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Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,4161021,583 (4.21)7 / 506
  1. 74
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  2. 21
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  3. 10
    The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Both set in vaguely historical Europe with minimal fantastic elements
  4. 00
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    reading_fox: Historical european fantasy

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English (100)  Dutch (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
I'm stuck between 2 and 3 stars. There were some parts of the world I really like, the set up is a good one, and I will read other books by Kay. Yet I never really grabbed onto any of the characters, did not always sympathize with or even understand their goals, and wish the mechanisms of magic were clearer.
( )
  behemothing | Oct 25, 2014 |
What do you do when the name of your homeland is lost?This is the central theme of Tigana. But there are a lot of things happening in the land of Palm and the narrative is from the POV of many persons this adds multiple layers to the story and we are left to guess a lot of other background stories that are only hinted at.
This is a great book and I loved it. ( )
  aeromaxtran | Sep 17, 2014 |
This is a cut - a very large cut - above your usual Extruded Fantasy Product. On the surface it is a story of heroes and villains, in which at the end the heroes all live and get to marry, and the villains die horrible deaths. Only one person we are made to care about actually dies.

But. The heroes are all variously flawed, and the villains aren't just emissaries of evil. The world-building is good, the culture mostly very convincingly portrayed (I didn't buy the riselka, it didn't seem to fit, somehow) and the main characters are well-drawn and believable. The story itself is interesting and unusual (unusual for fantasy, anyway) and a definite page turner. Also, and perhaps unusually for the genre, certainly when it was published, it has some interesting things to say about memory, and about means and ends and how the former shape the latter, and the choices people make in pursuit of a cause (good or otherwise). The pain of being an occupied nation came across well. There is no violence pr0n, which was good to see, but the sex scenes were a bit wooden. This was the first book by GGK I have read, and I will read more.

Flaws: too much detail in places, especially in Dianora's back story. (Also, it was a bit too coincidental that she was planning to go to Chiara, and then got carried off there anyway). Few of the secondary characters came across as three dimensional, and Alienor didn't strike me as necessary at all. Not enough standard fantasy tropes were subverted, for me, and there was the usual problem with magic as a deus (or should that be diabolos) ex machina. Half a star knocked off for all that.

Game of Thrones fans will particularly enjoy this .. there's a lot here they will recognise. ( )
  sloopjonb | Jul 10, 2014 |
Mr. Kay has gotten around to Medieval/Renaissance Italy in his tour of major Fantasy Settings. It's less compelling than the Spain and his Sarantium work. Good entertainment, but it sinks into body of work as opposed to startling achievement. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 18, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Nobody remembers Tigana — a land bright with beauty, culture, and wealth — nobody but those who lived there before the land was cursed by the conqueror Brandin of Ygrath after the prince of Tigana killed Brandin's son in battle. When the now-oppressed Tiganese try to tell outsiders about Tigana, the name just slips out of the listener's mind. Only those born in the land are able to keep its beautiful name in memory.

But the prince of Tigana's son still lives and he and his companions plan to restore their land's name. But, not only must they kill Brandin of Ygrath, but also Alberico of Barbadior, who rules the other half of their peninsula. Otherwise, they will merely be consumed by a different tyrant.

I was entranced by Tigana right from the first page. What I noticed immediately was the passion — this is a story lovingly wrought by an author who loves language, loves his characters, and loves the world he's created. Guy Gavriel Kay's prose is heavy with imagery and emotion yet it reads, for the most part, easily (except for the occasional unexpected shift in point-of-view).

Kay's characters are distinct, well-developed, and likable. The prince's companions are a diverse group, each with his/her own personality, strengths, and weaknesses. The actions and motives of the villains are completely understandable — in fact, I felt sympathetic toward them.

The story of the struggle to free Tigana was fascinating. There were some slightly unbelievable or contrived plot devices, but the rest of the story was excellent enough that I was perfectly happy to overlook them. The end was surprising and bittersweet.

I listened to most of Tigana on audio (and read some of it in print). Simon Vance is the reader, and he is one of the very best. If you're an audiobook listener, I'd definitely suggest that format for Tigana. But, either way, Tigana is a must-read.
Read more GGK reviews at FanLit. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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All that you held most dear you will put by
 and leave behind you; and this is the arrow
 the longbow of your exile first lets fly.
You will come to know how bitter as salt and stone
 is the bread of others, how hard the way that goes
 up and down stairs that never are your own.
—Dante, The Paradiso
What can a flame remember? If it remembers a little less
than is necessary, it goes out; if it remembers a little
more than is necessary, it goes out. If only it could
teach us, while it burns, to remember correctly.
—George Seferis, "Stratis the Sailor Describes a Man"
For my brothers, Jeffrey and Rex
First words
Both moons were high, dimming the light of all but the brightest stars.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the complete story in one volume. Please do not combine this with either part one (Tigana Chapters 1 - 12) or part two (Tigana Chapters 13 - 20).
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451457765, Paperback)

Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of a cruel despotic king that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:38 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

With a new introduction by the acclaimed bestselling author, this tenth anniversary edition of a fantasy classic is the sweeping tale of sorcery, magic, politics, war, love, betrayal, and survival.

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Average: (4.21)
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