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THE WANDERING FIRE (FIONAVAR TAPESTRY S.) (original 1986; edition 1987)

by Guy Gavriel Kay (Author), Martin Springett (Cover artist)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,618463,420 (4.01)1 / 100
Authors:Guy Gavriel Kay (Author)
Other authors:Martin Springett (Cover artist)
Info:HARPERCOLLINS (1987), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 310 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantasy, alternate world, fionavar, Weaver, unraveller

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The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay (1986)



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English (44)  Dutch (2)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
After the dramatic ending to 'The Summer Tree' the series was in need of some breathing space and Kay wisely takes his time in the beginning of 'The Wandering Fire'. Kim using her Seer powers and somehow tapping into the power of the Baelrath, brought the Five home from Fionavar with the help of High Priestess Jaelle.

They will never be the same again, however, and know they will have to return. Paul and Kim have powers they don't yet fully understand, Dave's experiences on the plain have opened him up to the world, and Jennifer, tortured and raped by Rakoth Maugrim, has a decision to make. Only Kevin, though touched by his time in Fionavar, remains essentially unchanged.

Kay's writing remains beautiful, but the prose has taken a step back from the formal story-telling sensibility that made the first book so distinctive. This is a pity, but I can understand why he would want to write in a more direct style.

Apart from the below commentary, the book suffers from mid-trilogy-slump in that there was a lot of set-up for the conclusion, but not enough substantial action. Diarmuid's sea voyage and the Loren's confrontation with Metran didn't do much for me. Kevin Laine's destiny is sad and perplexing. but was the great centerpiece to the story.

'The Wandering Fire' begins to pull in more myth archetypes - primarily the King Arthur cycle and the Adonis myth. In my last review I said I would try to address the place of women in this universe. Again, I'll say I don't think this was anything concious on Kay's part, but a limitation based on the Romano-celtic myths he sourced his story from.

Kim, as Seer of Brennan, has the power of revelatory dreams and was given the Baelrath - an item of wild magic and mostly out of her control. She is strong in her role though has doubts similar to the male players about her abilities. Kim is great, actually. I don't have any issue except some thoughts about the passivity of oracular dreams which aren't sharp enough to expand on.

Jennifer, has a place in the mythic destiny that becomes clear in this book - she is Guinevere reborn - and therefore has the most clearly defined and tragic histories of all the characters in the series. Her character before her kidnapping and abuse by Maugrim was defined mostly by being emotionally reserved, strong-willed and proud, and being beautiful. These traits remain, and are even magnified by her ordeal, but after making her decision about Darien she is passive. She accepts her destiny and she waits.

Of the Fionavar natives chiefly there is Sharra, the clever and beautiful princess. She spends her time out-maneuvering her father's attempts to have her be married and in being seduced. Next is Jaelle, the cold and beautiful high priestess of the Earth Mother, being cold is her defense after being raised to such power at a young age. There are others, a few wives and daughters, objects of affection and sacrifice, grieving mothers, literal ice queens and bad mother Swans below the understandably obfuscated behaviors of deities.

I don't really have a problem with these archetypes, they're used well here and the story is entertaining. I just couldn't help dwelling on it while I was reading. I'm hoping that in 'The Darkest Road' there are some surprises in that area that I've forgotten since high school.

The Fionavar Tapestry

Next: 'The Darkest Road'

Previous: 'The Summer Tree' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Mar 10, 2019 |
Like most middle books in a trilogy, this book is a bit of a drag as people's motivations are explored in near exhausting detail though there were some fun elements, particularly in the attempt of the King of Cahal's attempt to upstage the new High King of Brennin as it was disrupted by the new King and his brother. We're also introduced to the greatest Warrior in all the Worlds of the Weaver and hi Queen. ( )
  JohnFair | Dec 23, 2018 |
The Wandering Fire is the second book in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. I enjoyed this book, but a little less than I did the first book.

The story picks up several months after the first book left off, with our main characters from Earth back home after Kim brought them back in the process of rescuing Jennifer. At the beginning, they're trying to find a way back to Fionavar, among other things. I noticed some improvements with the writing in this book. In particular, I didn’t notice any unexpected head-hopping whereas that happened a lot in the first book.

In this book, so many problems are solved by miraculous intervention or by the discovery of abilities that the characters themselves didn’t really know they had. I guess I should apply this complaint to the first book also, but it didn’t seem like such a frequent plot device to me then. I don’t think it’s done in a way that would bother everybody, but it became a bit too much for me. I have a few more comments along those lines, but they’re a little less general so I’ll need to put them behind spoiler tags.

