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Werthead

Guy Gavriel Kay

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Posted (edited)

I have three or four Kay books I've scored for a quarter at thrift stores but haven't ever gotten around to reading them.

Separately, 27 pages?  This thread is an abomination.  I feel dirty and corrupted even posting on the 21st page of a thread.  This feels transgressive and I kind of like it.

eta: egaaaads!!? 28! 

Edited by larrytheimp

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A question.

At the end of Lord of Emperors, Alixana goes into hiding for about a year, before being reunited with Crispin.  Why did she not re-emerge once Leontes became Emperor?

My view is that she knew Gisel would have had her killed.  The hand of a former Empress would greatly assist any ambitious noble or general who sought to claim the throne.  This was a threat which Giisel would not tolerate.

What do others think?

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26 minutes ago, SeanF said:

 

What do others think?

I think the reason she didn't re-emerge was that she had absolutely no interest in pursuing revenge or power. That had been the life she had lived with Valerius, and that life had ended in tragedy and loss. Her uniting with Crispin and her question to him about children showed she had determined to live a different, quieter life, a domestic life that gave her things that having been Empress had not given her.

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17 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

I have three or four Kay books I've scored for a quarter at thrift stores but haven't ever gotten around to reading them.

Separately, 27 pages?  This thread is an abomination.  I feel dirty and corrupted even posting on the 21st page of a thread.  This feels transgressive and I kind of like it.

eta: egaaaads!!? 28! 

The thread somehow survived for over a decade (it began in 2009) without being quiet enough to be closed for inactivity or busy enough to exceed 20 pages. I think Ran felt sentimental about this and decided not to close it.

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9 hours ago, Ranivaka said:

I think the reason she didn't re-emerge was that she had absolutely no interest in pursuing revenge or power. That had been the life she had lived with Valerius, and that life had ended in tragedy and loss. Her uniting with Crispin and her question to him about children showed she had determined to live a different, quieter life, a domestic life that gave her things that having been Empress had not given her.

Thanks.  Although, I don't think your answer necessarily contradicts with my one.

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17 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Thanks.  Although, I don't think your answer necessarily contradicts with my one.

True. That she didn't want to put herself in a position for others to try to use her against Leontes and for their own ambition, not least because it would make her a threat and endanger her, goes hand-in-hand with her having simply given up that part of her life. She wanted nothing more to do with it, and so she chose to live the rest of her life in obscurity.

 

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Posted (edited)

River of Stars was not superior to Under Heaven...

Edited by Jaxom 1974

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8 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

River of Stars was not superior to Under Heaven...

Yeah, I think Under Heaven is a solid competitor to The Lions of Al-Rassan for the title of best Kay book. River of Stars is still great, but just a notch below that.

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On 6/15/2021 at 7:03 AM, Jaxom 1974 said:

And it was just a wonderful book.  Not sure I can put it in my top three (of the ones I've read thus far), but it's a contender to break in there...

 

2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Yeah, I think Under Heaven is a solid competitor to The Lions of Al-Rassan for the title of best Kay book. River of Stars is still great, but just a notch below that.

After thinking about my original post after reading Under Heaven, and then finishing River of Stars, and then thinking about it some more...knowing I haven't finished reading the second part of Sailong Sarantium yet...I have to revise that maybe I think I did like Under Heaven almost as much as Lions...I mean, here I am thinking I need to reread it already, and I only finished it ten days ago...

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River of Stars had a skipping problem. Kay's always done the thing in the books more closely based on the real world where he'll either skip over or compress time and background some big world events to get to the next character bit he finds interesting, but it was extreme here, years at a time and whole wars skipped over in paragraphs. Also read a bit like he couldn't decide who the main character was, or what actual focus he wanted to bring on the events he was depicting.   


Under Heaven is an extremely elegant book. River of Stars is not.




Also I like Under Heaven more than Al-Rassan because Al-Rassan loses points to me for the annoying yet repeatedly-used narrative 'trick' in the ending. 

