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The Darkest Road (The Fionavar Tapestry #3)

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  10,619 ratings  ·  301 reviews
The young heroes from our own world have gained power and maturity from their sufferings and adventures in Fionavar. Now they must bring all the strength and wisdom they possess to the aid of the armies of Light in the ultimate battle against the evil of Rakoth Maugrim and the hordes of the Dark.

On a ghost-ship the legendary Warrior, Arthur Pendragon, and Pwyll Twiceborn,
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Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Roc (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

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mark monday
SPOILERS AHEAD, SO MANY SPOILERS

The concluding volume of Fionavar Tapestry is a perfect fantasy novel. Happily stripped of the awkward, stilted ‘real world’ situations and dialogue that occasionally marred the preceding novels, The Darkest Road takes place entirely in Fionavar and is all the stronger because of it. The narrative is simple: the characters all engage in a series of final meetings, battles, and individual confrontations that were carefully set up in books 1 and 2. The world is save
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Stephen
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" novels. This is the newest edition to my list of all time favorite novels and the entire trilogy has earned a place on my list as one of the best fantasy trilogies of ALL TIME (see my review of the entire series under The Fionavar Tapestry for a more detailed review). What I am about to say may be deemed sacrilege amount fantasy readers but the truth is, from the stanpoint of "emotion evoking" and "lyrical, poetic" prose combined with "epic, larger th ...more
Sparrow
This suddenly got way too Power Rangers for me. No one was a bigger fan of the Darien story at the beginning of the last book (or Jennifer’s story? Both) than this girl, but, man, when it turned out that he had (view spoiler)? That was a bummer. I mean, you might say, “no, no (view spoiler),” or whatever, but I think you’re wrong. I mean, this book even made me like the other books a little less. It was the Phantom Menace to Wande ...more
Dawn
Alrighty then... That was sort of tragic. Thank God there were enough joyful moments included to help balance out the sorrowful ones, otherwise I might have jumped off a bridge after finishing this. But wait, no, I'm not complaining.. That's a good thing! Not jumping off of a bridge, that would pretty much suck.. The amazing scope of emotions that this book pushed me through; that's the good thing. That Kay could write something so poignant and yet still hopeful and beautiful... That's talent ri ...more
Doc Opp
The first book in this series was simply brilliant. The series went downhill from there. In the first book, the sorrow of tragic events was creatively expressed almost poetically, and through the characters actions. In this book the author took the tack that if you repeat the fact that a character is feeling sad frequently enough, it will have emotional impact. That doesn't really work. Basically, what had been deep, tragically flawed, and emotion inducing characters were turned into whiny, shal ...more
Christy
I read this series once a year for a few years in a row when I was much younger (high school and into early college). I'd spend a whole weekend just reading about Fionavar. I would become so immersed in the books that I wouldn't dream when I slept (a rarity) and that I would resent any human interference in my reading and immersion. The books moved me and made me weep every time I read them.

Between then and now at least 10 years have passed in which I have read little fantasy, my tastes have shi
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Nikki
No matter how many times I read them, these books still make me cry, and more, they still have me reading late into the night, breathless and stunned. I know what's going to happen, but that doesn't take any of the poignancy out of it. Of the three books, this is the strongest: the best prose, the best action, the best images, the best in all the characters. He draws everything together do well, and puts the readers' hearts through a blender without caring how much they're undoubtedly cursing hi ...more
Lightreads
Ah. Slow exhale. The end of the trilogy, and the final confrontation of light against dark.

Two contradictory reactions here: on the one hand, that was wrenching and beautiful, with intricate, soaring language to carry me through great bravery and tragedy. And I was, at one point, leaking tears as I walked down the street today. Hint: do not read the last quarter of this book in audio while going about the public portions of your day.

On the other hand, there is something in this book that runs c
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Nikki
The final book of the Fionavar Tapestry is, unsurprisingly, the longest. After the long build up of the first two books, the war finally really gets underway. It's still very Lord of the Rings, with all the races joining up and wars and a lone person making his way into the heart of darkness, etc. In another way, it's completely not like Lord of the Rings at all. For one thing, not everyone lives. Boromir aside, most of the main characters in Lord of the Rings survive. Not so with Fionavar. Guy ...more
Ron
Wow! Even in this early (1986) effort, Kay came through with a original and satisfying story. The original part was noteworthy because, as he did in many novels since, the basic elements of his story were drawn from real history and mythology. ("Real mythology"? Some authors, from Tolkien on, created whole worlds with new-from-the-ground-up histories and mythologies. Kay took existing ones--British, in this case--to re-cast for his story.)

