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Werthead

Guy Gavriel Kay

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1. Last Light of the Sun- it's a "sparer" style than Kay's other books, and I think that works well with the setting. Plus it's smaller in scope than most of Kay's books, and the most melancholy.


2. The Sarantine Mosiac novels. I loved the juxtaposition between the sophisticated court and the more pagan aspects of the fringes of the empire


3. Under Heaven This was an absolutely gorgeously written novel


4. A Song For Arbonne


5.Tigana There are problems with this novel, but IMO it has the most memorable characters of all of Kay's works



Those are the first five. Of the next four, I'd say that they are all worth reading but Ysabel. I wouldn't reread Lions, but I'm glad that I gave it a shot.


6. A River Of Stars


7. Fionavar Tapestry. These are very simple books, they have a YA feel to them


8. Lions- I just didn't enjoy this book. Neither the characters nor the plot ever grabbed me.


Ysabel- I didn't finish this one. I can't believe that Kay even wrote it.


Melanie

Edited by Mellybelle

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Merged at my whim.

Whimsical mods! Do you see what power has done to you?

On topic: Under Heaven: awesome.

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There is no heavenly and poetic tale of western and midwestern Canada!!

Perhaps Lions vs. Bluebombers?

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Roughriders vs Bombers, maybe. Annual heartbreak on Labour Day weekend, unless that hits too close to home for GGK as a one-time Winnipegger.



The occasional whim has to be indulged or there would be an epidemic of blue pencil across the board.



I used to like GGK more than I do at the moment: a phase I'm going through, I think. There are bits that are always beautiful to read, though.


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I mostly like Tigana very much. As well, the more I learn of the relationship between Venice and Poland in her golden age, the disappearances of Poland, which included enforced laws against using the Polish language, any expression of Polish culture -- including lullabies, and the politics of the great powers that made for the devouring and disappearance of Poland -- the more I like it. What I don't like is the wholesale theft or borrowing, what ever it might be classified, but it still indicates a failure of true imagination -- from Carlo Ginzberg's The Night Battles, which was published in English not too long before Tigana was published here. I also found something just "off" with the author being enthralled with himself to the point of self-gratification for writing dominance and submission sexual scenes. My reaction to the opening of Song of Narbonne, with the lord of the baddie kingdom having himself publicly fellated before his court was equally if not more offensive, particularly since it came with a sense that Kay had watched the BBC I, Claudius scene of Caligula doing the same thing too many times. (I get that sense from grrm's stuff a lot too.)



Otherwise though, I like very much everything about Tigana. But then, I have had splendid times in Venice, so there's that.



But ye gods and little fishes! Lions of al-Rassan was such a disappointment -- and generally dull too, that I even re-read it last summer to see my memories of how poorly it was imagined were correct. Far too earnest, in his attempts to create an everybody is equally wonderful, admirable, etc. out of the very long history of cultural / political / military conflicts of the Iberian Peninsula. And what he did with the Spanish language -- that is just plain embarrassing.



His latest two China novels are better written, but nothing original.


Edited by Zorral

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it reminds me of a movie novelization. A movie intended as pseudo-historical reenactment Oscar-bait with beautiful sweeping landscapes and beautiful actors and actresses who take it all so damn seriously. The women are spunky (I hate that word, but not as much as I hate Jehane) and inappropriately modern while remaining in the margins - props to the masculine deeds of the leading men. Every fight is a show of athleticism, perfectly choreographed. A light-hearted moment that isn't actually funny. Characters don't have sex, they indulge in lovemaking (yes, the word lovemaking was actually used in the book), perfectly cleaned bodies in soft light draped by strategically placed sheets. Side-boob, half in shadow. Banter between the female lead and the men who would give their lives to protect her. Scenes open with a view of the city or enclave that the next group of characters occupy. The hint of tragedy, because without tragedy, how could the viewer not feel all the feels? But ultimately, you know that it's Joaquin Phoenix in a wig and makeup pretending to be someone who lived long ago. No matter how the book ends, this movie will end with a sweeping shot in melancholy light of the lands that these manly men fought their way across. And maybe whichever of the men ends up being the ultimate hero looking out across that land. You leave the theater feeling a little melancholy yourself, not just because of the story, but because of the beauty and unattainable perfection of the characters, and then you get a burger and coke and forget about it.

:rofl: Spread the hate! And I quite like a nice sweeping historical...incidentally, I watched Quills yesterday, and came away kind of impressed that in a movie featuring Kate Winslet's breasts and Geoffrey Rush full frontal, the most unapologetically fetishized and objectified thing in the movie is still Joaquin Phoenix's face...but that romanticism in book form, that tries to layer of the Meaningfullness of it all just tips me over the edge.

Gun to head, Last Light of the Sun might be the most tolerable Kay novel of the ones i've read. I have a soft spot for Fionovar, because I read it when I was actually 15 and there's something to it's blatant, shameless ridiculousness I kind of admire. Nobody who is sufficiently good looking is ever really a villain, is the take-away, IIRC. Lesson for life, kids!

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From the Bright Weavings facebook wall:





GGK revealed today that his new book will be released in the spring of 2016. It is called CHILDREN OF EARTH AND SKY.


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From the Bright Weavings facebook wall:

Very interesting. Above all I want a new setting. No info whatsoever on what it is about I assume?

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For my part, I'm convinced it'll continue in the pseudo-Asian setting, as the name strikes me as not being far out from cultural representations of steppe peoples, who have featured (in a minor way) in his two latest novels.



But Linda pointed out, after some digging, three places where the phrase "Children of Earth and Sky" appears, or very nearly appears:



1) The Maori creation myths refers to deities who were the Children of Earth and Sky. Notably, Kay was in New Zealand when he wrote The Wandering Fire and Maori myths, customs, and names slipped into that work.


2) Hesiod's Theogony concerns itself with the children Gaia and Uranus, and refers to them as children of Earth and Sky.


3) A second-hand claim that I can't verify that the Inca had a name for themselves that roughly translated as "Children of Stone and Sky"


Edited by Ran

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I'd love something Maori based, I've always wanted to see more works based on cultures from that part of the world (the only fantasy I've read in that respect, the first book in a series that I for the life of me can't remember the name or author of, was an enjoyable travel through Polynesian mythology that somewhat ruined it by ending the first book with Scotland being where New Zealand should be). And Kay always does meticulous research so I'd be fairly confident of at least some relevance to the actual cultures.

But it'd be slightly worrying too because it's such a different milieu to everything else he's ever written, which at the end of the day almost always comes down to games of high court.

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A friend is interviewing GGK in a week or so and is looking for questions. Suggestions?


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Tough job, the man's had so many interviews already.


Myself I'm interested in any info on the new book.


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Picked up The Sarantine Mosaic from Half Price Books today. Now I have to decide whether I read that or Tigana first. Life is full of difficult decisions.


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Picked up The Sarantine Mosaic from Half Price Books today. Now I have to decide whether I read that or Tigana first. Life is full of difficult decisions.

Sarantine Mosaic - easy choice.

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