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Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Tigana (edition 1991)

by Guy Gavriel Kay

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,5021021,514 (4.21)7 / 521
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 (101)  Dutch (1)  All languages (102)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
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 |
This book has been sitting on my desk for months. I renewed it the maximum amount of times available and only once I really only had a week left to read it did I actually get down to reading it. I blame it on the first chapter. The first chapter was a little boring and the style of writing was new to me as this is my first Kay book. After reading the first chapter months ago I put it down to read something more exciting and fast. I shouldn't have lost hope so soon however because once I got past that prologue and was introduced to the characters and got familiar with Kay's writing, the book unfurled and out came a great story. It is not often that you find a fantasy story this in depth and complex that is not a multiple book series, so getting close to the end of the book was odd because I knew everything would be concluding and wrapping up soon. It felt TOO soon almost. But the conclusion was well done. Not a complete happy ending but a great conclusion with a twist at the very end that makes me wonder if it was put there for thought and speculation or for a potential sequel. I'm sure I will be reading more of Kay's books after this. ( )
  Kassilem | Mar 25, 2015 |
Review from TenaciousReader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2015/01/30/backlist-burndown-review-tigana-by-guy...

4.5 stars

If you have not read anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, I really encourage you to. His prose is beautiful without being flowery or ostentatious. It just flows and and leaves both wonderful images and reflections in its wake. And to make the deal even sweeter, the audiobook is narrated by Simon Vance. If you haven’t listened to a book narrated by Simon Vance, your life is just not as fulfilled as it could be! His voice is just magic, and pair that voice with Kay’s prose? The result is an audible heaven. Seriously.

Tigana is a magical exploration of history and memory. A grieving sorcerer casts a spell in vengeance, causing everyone from Tigana to be caught in the middle. It is the story of a land that has been erased from everyone’s memory, and the even then name Tigana is not able to be heard or understood by anyone from outside of Tigana. Whoever you are, wherever you are from, imagine not being able to speak the name of where you are from much less speak of its history. It’s a sad loss that most of the world is unaware of.

In addition to that, it’s also a story that causes you to pause and think about “the bad guy”. I always love getting the perspective of the supposed villain because whenever you get that, you start to see shades of grey instead of black and white. You may still know the character’s actions were poor choices that caused harm, but once a villain is humanized and their motivations are understood, to me, this is where a story can get way more interesting. Tigana does this by giving us the POV of both the sorcerer and someone that has grown close to him. His curse on Tigana may not be justified, but I loved getting to understand the character that cast that curse. And then there is the question of is the cost of repealing this curse (the lives that would be lost) worth getting back the memory and history of Tigana? A very interesting dilemma.

I enjoyed this, I enjoyed the prose and the ways it makes you think about the world, not just the fictional world the story is about, but how this can apply to the world we know. (For those interested in hearing the author’s take on how this applies to our world, I highly encourage you to read the Kay’s afterword.)

I will say I did not love this on quite the same level as I did Lions of Al-Rassan. I’m still giving it 4.5 stars, so don’t take that as a negative, sometimes we’re allowed to pick favorites without it being insulting. But I couldn’t help but try and decide what made me love this one slightly less. Lions was very very light on magic. This book, was quite heavy with it, the entire premise of the book was dependent upon it. I have to say, I think I prefered the lighter level of magic in Lions. I also don’t think I ever grew quite as attached to the characters in this one as I did in Lions (but I still enjoyed them and I don’t think they were two dimensional). Minor things, but ultimately, probably what made it slightly easier for me to pick a favorite between these two books. But then, who knows, this could be one of those books I continue to think about over time and hence raise my rating. Only time will tell. Regardless, the difference would only be between 4.5 versus 5 stars, I loved this story either way. It’s a book and author that I highly recommend to pretty much anyone and everyone. ( )
  tenaciousreader | Feb 1, 2015 |
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 |
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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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