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Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Tigana (edition 1991)

by Guy Gavriel Kay

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,5751071,477 (4.2)7 / 531
Authors:Guy Gavriel Kay
Info:Roc (1991), Paperback, 688 pages
Collections:Your library, At Cottage, On Loan
Tags:Fantasy, Sorcery, Magic, Memory

Work details

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

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English (105)  Dutch (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
There's a lot of sexual tension and sumptuous descriptions, but that's not enough to make the characters compelling, or to make me care. The main characters are very passive. Boring. This is exactly why I don't read Romance novels. If you're a fan of regency romance, or romance in general, you might enjoy this. It's definitely not my thing.

Does the whiny Dianora actually have a reason for not assassinating the tyrant? The only thing that might make her sympathetic would be if she's enchanted, but there's no hint of that. I'm about 40% through, and I'm done trying to like these blahhhhhhhnd characters. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
Tigana is an epic fantasy story told within a single book. It’s full of political maneuvering and schemes, blind devotion to causes, touching friendships, and a bit of magic.

There was enough world-building in this one book to sustain a longer series, and I would have happily read more books featuring this world and these characters. The characters were where Tigana really shone for me. Several of them were very likeable, and I thought the friendships between them were especially well-written. There was a little bit of humor sprinkled throughout, mostly through interactions between the characters, and that helped lighten the mood of what was otherwise a relatively serious book. There was also some romance in the book, although only one was explored in any major detail throughout the book and that one had a major impact on the plot. Aside from that important one, the others felt too forced. It seemed like every female character who showed up in the book had to get paired off with somebody. I think their participation in the story would have been more meaningful without that.

The book did have its slow parts. There was a lot of world-building crammed into a single, 676-page book. It was interesting, and the depth it added is a large part of why I enjoyed the book so much, but small chunks of historical information were often inserted at a point when I was anxious to find out what was going on with various characters. When that happened, I often had to put the book down and come back to it later when my desire to get back to the characters had faded a little bit and I was more prepared to sit and focus on what the author wanted me to know next. I sometimes had a similar reaction when we switched from the characters I enjoyed reading about the most over to another character who was less interesting to me.

Although there weren’t a lot of point-of-view characters, there were definitely a lot of characters in the book who played small but important roles. I was very glad to be reading on my Kindle so I could quickly search for the original mention of various names that I knew looked familiar but couldn't place. Sometimes a character that had been briefly introduced a couple of hundred pages ago would suddenly crop back up in a different setting. It was nice to be able to clearly make the connections, although I’m sure I would have still enjoyed the story if I had just glossed over those occurrences. There were a lot of little intricacies with how everything tied together.

Things definitely weren’t cut-and-dry in this book. It wasn’t always easy to decide which outcome to root for, because I could see points on both sides of the main conflict and really I wasn’t sure that I agreed with either side. At one point early on in the book I decided there was no way things were going to end well for everybody and, without spoiling anything, the ending really was pretty bittersweet. Everything was pretty well answered and tied up by the end, but it was tied up very loosely in that we don’t know exactly what’s in store for the characters beyond the end of the book. I would have enjoyed a little more closure. Or, better yet, a sequel. There was one thing that happened at the very end of the epilogue that exasperated me. If the author had for some very odd reason been strolling past my couch at that moment, I likely would have thrown my Kindle directly at his head.

Despite a few complaints here and there, I did really enjoy this one and I definitely plan to try more books by the author in the future. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jan 23, 2016 |
Very good. This is one I know I'll read again. ( )
  andieaaase | Nov 30, 2015 |
Very good. This is one I know I'll read again. ( )
  andieaaase | Nov 30, 2015 |
Set in a faux Italian Renaissance, a land of City-States. I liked so much Kay's world-building and amid violence, a tender love story between former enemies. The land of Tigana has been put under a spell; no one can remember its name--in fact it has been renamed. The Peninsula of the Palm has been conquered by two tyrants, Brandin and Alberico, who have divided the land between them. Plot of Sandreni family against the tyrant Alberico fails miserably. Members of a troupe of travelling musicians wants to oust BOTH tyrants. The daughter of a soldier killed in the war against Brandin wants to destroy him. Population of different distradas begin to unite against the enemies of the Palm and perform acts of sabotage and murder.

The writing was some of Kay's best, exquisite and evocative of time and place. The star-crossed couple, Brandin and Dianora were so poignant and the opponents of the tyrannies were valiant. There was magic involved, but descriptions were muted.

Highly recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Jun 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy Gavriel Kayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Odom, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:25 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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