The series as a whole featured an great deal of self-sacr
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Patti Henger
4.5 stars

This trilogy got stronger and stronger with each book. While high fantasy might not be my favorite subset of this genre, I was impressed with Kay's ability to develop and make so many characters relevant and interesting. Each had distinct roles to play in the fight against the evil Rakoth Maugrim. Dwarves, Gods and Goddesses, a unicorn!, the Pareiko, Daniloth people, the Lios Alfar (children of the light), the Wolflord Galadan, the Dalrei (people of the plain), and the Mages and Sources
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Patrícia
Último volume da Tapeçaria de Fionavar, este é o livro onde culmina a viagem de cinco jovens por um mundo paralelo, recheado de magia e seres inimagináveis, onde as lendas ganham vida e os mitos caminham ao nosso lado para a derradeira batalha contra o Mal, num cenário épico que habitou o imaginário de gerações de leitores.
Fantasia em estado bruto, sonhos no seu estado mais puro, é o que podemos encontrar nesta trilogia que após tantos anos ainda conquista fãs pelo mundo afora através de heróis
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Susana
This used to be one of my all time favorite books...in long..distant times, where fantasy was rare and scarce(positive person that i am, i'm hoping it still continues so when i re-read it!)

Of course, come to think about it, there was a lot of:

OM MY GOD!! NO!! YOU DIDN'T!!



WHERE'S THE ROMANCE THAT I WAS EXPECTING BETWEEN TWO OF THE CHARACTERS???
Honestly i was totally expecting it, and in the end there was nothing between them!!


NO, DON'T DIE!!

_______________
_______________
______________-
NO, NOT YOU
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Tara
I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this book. I am very glad that I read and finished this series. But it was a rough ride. I got to know and love the characters but the "epic fantasy" vibe was so over the top through the last two books especially and I had trouble getting into it. Too much drama. But ultimately I liked this final book the best.
Rasmus Skovdal
The Darkest Road; or, So you thought I couldn't fit more fantasy tropes in, huh? Well, watch this!

(Most people aren't aware of Kay's alternate title)

This is basically 10 pounds of fantasy in a 5 pound bag. The 'fantasy' dial goes to 11 in this one. And other ill-conceived descriptions of the fact that, yes, this is quite bananas.

And, of course, also really good.

There's not much to say, as such. The story plays out with a few more surprises than I'd thought, but mostly as it has to play out. The
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linhtalinhtinh
For now I can only handle a brief review.

Well, The Fionavar Tapestry surely satisfies my hunger for beautiful, magnificent high fantasy. But perhaps because these are the first books of Kay, writings are not so subtle as I want them to be. Or perhaps I have read so many of his works that I slowly grow bored with this style? Maybe. But there is a certain way of over-dramatization, of taking things too-seriously, too-deeply, pain or joy, that makes it hard to bear.

Kay also tries to deal with so ma
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Jackie
The last novel of a continuing story and should be read as such.

For a review of the full series, look under The Fionavar Tapestry.

Jasmine
I love these books so, so much.

The Summer Tree will always be so special to me because it's a mirror to the book I've been trying to write since I was a little girl, but this. This book is a near-perfect last book of an epic fantasy trilogy.

I feel weird saying this because it has so many flaws - I don't really by GGK's depictions of romance at all and the Camelot triad drove me insane because if they'd just embrace the poly life everything would be sorted - but the writing is so lyrical and the
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Blair
As I've said for the other two books, this series is a must-read for anyone who calls themselves a fan of the fantasy genre. Why? Because it shows what the genre can be, without needing a dozen books or many dozen more plotlines. The series is a true work of literature; the writing is simple, accessible, and yet so expertly crafted it can move the heart and soul all the same. The author may have cut out the pointless bits that so many fantasy stories strew about as part of the "world-building", ...more
Rebecca
I'll grant this, he wraps it up fairly well.

For the most part, Kay is finally finished introducing random new world-building elements by the time the third book rolls around. So we're done with the endless info-dumping. And he does actually use most of the elements introduced.