I don’t think there’s necessarily any one thing that frustrated me, but rather the accumulation of so many little things. Every main character from Earth has some sort of previously-unknown special identity, or latent special ability, or they develop some special connection with the gods on Fionavar. Nearly every time there was a problem, one of the characters would suddenly discover some new latent ability or previously-forgotten knowledge that could help. Often the characters would join a mission with no idea how they could help, then of course they would be the one to pull a rabbit out of their hat in the nick of time. The Arthurian stuff was a bit much too, at least when added on top of all the rest.

I still enjoyed reading it despite my complaints. My complaints are mostly story-based whereas I still really like most of the characters, so that helps. A 3.5-star rating was an easy decision, but I had trouble deciding whether to round up or down on Goodreads. Given my complaints I should probably round down, but I enjoyed it enough that I’m going to round up. I plan to finish out the trilogy to see how things end. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Apr 27, 2018 |
After falling head over heels in love with The Summer Tree, I was more and more disappointed reading The Wandering Fire. Everything seemed a bit less clear. By the time I was halfway through I began mixing up characters, some of them seemed unnecessary. Kay threw Arthur Pendragon into his tolkienesque world, which seemed like just one thing too many. And even the prose came across as less lyrical.

If you're looking to dive into Guy Gavriel Kay, please do so, because he's a brilliant author, but start with The Lions of Al-Rassan or Tigana. ( )
  Vinjii | Mar 22, 2018 |
I can't stop so Fionavar will probably wind up a single blog post after I read the third book. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Ce deuxième livre de la saga a les mêmes qualités... et les mêmes défauts. Mais on retrouve effectivement une poésie à la Tolkien, qui, si elle est parfois trop appuyée, se révèle assez intéressante. Et l'arrivée d'Arthur et de Lancelot ajoute une nouvelle dimension à l'histoire... Ce sont d'ailleurs les personnages les plus intéressants, avec le Prince Diarmuid et sa dulcinée...
Auteur canadien, Guy Gavriel Kay aime les mythes, la fantasy et l'histoire médiévale. Sa merveilleuse Chanson d'Arbonne en a fait rêver plus d'un avec son mélange de magie et d'amour courtois. Avec cette série, il se lance plus dans la fantasy que dans son pendant historico-merveilleux, avec délice et humour.
Cinq jeunes gens d'une petite ville américaine reçoivent la visite d'un étrange personnage (et même de plusieurs) qui les entraîne dans un monde dont ils n'ont pas la moindre idée, monde de magie et de contes où leur présence est nécessaire à l'avènement d'un nouveau roi. Un par un, nos cinq contemporains se découvrent un destin étrange qui les éloigne encore plus de leur histoire et de leur monde. La tapisserie du monde est complexe, alignant côte à côte des histoires et des univers que tout sépare, que rien ne lie mais qui pourtant s'interpénètrent et se rejoignent par intervalles. Dans cette complexité, les personnalités de nos jeunes gens vont s'affirmer, révélant des traits qu'on n'aurait pu imaginer, leur ouvrant des perspectives inconnues en nous faisant rêver. Les différents peuples de ce monde étrange qui semble être au centre du nôtre, sont attachants et pourtant différents... Une fantasy mythologique et médiévale rare.
added by Ariane65 | editPhenix, Sara Doke (Mar 1, 1999)

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy Gavriel Kayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odom, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springett, MartinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Wandering Fire is dedicated to my wife, LAURA, who came with me to find it.
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Winter was coming.
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
"Vous voulez votre propre malheur" murmura Paul.
Arthur se tourna vers lui, avec un sourire plein de compassion : "C'était voulu depuis longtemps."
Et le visage d'Arthur Pendragon était empreint en cet instant d'une noblesse plus pure que ce que Paul avait jamais pu voir de toute sa vie. Plus encore qu'en Liranan ou en Cernan des Animaux. C'était la quintessence de la noblesse, et tout en Paul protestait contre le fatal destin qui découlerait de ce choix effroyable.
Diarmuid s'était détourné.
"Lancelot !" dit Arthur à la silhouette étendue sur la pierre.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451458265, Paperback)

The Wandering Fire is the second novel of Guy Gavriel Kay’s critically acclaimed fantasy trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry. A mage’s power has brought five university students from our world into a realm where an ancient evil has freed itself from captivity to wreak revenge on its enemies…

The ice of eternal winter has reached out to enshroud Fionavar, the first of all worlds. For the Unraveller has broken free after millennia enchained—and now his terrible vengeance has begun to take its toll on mortals and immortals, mages and warriors, dwarves and the lios alfar, the Children of Light.

Only five men and women of our own world, brought by magic across the Tapestry of worlds to the very heart of the Weaver’s pattern, can hope to wake the allies they so desperately need. Yet none can foretell whether even these beings out of legend have the power to shatter the Unraveller’s icy grip of death upon the land…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:22 -0400)

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Continues the adventures of five young men and women from our world caught in a war between the forces of good and evil.

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