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Guy Gavriel Kay

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10 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.

The Sarantine Mosaic has some brilliant descriptions of chariot racing.  I also enjoyed

Valerius II's brilliance when confronted with his assassins.  He manages to drive a wedge between them, through the power of his arguments, only to be cut down by his secretary. 

Edited by SeanF

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So, to resurrect old topic, I finally started The Last Light Of The Sun, and I can't tell if I love it or hate it. Well written so but so far veyr predictable, although I am not that far in and I do read way to much Viking fiction, and these things all tend to start out the same.

This thread also reminds me how much I HATED Tigana in high school. :P

 

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So, I've been trying to get into Guy for a while now. And there is just son many and I don't even begin to know where to start or what would be to my liking. You all know I'm a Bakker fan, but I'm not expecting anything like that and I love all sorts of authors in fantasy. Abercrombie, Bakker, Abraham, Malazan dudes, Lynch, Rothfuss and quit a few others. I'm not necessarily Loki g for anything dark, or should I say Grimdark. I like mystery, intrigue, great plot and good characters, oh and world-building is up there too. Could I have some recs that would fit my tastes?

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You know as I'm sitting here reading my first Kay book in a long enough time it might as well be my first, I was just thinking Kay has the tendency to go on the occasional short philosophical rant in the way Bakker does. I mean, I wouldn't call them similar at all, but one of two Ever are Men deceived wouldn't be too out of place. :P

And I can't comment personally but everyone always says to start with Lions. I just happened to get Last Light Of The Sun cause VIKINGS.

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28 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

You know as I'm sitting here reading my first Kay book in a long enough time it might as well be my first, I was just thinking Kay has the tendency to go on the occasional short philosophical rant in the way Bakker does. I mean, I wouldn't call them similar at all, but one of two Ever are Men deceived wouldn't be too out of place. :P

And I can't comment personally but everyone always says to start with Lions. I just happened to get Last Light Of The Sun cause VIKINGS.

Have you enjoyed all of his works? Or, are there some that your not too keen on? I dont read Bakker for the philosophy, lol! 

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32 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Eh, do you mean Kay? I just started my first really. I read his fantasy trilogy in middle school..so...almost 25 years ago.

Yea, Kay. Isn't all his stuff fantasy? Or does he do historical fiction, too?

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Fionavar Tapestry is fantasy-fantasy, the other ones are loosely based on historical settings but with changes and fantasy elements. He is a far better prose writer than most genre writers but the plots can sometimes be predictable, I guess. Admittedly, I only read the trilogy and Tigana quite a while ago, I always wanted to try another one but never got around to it. He is good enough to deserve a try, almost regardless of what one has read before. If you want snarky action thrillers with swords you might become disappointed, though.

Edited by Jo498

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3 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

So, to resurrect old topic, I finally started The Last Light Of The Sun, and I can't tell if I love it or hate it. Well written so but so far veyr predictable, although I am not that far in and I do read way to much Viking fiction, and these things all tend to start out the same.

This thread also reminds me how much I HATED Tigana in high school. :P

 

I just ordered Tigana and now you make me nervous when you say you hated it. :P It was a used copy tho so if I end up hating it I haven't lost a lot of money!

How're the vikings coming along?

2 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Have you enjoyed all of his works? Or, are there some that your not too keen on? I dont read Bakker for the philosophy, lol! 

I read the Fionavar ages ago, and it's...long? Derivative, nicely written, some of it will probably feel very formulaic nowadays, but it's also beautiful, in its own way. A lot of mythology. Lions of Al-Rassan is 100% brilliant. If it does not tug on your heartstrings you are made of stone. The Sarantine mosaic was very good. Clever, stylised and with amazing symmetry. The setting, especially in the second novel, is amazing and second to none, I think. Sarantium is really a place, you can feel it when you read. Kay's prose is very, very good too. Beautiful, but at the same time not complicated. You don't need to sit with a thesaurus next to you to get through the text (I am looking at you China Mieville) or trudge through a bazillion songs (Tolkien) or meandering/rants about philosophy (Bakker/Erikson). More...lyrical, perhaps?

Haven't got to the others yet tho, but so far they have been absolutely worth reading, despite their flaws (which are very, very few for Lions btw).