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GGK has noted that he has been informed by his publishers that all US e-book retailers should be carrying Under Heaven today for $1.99. Great deal for a great book, one of the best fantasy novels published in 2010.

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On 7/24/2021 at 1:56 AM, Jaxom 1974 said:

 

If David Benioff tweeted that I’d assume it meant crying in despair.

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On 6/25/2021 at 5:50 AM, SeanF said:

A question.

At the end of Lord of Emperors, Alixana goes into hiding for about a year, before being reunited with Crispin.  Why did she not re-emerge once Leontes became Emperor?

My view is that she knew Gisel would have had her killed.  The hand of a former Empress would greatly assist any ambitious noble or general who sought to claim the throne.  This was a threat which Giisel would not tolerate.

What do others think?

Having just finished Lord of Emperors this evening...at first I thought her showing up was part of some plan of Gisel's...that Alixana with Crispin was something that was Gisel wanted...but I realize that doesn't make too much sense...

However, Alixana coming to him at the end...it didn't click with me too much...Crispin never seemed to have serious intentions with her.  Shirin, yes. Even Styliane, yes. But Alixana? That never seemed like it should have been in the cards...I obviously missed something. 

That being said, Lord of Emperors felt like it ended...oddly...and I'm not certain why yet. 

And now  not certain what to do. Read all of Kay's stories set within the same over arching world now...I suppose I should finish the Fionavar Tapestry...but its always been hard to read through for some reason...what about Ysabel?

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19 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

Tapestry...but its always been hard to read through for some reason...what about Ysabel?

I enjoyed Ysabel but it definitely had twangs of out of tune. 

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19 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

And now  not certain what to do. Read all of Kay's stories set within the same over arching world now...I suppose I should finish the Fionavar Tapestry...but its always been hard to read through for some reason...what about Ysabel?

Ysabel does feel different to his other books, although there are still some familiar features. There was something slightly disconcerting about a Kay protagonist talking about listening to Coldplay on his iPod, although he still managed to put in quite a lot of historical elements as well. I did enjoy it but wouldn't rank it among his best works.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/27/2021 at 2:11 AM, Jaxom 1974 said:

Having just finished Lord of Emperors this evening...at first I thought her showing up was part of some plan of Gisel's...that Alixana with Crispin was something that was Gisel wanted...but I realize that doesn't make too much sense...

However, Alixana coming to him at the end...it didn't click with me too much...Crispin never seemed to have serious intentions with her.  Shirin, yes. Even Styliane, yes. But Alixana? That never seemed like it should have been in the cards...I obviously missed something. 

That being said, Lord of Emperors felt like it ended...oddly...and I'm not certain why yet. 

And now  not certain what to do. Read all of Kay's stories set within the same over arching world now...I suppose I should finish the Fionavar Tapestry...but its always been hard to read through for some reason...what about Ysabel?

I always thought it odd that virtually every woman Crispin met wanted to fall into bed with him.

Edited by SeanF

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On 7/26/2021 at 8:11 PM, Jaxom 1974 said:

I suppose I should finish the Fionavar Tapestry...but its always been hard to read through for some reason...

IMO Fionavar is his weakest work by a WIDE margin. You're not missing much if you skip.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

However, Alixana coming to him at the end...it didn't click with me too much...Crispin never seemed to have serious intentions with her.  Shirin, yes. Even Styliane, yes. But Alixana? That never seemed like it should have been in the cards...I obviously missed something. 

I would put it down not to their having any specific romantic connection, but rather that Crispin had both seen what she had seen in Sarantium, in Valerius's rule and dreams, was someone who had shown intelligence and sympathy, and alone of all the people she knew would not try to use her to any end of his own. He was not a political person by nature and wanted nothing more from life than to be able to make his mosaics undisturbed. He was also, like her, someone who had lost a spouse. They had an understanding of one another, basically, and some measure of shared experience.

Ysabel makes not much sense to read without finishing The Fionavar Tapestry.  I would recommend finishing it, if for nothing else than to read about Camlann.

Edited by Ran

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