Now, the stuff that bothered me still bothers me. The Queen of Ruk is never dealt with. Avaia the putrescent swan still doesn't make sense to me (how intelligent is she? Where the heck did she come from?) I still think sho
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Desclian
An interesting and good end to the trilogy and one in which Kay shows his awareness of the depth and inner-workings of his world though, unfortunately, doesn't bind them together as tightly as he could. Kay's writing is better than in the first two books of the trilogy (not to say that it was poor previously) and at times I was reminded of reading "The Wind in the Willows." In both the story is enjoyable and entertaining, though in some particular, contained chapters, both authors are able to re ...more
Georgette
Guy Gavriel Kay s fantasy trilogy about a land called Fionavar is a little over 20 years old. I ve never heard of this Canadian author before, but an online friend was so adamant that I should read it that he ordered the books from Amazon and had them delivered to me as a gift.[return][return]The trilogy is made up of Book One: The Summer Tree, Book Two: The Wandering Fire and Book Three: The Darkest Road. Since it s essentially one huge story, I ll be talking about all three books in one review ...more
Jen
Of course starting a convoluted fantasy trilogy with the last book isn't the recommended strategy, but I take what I can find in the used bookstores in Tokyo.

Frankly, I didn't like it. While the author writes beautifully and there is nothing wrong with the plot per se, the pieces of this novel are too cookie-cutter to impress me. And the fact that the author strove for some kind of high-toned fantasy series while using characters who are nearly Mary Sues and Stuarts didn't impress me at all. Peo
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Boogenhagen
This is a great trilogy (good enough to go up against LOTR and win in my POV) but mainly I love this one, because this book and All the Weyrs of Pern are the only two books I have ever read that I cry over EVERY SINGLE TIME I read them and I reread them at least once a year.

I don't think you can get any better than that.
JC
I have such a sense of disconnect with this book - I can recognise the skill of its literary style and mythological references, but I just don't feel it. Hence taking forever to read it.

One of the issues, I think, is that it's all so bloody fraught. It's melodrama without the high camp fun. The next issue is that I have trouble with stories that are fated. Darien's supposed "randomness" doesn't hold truck with me, I'm afraid, nor the nonsense with changing Arthur's weaving in the end. Okay, I'm
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Kathi
The Fionavar Tapestry has always been one of.my favorite trilogies and my recent reread of this series simply reaffirmed that fact.

I read the final 200 pages of the last installment of the trilogy, The Darkest Road, through my tears. So much pain, so much joy. This book, and the series, embody the meaning of "bittersweet"--heartwarming and heart-rending at the same time.

The Darkest Road, and the trilogy as a whole, is really about the many faces and facets of love, the various shadings and forms
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Bill
Well, it's been a year since I read the second in this series and I think that's too long... for me, anyway, as I have a memory like a seive. I felt more a sense of obligation than anything else to finish the series and waiting too long made me lose touch with the main characters and I think that hurt what could have been a more enjoyable reading experience.
As the adventure moved towards its ultimate finale our heroes seemed to be less defined. But that's only because of my waiting so long to r
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Sarah
Wow. Just...wow. I'm a bit annoyed with myself for taking so long to start reading this. What a beautiful, amazing tale it all was.
Darian Morton
In the book,The Darkest Road , by Guy Gavriel Kay it discusses a ritual of its limitations for the dead that is tied to nonviolent nature. Paraiko is very powerful. His invokes the enemies. It proves it by the centuries that were taken away. Paraiko is a violent . Kim returns to Ysanne's cottage where she meets Darien and gives him the Circlet of Lisen. As she puts it on his head, the light of the gem goes out, and Darien interprets this as a sign that he is evil. In despair he takes Lökdal, the ...more
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Guy Gavriel Kay is a Canadian author of fantasy fiction. Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid. Those works are published and marketed as historical fantasy, though the author himself has expressed a preference to shy away from genre categoriz ...more
More about Guy Gavriel Kay...

Other Books in the Series

The Fionavar Tapestry (3 books)
  • The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry #1)
  • The Wandering Fire (The Fionavar Tapestry, #2)
Tigana The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry #1) The Lions of Al-Rassan The Wandering Fire (The Fionavar Tapestry, #2) A Song for Arbonne

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