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Werthead

Guy Gavriel Kay

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On 7/6/2019 at 11:56 PM, Jaxom 1974 said:

I've jumped into Children of Earth and Sky next. Is that a mistake?

I would say no. Just finished re-reading it (had a long break because of RL being too busy to get much reading done) and it's as good as last time. The only negative thing I'd say is that the re-read did make a structural issue in the last quarter of the novel a bit more obvious, but it's more that a thread that's dropped for awhile suddenly becomes the sole focus for a long stretch in a way that feels disconnected from the rest.

There's also a very explicit reference to the events of Lions in the latter third of the novel.

After that one, A Brightness Long Ago is a natural to follow up... but the Sarantine Mosaic duology would also work very well after reading Children.

 

Edited by Ran

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I've read Lord of Emperors and Under Heaven so far this month. The prose of the latter is gorgeous, and part of me could not help but grin at certain events - which in another book would be covered in intricate detail - being treated almost as an after-thought.

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36 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

I've read Lord of Emperors and Under Heaven so far this month. The prose of the latter is gorgeous, and part of me could not help but grin at certain events - which in another book would be covered in intricate detail - being treated almost as an after-thought.

Under Heaven is really really good.

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

Under Heaven is really really good.

Considering that I've read the majority of Kay's output (minus the last three novels and the poetry book), I always thought it rather odd that I had never previously found a book of his I'd enjoyed without reservations. Under Heaven is the first. 

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For me, A Brightness Long Ago was a thin gruel of reading experience, as well as an unsparked recycling of previous characters and plots and subplots, particularly out of Tigana, his 'real' first novel, at least his first novel for adults.  But that's my opinion, and so many see it differently, which is fine.

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11 hours ago, Zorral said:

For me, A Brightness Long Ago was a thin gruel of reading experience, as well as an unsparked recycling of previous characters and plots and subplots, particularly out of Tigana, his 'real' first novel, at least his first novel for adults.  But that's my opinion, and so many see it differently, which is fine.

Fionavar ain't standard Kay in terms of what came later, but it is certainly an adult work.

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I tried to read Tigana last month. I couldn't get past the first 20 pages. It's painful. 

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6 hours ago, Isis said:

I tried to read Tigana last month. I couldn't get past the first 20 pages. It's painful. 

I've tried twice. Third attempt will happen eventually.

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13 hours ago, Isis said:

I tried to read Tigana last month. I couldn't get past the first 20 pages. It's painful. 

Of all the issues I can think of with Tigana, they're not in the first twenty pages.

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6 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Of all the issues I can think of with Tigana, they're not in the first twenty pages.

I had it on my to-read list for years, I'd had so many recs for it from this board and elsewhere. I was really looking forward to it, expecting lyrical language and great storytelling. I'd been checking the price for the Kindle version and choosing not to buy it whilst it was still priced at almost £10. But when it dropped under £5 I thought this must be a sign that I should go for it.

The overly long descriptions of characters were making it hard to retain interest in what was happening. I get that some novels aren't concerned with plot - but I hadn't really pegged this as one of those. It just dragged and I didn't care about the characters.

A sad waste of time and money.

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Finished Last Light of the Sun, which for reasons, I thought was about sometbing else initally, even though it was talked about here...I thought it was wonderful in many ways. Close to, but not quite on par with Lions.

Also finished Children of Earth and Sky, and I liked it, but it also felt a little disjointed in the tales it was telling...

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10 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

Finished Last Light of the Sun, which for reasons, I thought was about sometbing else initally, even though it was talked about here...I thought it was wonderful in many ways. Close to, but not quite on par with Lions.

Also finished Children of Earth and Sky, and I liked it, but it also felt a little disjointed in the tales it was telling...

As much as I like Kay's work, it's hard to discuss. I can't remember which events go with which title. Excluding Lions and the latest/freshest (most fresh?) Brightness.

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On 8/21/2019 at 12:50 PM, Jaxom 1974 said:

Finished Last Light of the Sun, which for reasons, I thought was about sometbing else initally, even though it was talked about here...I thought it was wonderful in many ways. Close to, but not quite on par with Lions.

That's the one I need to re-read. Been ages.

On 8/21/2019 at 12:50 PM, Jaxom 1974 said:

Also finished Children of Earth and Sky, and I liked it, but it also felt a little disjointed in the tales it was telling...

Yeah, that's the structural issue I noted earlier. It's lovely, but dropping a thread for a couple hundred pages only to come back to it and wrap it up in like 30 felt a bit off. I'm not sure what Kay was thinking, exactly, but I'm sure he had an intention that I haven't apprehended.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

 

Yeah, that's the structural issue I noted earlier. It's lovely, but dropping a thread for a couple hundred pages only to come back to it and wrap it up in like 30 felt a bit off. I'm not sure what Kay was thinking, exactly, but I'm sure he had an intention that I haven't apprehended.

Maybe if there'd been an intended sequel(s), it might have worked better...? 

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

So, is under heaven set in the same world as any of his other works? I thought it was but a character just mentioned there is only one moon.

I haven't read River of Stars, but it's obviously set in the same world as Under Heaven (a one moon place, rather than the two-moon one).

Edited by The Marquis de Leech

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16 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

So, is under heaven set in the same world as any of his other works? I thought it was but a character just mentioned there is only one moon.

Aside from the sequel it's not set in the same world as his other books. It would have been easy to make it about the "Chinese" part of the Al-Rassan/Sarantium/etc. world but Kay seemed to decide against that.

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