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Werthead

Guy Gavriel Kay

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

As much as some consensus can be achieved, I think the feeling is that Lions of Al-Rassan is his best all-rounder for characterisation, prose, history, romance and action (as much as GGK does action); Sarantine Mosaic is the best from a more serious, literary perspective; Tigana is the best for being an approachable, more standard fantasy novel; and Under Heaven was his huge return to form after two books generally regarded as subpar in a row (Last Light of the Sun and Ysabel).

But there's tons of people who'd disagree with that, so there you go.

Sarantine Mosaic would be my favourite, but then, I love reading about the Romans of the East.

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10 hours ago, Werthead said:

As much as some consensus can be achieved, I think the feeling is that Lions of Al-Rassan is his best all-rounder for characterisation, 

 

13 hours ago, Ran said:

In general, and searching online just to confirm this, I'd say the consensus has traditionally been that Lions is the best of the books.

 

4 hours ago, SeanF said:

Sarantine Mosaic would be my favourite, but then, I love reading about the Romans of the East.

Thanks.  Currently reading A Memory Called Empire based on Wert's review.  I'm putting Lions and Sarantine on the to read list.  

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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Yeah, Sarantine would be my favorite too. Somehow I wasn't that much impressed by Lions. I think Tigana and Song for Arbonne were better, and I also liked Last Light of the Sun a lot.

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Not sure if we should start a new thread, or are we using this low-key-but-constant thread as a stress test for the board's ability to handle 20+ page topics? :P

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Keep this one. I revived it when it was noted how long it'd been running, and the board definitely doesn't care about thread length any longer, really (we just lock at 400 post for most threads now partially out of habit and partially out of the theory that it promotes discussion more on hot topics).

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On 5/25/2020 at 5:39 PM, Darth Richard II said:

I've read everything but Ysabel and A Brightness Long Ago. They are all really good except Tigana, which sucks balls.

Just out of curiosity, what didnt you like about Tigana? Its my personal favorite of his.

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46 minutes ago, bms295 said:

Just out of curiosity, what didnt you like about Tigana? Its my personal favorite of his.

I just remember it bored me to tears. I haven't read it since it came out and I have changed A LOT as a reader so I am going to give it a reread at some point.

I think the only sure thing with Kay is that everyone will have one book they dislike, and that every book will have at least wtf sex montage.

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Mmn... I don't have any I dislike. Some less than others, but none that I give a big ol' nawp too.

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3 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I just remember it bored me to tears. I haven't read it since it came out and I have changed A LOT as a reader so I am going to give it a reread at some point.

I think the only sure thing with Kay is that everyone will have one book they dislike, and that every book will have at least wtf sex montage.

I liked the shout out to Blackadder II in Children of Earth and Sky.  Just like the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Seressan envoy gets presented with painting detailing his sexual exploits, (in his case, being flogged by a courtesan, with a root vegetable stuck up his rear end).

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16 hours ago, JEORDHl said:

Mmn... I don't have any I dislike. Some less than others, but none that I give a big ol' nawp too.

Same here. There's definitely a range in quality but I don't dislike any of them.

 

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16 hours ago, JEORDHl said:

Mmn... I don't have any I dislike. Some less than others, but none that I give a big ol' nawp too.

Yeah, I don't think there's anything like a bad GGK book, in my mind. A book someone doesn't get along with? Sure, I can definitely understand that. 

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I'm reading through these in publication order.  Currently on A Song for Arbonne.  I'm enjoying it but it sort of feels like a lesser book than Tigana.  Tigana was amazing.

I don't dislike any book yet, but the third Fionnavar book was pretty boring for a good chunk of it.  Its high points were really good though.

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41 minutes ago, End of Disc One said:

I'm reading through these in publication order.  Currently on A Song for Arbonne.  I'm enjoying it but it sort of feels like a lesser book than Tigana. 

I didn't like Arbonne all that much when I first read it, I recall, but really went for it when I re-read it some years later. There are some really moving beats as it draws to its end. Kay pushes my emotional buttons.

41 minutes ago, End of Disc One said:

Tigana was amazing.

Agreed.

41 minutes ago, End of Disc One said:

I don't dislike any book yet, but the third Fionnavar book was pretty boring for a good chunk of it.  Its high points were really good though.

Kay is really, really good at the emotional, cathartic moments, right? There's sections of that last book that make me tear up if I think too much about them, some 25 years after I first read the novel. That said, I can see your point, there's a lot of moving characters around to get them all into place for the grand finale. 

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Just finished A Brightness Long Ago. Typical GGK book. It's okay but I did lose interest about 2/3rds of the way in (after the race).

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4 hours ago, Gigei said:

Just finished A Brightness Long Ago. Typical GGK book. It's okay but I did lose interest about 2/3rds of the way in (after the race).

Sorry to hear it! The events not very long after the race made me weepy, for my part. Oh, he rips my heart out, does GGK...

  

On 5/26/2020 at 8:20 AM, SeanF said:

Sarantine Mosaic would be my favourite, but then, I love reading about the Romans of the East.

I forgot to ask if you've ever read Judith Tarr's The Hound and the Falcon series? Available in e-text now. Historical fantasy featuring "elves" in the Middle Ages. The 2nd book, the Golden Horn, would be right up your alley:

"Constantinople, A.D. 1203: a great army camps outside the City of Cities, and threatens it with conquest. Within the City, a Greek witch and a renegade monk who is also a white enchanter do their utmost to hold back the tides of war. But even their great powers may not be able to save Byzantium's empire from the Western Crusade."

In general Tarr's early books -- the aforementioned The Hound and the Falcon trilogy, as well as the Alamut and The Dagger and the Cross duology that are prequels, plus the Avaryan Rising series (which is a secondary world fantasy) -- feel stylistically quite similar to Kay in a lot of ways, down to some very beautiful, clean prose. Highly recommended. I think her entire catalog are now available as self-published e-books (as rights have reverted to her). It’s a tragedy that she's not better known.

Edited by Ran

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Sorry to hear it! The events not very long after the race made me weepy, for my part. Oh, he rips my heart out, does GGK...

I've seen the same ending in many GGK books though, so I was expecting it.

Spoiler

Though I was sad to see the fall of Constantinople, I mean Sarantium.

 

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8 hours ago, Ran said:

Sorry to hear it! The events not very long after the race made me weepy, for my part. Oh, he rips my heart out, does GGK...

  

I forgot to ask if you've ever read Judith Tarr's The Hound and the Falcon series? Available in e-text now. Historical fantasy featuring "elves" in the Middle Ages. The 2nd book, the Golden Horn, would be right up your alley:

"Constantinople, A.D. 1203: a great army camps outside the City of Cities, and threatens it with conquest. Within the City, a Greek witch and a renegade monk who is also a white enchanter do their utmost to hold back the tides of war. But even their great powers may not be able to save Byzantium's empire from the Western Crusade."

In general Tarr's early books -- the aforementioned The Hound and the Falcon trilogy, as well as the Alamut and The Dagger and the Cross duology that are prequels, plus the Avaryan Rising series (which is a secondary world fantasy) -- feel stylistically quite similar to Kay in a lot of ways, down to some very beautiful, clean prose. Highly recommended. I think her entire catalog are now available as self-published e-books (as rights have reverted to her). It’s a tragedy that she's not better known.

Many thanks.  I'll take a look.

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Why did the Sarantine Mosaic have to be two books?

Just finished Sailing to Sarantium last night and it built and built, truly the first 150 or so pages seemed like they didn't go anywhere, but by the end, I wasn't ready for it to end...

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