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The Wandering Fire (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 2) (original 1986; edition 1992)

by Guy Gavriel Kay

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2,233None2,868 (4.02)1 / 85
Member:violetchimaera
Title:The Wandering Fire (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 2)
Authors:Guy Gavriel Kay
Info:Roc (1992), Mass Market Paperback, 375 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay (1986)

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English (36)  Dutch (2)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

It’s been 1½ years since I read The Summer Tree, Guy Gavriel Kay’s first novel and the first in his Fionavar Tapestry. I mentioned in the review for that book that I’m an adoring fan of Kay’s later stand-alone novels but that I found The Summer Tree derivative and heavy. I would have happily skipped its sequel, The Wandering Fire, but I had already purchased it at Audible, so I thought I’d give it a chance to win me over. Simon Vance, the narrator, is one of my favorites and his bad Canadian accents were toned down this time, which made him pleasant to listen to, as usual.

In this installment, the five college students are back home in Toronto after Kim whisked them out of Fionavar when she heard Jennifer being tortured after being raped by the dark lord, Rakoth Maugrim. Jennifer became pregnant and has refused to get rid of the baby. Will the son of the dark lord be evil? Are genes destiny, or might love overcome their effect? Meanwhile, the unnatural winter grinds on in Fionavar. The people are starving and the minions of the dark lord are attacking, so Kim goes to Stonehenge to summon Arthur Pendragon and takes him and the rest of the gang back to fight evil in Fionavar.

I felt pretty much the same way about The Wandering Fire as I did about The Summer Tree. Here we get to know our heroes a little better, but they still remain rather shallow even though we spend plenty of time viewing events from their perspectives and watching them act and speak with an abundance of emotion. The villains are similarly thin. The story advances, though not much has been accomplished by the end, and I had the familiar feeling that The Fionavar Tapestry could have been done in two books instead of three.

The story, though derivative (there are so many Tolkienesque elements here), is intriguing, but the addition of King Arthur (and the foreshadowed love triangle with Jennifer and Lancelot) is strange and seems out of place. There are bright patches of humor and wit, especially in the blossoming romance between Sharra and Diarmuid, which has been my favorite plotline in this series.

My main problem with The Fionavar Tapestry is that it’s so unrelievedly heavy and histrionic. The characters, even those from modern Toronto, express almost every thought in intense turgid prose. Everything that happens — every conversation, every fight, every sex scene, every meal — is treated as if it’s the climax of the story. It’s often beautiful, but frankly, it’s exhausting. This is an area where GGK has markedly improved over the years. His later novels are still full of passion, but in these earlier books, each character feels as if he’s likely to explode at any moment if the temperature in Fionavar ever gets above freezing.

Overall, then, The Wandering Fire is a rather conventional high fantasy that suffers from excess weight and pomposity, but it’s easy and exciting to see the early stages of Guy Gavriel Kay’s later greatness here. Fans who are interested in this author’s evolution will want to be familiar with The Fionavar Tapestry, especially since its mythology is alluded to in his later novels. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
En mi opinión el mejor libro de la trilogía, en comparación con los otros dos.
Es el más entretenido y con mayor cantidad de sucesos inesperados. El misterio es mayor y la historia se vuelve más atrapante que en [b:El árbol del verano|13610210|El árbol del verano (El tapiz de Fionavar, #1)|Guy Gavriel Kay|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1334943950s/13610210.jpg|3238632].

Eso si:
Cuando entra en la historia El Rey Arturo al que apodaron "Asesino de niños" casi revoleo el libro al demonio. Toda esa parte de "leyenda artúrica" (no me alcanza la ironía para decir eso) es sencillamente mala, casi diría, una falta de respeto. ( )
  outlanders22 | Sep 21, 2013 |
This one I liked better than it's predecessor. The beginning was rough and really had nothing more than tidying up loose ends from the last, creating a time line jump, and then getting everyone back where they had to be.

I still find myself only interested at all in two of The Five, Paul and then Jennifer, but I am massively in love and rapt with a whole lot of the secondary characters and large swags of certain Finoavar races. I do feel that the first book portrayed the Evil vs. Good sides more clearly and evenly, while this one had a whole lot on what was happening on The Good Guy's Side.

There's a whole lot of loose ends in this one. Where the first book could stand alone, so much is left unattended to, or pushed to the side, that I feel I wanted to see more of, whether person or place or event or happening. And certain other things happens so fast looking back I wonder if they were supposed to have mattered more to me.

Of course, you know I loved it when they brought Arthurian Legends into it. (Finally. Something to cling to hard until Ysabelle.) I really, really like what they are doing with that legend here, how it blurs, how everyone loves everyone, and hopefully book three won't have me eating these words. ( )
  wanderlustlover | Jul 24, 2013 |
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

I was frustrated during certain parts of this book. First of all, I didn't realize how much I was missing due to a lack of knowledge of mythology. At one point I went out to look up the book on Wikipedia, to see how much I needed to know about King Arthur to get by, and was blown away by all of the references I hadn't picked up on. Secondly, it was a little slow and almost on the boring side during some parts. I loved [b:The Summer Tree|104086|The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, #1)|Guy Gavriel Kay|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171506609s/104086.jpg|3238632], so that was a little disappointing.

But Kay always seems to redeem himself. He's so damn romantic. The relationships and romance in this book had me swooning left and right. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is romancey at all... But when he did write some romance in, it was damn good. Just... Beautifully done. If a man ever talked to me romantically like the men in his stories talk to the women in them.. Damn. I'd be a puddle.

And the ending.. Beautiful and emotionally moving.. He definitely redeemed the slower parts with the last third.

All in all, it wasn't quite as good as [b:The Summer Tree|104086|The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, #1)|Guy Gavriel Kay|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171506609s/104086.jpg|3238632], but I still really liked it. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the last book of the trilogy. ( )
  breakofdawn | Jun 11, 2013 |
The end of this one almost pushes it up to a four--and maybe upon further reflection it will--because it is a truly spectacular last forty pages or so, but this is the one book in the series that I always found just a little too disjointed. ( )
  rrainer | Apr 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy Gavriel Kayprimary authorall 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.
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"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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:37 -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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