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The Darkest Road (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 3) (original 1986; edition 1992)

by Guy Gavriel Kay

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2,189332,962 (4.09)67
Member:violetchimaera
Title:The Darkest Road (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 3)
Authors:Guy Gavriel Kay
Info:Roc (1992), Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
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The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay (1986)

Recently added byelissa.strauss, JR.Raluces, rshart3, private library, macdherbe, Joliveira
  1. 10
    Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: While it's not an official sequel (thus not tagged with this series), there's some recurring characters from Fionavar.
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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Alrighty then... That was sort of tragic. Thank God there were enough joyful moments included to help balance out the sorrowful ones, otherwise I might have jumped off a bridge after finishing this. But wait, no, I'm not complaining.. That's a good thing! Not jumping off of a bridge, that would pretty much suck.. The amazing scope of emotions that this book pushed me through; that's the good thing. That Kay could write something so poignant and yet still hopeful and beautiful... That's talent right there.

I don't even know what to say really. When it comes to romance, when it comes to tragedy, nothing comes close to Kay.

[Name removed, you're welcome] has named me as his Intercedent and bids me tell you, in the presence of all those here, that the sun rises in your daughter’s eyes.

Why the hell does that make me swoon? I don't know. But it's just such a romantic tradition.. Fricken Kay.. So mean and thoughtless, making me all swoony. Doesn't he know I have a reputation to protect?

Let's wrap this up though. Overall, this is a great series. Very romantic and tragic, definitely more emotional / character driven content than action, but not disappointing in the action department when it's called for. I'm giving this one 4.5 stars... Series overall is at about 4. Not my favorite Kay ever written, but definitely more than worthwhile. ( )
  breakofdawn | Jun 11, 2013 |
I liked it in general but the way these college students were able to do the things that they did in Fionavar required a tremendous amount of suspension of disbelief. The worst example was how Dave was able to use an Ax with no training whatsoever. I'm pretty sure an untrained ax wielder on horseback will very quickly kill his horse. ( )
  jjwilson61 | May 27, 2013 |
Like the other books in the series, for me, this is a hard slog at the beginning, but once I get into it I soar right to the end. Even knowing what happens, I still get swept away in it every time. ( )
  rrainer | Apr 30, 2013 |
The final book of the Fionavar Tapestry is, unsurprisingly, the longest. After the long build up of the first two books, the war finally really gets underway. It's still very Lord of the Rings, with all the races joining up and wars and a lone person making his way into the heart of darkness, etc. In another way, it's completely not like Lord of the Rings at all. For one thing, not everyone lives. Boromir aside, most of the main characters in Lord of the Rings survive. Not so with Fionavar. Guy Gavriel Kay, as I have observed before, does not go gently. I kind of want to shake him and curse him, at the same time as admiring what he does with it, and how much he's made me care about the characters.

There are also some beautiful, fitting conclusions that make me very happy.

There are also some rather strange conclusions that baffle me. I think I've observed before that GGK is not so great with intentional romance. I don't feel Paul and Jaelle at all, for example -- I can see what he tries to do with them, and I understand why he thinks they'd be suited to each other in one way, but when it comes down to it, I really don't feel anything about them getting together. Same thing with the hint of romance between Kim and Dave (that follows through into Ysabel). Just... why? Where's it coming from? And yet something that could have been good, like Kim and Aileron -- don't tell me I was the only one? -- doesn't happen at all. These, however, are minor flaws.

Throughout the trilogy, GGK's writing is beautiful. Some of the scenes in this book are so very vivid that they stick in even my very-much-not-visual kind of brain. The image of Leyse floating down to the sea, for example. The death scenes are all lovely in a painful way, especially (for me) the one after the large urgach has been killed. They're like punches in the gut.

I still don't feel like my reviews have managed to capture how much I love this trilogy. Forget the flaws: I love it. I love the characters and the world, and the writing. If you can't get past the flaws, fair enough, but there is a real gem here, I think.

Reread in February 2010. Loved, more than ever, wept over, also probably more than ever. I was reluctant to read the last ten pages because that means my glorious weekend of visiting Fionavar is over. I'm sure I'll be back before too long, though. Fionavar is very rereadable, as I've proved this weekend. It's this, the fact that it breaks me anew every time and makes me love it more than ever, that gets these three books five stars. There are definitely flaws, things that jar, things that don't quite work -- I'm still utterly baffled at the romantic conclusions, and why the hell does Sharra disappear from the narrative the minute her romantic plot ends? -- but it draws me back in every single time. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
No matter how many times I read them, these books still make me cry, and more, they still have me reading late into the night, breathless and stunned. I know what's going to happen, but that doesn't take any of the poignancy out of it. Of the three books, this is the strongest: the best prose, the best action, the best images, the best in all the characters. He draws everything together do well, and puts the readers' hearts through a blender without caring how much they're undoubtedly cursing him.

(I seem to recall calling him a 'magnificent, glorious bastard' the last time I read it, and my other half agrees. No one can accuse Kay of being too gentle with his characters. He's one of the few writers who can be ruthless. Tolkien's work, dark as it can be, holds back from killing off the characters we love, and thus makes them less mortal, less fragile, and less dear.)

I still think that Kay sucks at building romance stories up. I believe in the established love of Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere -- and fresh from reading The Mists of Avalon, I find myself thinking that Kay wasn't simply talking of loyalty to a lord when he wrote of Lancelot's love for Arthur -- and in that of Sharra and Diarmuid. Kim and Dave, Jaelle and Paul, though...

I'm pretty sure I'll return to these books again, and find the same shining delight again. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy Gavriel Kayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Springett, MartinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At the beginning of this road as at the beginning of all roads are my parents, Sybil and Sam Kay. This tapestry is theirs.
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"Do you know the wish of your heart?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The concluding novel in Kay's trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry, opens as the fantasy world's magically prolonged winter yields to spring - but a spring where showers bring death, emptying entire cities. To combat the arch evil Rakoth Maugrim, the High King of Brennin marches north with his army and allies, anticipating a final confrontation. At the same time, a crucial choice faces young Darien, the son produced by Rakoth's rape of Guinevere. Feeling rejected by the good and the light, Darien sets off on the dark road to his father.
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In the final battle between good and evil, five young men and women must each face the malfeasance of Rakoth Maugrim.

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