loving lives, him becoming a renowned painter and her an accomplished Eldest Daughter of Jad, same thing with Marin and Danica, and they have children too, he becomes a successful banker and she reunites with Neven, her brother.

 

I've now read it and enjoyed it.  I agree it had a happy ending for all the main characters.

 But a much less agreeable ending for Prince Kemal. 

In this world, the fall of Sarantium and the Balkans to the Osmanlis seems to have been far more rapid than it was in real history.  Assuming that Woberg is meant to be somewhere like Vienna, they've moved very far in the 25 years since they conquered Sarantium.  Also, Sarantium seems to have remained a great power until Empress Eudoxia's husband apparently screwed everything up.

Kurcu seems to be an amalgam of Mehmet the Conqueror and Suleiman the Magnificent.

 

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I think River of Stars is criminally underrated if we're talking Kay's output in general.  The Sarantine Mosaic remains one of my favorite pieces of genre fiction maybe ever.  The settings, the writing, the characterization is vintage Kay, who is one of my favorite authors of any genre of fiction.

I thoroughly enjoyed this latest book, I'd put it up as a top 5 book of the year.  For some reason I stopped reading it because the Great Ordeal arrived in the middle of my reading this book, but I wouldn't have put it down for any other reason.

I think it odd he won his World Fantasy Award for Ysabel, which I really enjoyed, but compared with his other output isn't his best.

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8 hours ago, scortius the charioteer said:

I think River of Stars is criminally underrated if we're talking Kay's output in general.  The Sarantine Mosaic remains one of my favorite pieces of genre fiction maybe ever.  The settings, the writing, the characterization is vintage Kay, who is one of my favorite authors of any genre of fiction.

I thoroughly enjoyed this latest book, I'd put it up as a top 5 book of the year.  For some reason I stopped reading it because the Great Ordeal arrived in the middle of my reading this book, but I wouldn't have put it down for any other reason.

I think it odd he won his World Fantasy Award for Ysabel, which I really enjoyed, but compared with his other output isn't his best.

What did you like about River of Stars?

Agreed btw on the World Fantasy Award, he should be on that every time he releases a book because he writes the sort of stuff they generally like to reward anyway, and he's actually both popular and very good. And that popularity can be a strike against him with these sort of awards, I feel.

 

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