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I rarely say this, but his wiki page actually gives a good description of all his work and which are set in what world. (From what I understand none of them are connected other than passing references). I'll probably be more coherent tomorrow. I've been working on this iphone app all week and apple rolled all there new coding language updates today in order to break all my stuff.

Oh, and regarding Tigana, datepalm has a hilarious GoodReads review linked up thread somewhere, but like I said, I haven't read it in 20 years or so and my tastes have uh, changed dramatically.

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56 minutes ago, Lyanna Stark said:

I just ordered Tigana and now you make me nervous when you say you hated it.

Lions of Al-Rassan is 100% brilliant. If it does not tug on your heartstrings you are made of stone.

Your second sentence is exactly how I would describe Tigana. I liked it better than Lions as a matter of fact. Admittedly I'm a big Kay fan, I even quite liked Ysabel. ;)

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4 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

So, I've been trying to get into Guy for a while now. And there is just son many and I don't even begin to know where to start or what would be to my liking. You all know I'm a Bakker fan, but I'm not expecting anything like that and I love all sorts of authors in fantasy. Abercrombie, Bakker, Abraham, Malazan dudes, Lynch, Rothfuss and quit a few others. I'm not necessarily Loki g for anything dark, or should I say Grimdark. I like mystery, intrigue, great plot and good characters, oh and world-building is up there too. Could I have some recs that would fit my tastes?

http://thewertzone.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/where-to-start-guy-gavriel-kay.html?m=1

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Can I ask a question about Tigana? I've just started Part II, Dianora.

Spoiler

What exactly is it that separates those that can remember the name Tigana and those that can't? Does everyone from Tigana remember it, but Brandin just killed most of them? Why wouldn't he just perform the spell on everyone? I'm not sure if I missed something or whether it's going to be revealed later. I thought maybe Devin, Alessan etc weren't on the continent when it happened or something to start with, but I don't think that's the case.

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Thank you, @Lyanna Stark! From what you've described I think I'll give Lions of Al-Rassan a go. If you don't mind, what type of setting is it?

It's more or less a medieval Spain sort of setting, with countries/cities/rulers emulating the muslim/christians and jewish cultures and people, more or less.

33 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Mieville is another author I need to give a second chance to. I was... not a fan of King Rat, but from what I understand that one was not characteristic  of his work at all.

I just started Railsea, but my favourite is The Scar. I think you'd like it. :) It takes a while for it to get going, but oh my God, it is something else. If you do read it, let me know if you love or hate the ending, or maybe lovehate it. :) Only Mieville novel I have read twice. It was extremely odd going from Kay's very lyrical and flowing prose, to Leckie's matter of fact, no-nonsense almost brusque writing to Mieville's modernist style, complete with made-up words and odd punctuation. It's the same language, but it actually doesn't *feel* like it. Of the three, Kay's prose is by far the most beautiful, almost like music, or poetry.

@3CityApache I'm glad you think Tigana is up there with Lions! I now have hope. :D

Edited by Lyanna Stark

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Someone once pointed me to a really funny review of Tigana before that was written by someone on this board and I can't for the life of me think who it was. But the review was well worth the read.

Anyway, I also loved Lions and it does really tug on the heart strings. I've been meaning to move on to more by him but I've so much else I want to read. I'll give Tigana a try next

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2 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Someone once pointed me to a really funny review of Tigana before that was written by someone on this board and I can't for the life of me think who it was. But the review was well worth the read.

Anyway, I also loved Lions and it does really tug on the heart strings. I've been meaning to move on to more by him but I've so much else I want to read. I'll give Tigana a try next

Tigana is even better than Lions, IMO. It is probably even more gray-ish, which is always a plus in my book.

I think that a lot of people are divided about his writing (similar to Rothfuss' case), but I really find his writing excellent and addictive. 

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2 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Someone once pointed me to a really funny review of Tigana before that was written by someone on this board and I can't for the life of me think who it was. But the review was well worth the read.

Anyway, I also loved Lions and it does really tug on the heart strings. I've been meaning to move on to more by him but I've so much else I want to read. I'll give Tigana a try next

Datepalm's review on Goodreads.

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