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Tigana
 
by
Guy Gavriel Kay
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Tigana

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  22,034 ratings  ·  1,300 reviews
Eight of the nine provinces of the Peninsula of the Palm, on a world with two moons, have fallen to the warrior sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior. Brandin's younger son is slain in a battle with the principality of Tigana, which the grief-stricken sorcerer then destroys. After sweeping down and destroying the remnants of their army, burning their books...more
Published (first published July 5th 1990)
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Catie
While reading this book over the past month, I thought a lot about the differences between youth and adulthood, between young beliefs and mature ones. And I think that maybe our youth is the only time that we can hold simple, firm convictions. Maybe it’s the only time that it’s possible to believe completely that love will conquer all, or that there are good guys and bad guys, or that if we try hard enough, we can achieve anything we dream about. In our youth, we can say things like, “I would ne...more
mark monday
oh Tigana! 20 years ago, the warring lands of the peninsula known as The Palm were invaded and conquered by two opposing Tyrants, and split into two. during this time of war and magic, one land was punished, transformed, forgotten.

20 years later, a band of men and women fight to reclaim that land, its history, their memories. oh Tigana!

SPOILERS FOLLOW

memories of a distant life can be a strange and beautiful and sorrowful thing. i can remember places, scenes, people in the land where i was born,...more
Brad
The greatest strength of Tigana -- Guy Gavriel Kay's masterpiece -- is the "ambiguity" of his characters' ethics. Fantasy, as a genre, suffers from the widespread simplicity of its expressions of good and evil. Kay consistently transcends this genre weakness, and Tigana marks his first and greatest break with the good vs. evil tradition. Tigana is full of characters who struggle with their decisions and the impact those decisions have on others.

Alessan, the "hero" of the piece, enslaves a wizar...more
Pietro
I hated this book, but I'm an oddity; in fact, virtually every other human being seems to love it unconditionally. So if you stumble upon it, give it a try, chances are you'll find it awesome.

So.. what didn't I like about it?
Well, pretty much everything.
This book, in short, tells about the vengeful crusade of a group of refugees from the once-great city of Tigana, destroyed years before by the mage Brandin.
Cool, uh?
Nope.
For starters, nobody cares about the destruction of Tigana.
In fact, the pro...more
Tamara
This is a review with pictures in it. I see people doing this, and I want to as well. I can haz cats also, yes?

Yes, I am jealous. I want to be one of the cool kids.

Anyway, this ye old secondary world fantasy, with maps and kingdoms princes and things and everything.

I want to go on a quest too!

No, not like that, silly. It is Deep and Melancholy and Meaningful. Like this:
Swoon with Horse

Do you SEE? It is FUZZY and PASTEL COLORED and there is BOOBS. That means it is PROFOUND.

Women in this book are not marginalized onto these pedestals replete with bizzaro stupid sexualization for no discern...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is the first book by Kay I've ever read, and one of only three books on my shelves signed by the author (one of only two signed specifically to me, and the only one I actually got myself). Its size is daunting if you're not a regular fantasy reader, but it's a stand-alone novel and would be disappointing if it were any shorter.

Tigana is about a great many things, but the central plot and theme of the novel is the subjugation of the people of the Peninsular of the Palm (modelled after Italy...more
Kelly
May 23, 2007 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy, lovers of myth. This rises above the fantasy genre, without question.
It says that I read this back in January 2000. It would be more accurate to say that I've read this book since January 2000. I've read this book no less than ten times. I own the 10th Anniversary Edition as well now, because I expect my first one to fall apart very soon. It's lost at least one cover being passed around among all my friends throughout high school.

One day I will write a real review of this! Just can't put my thoughts together yet.
Richard
Jun 21, 2009 Richard rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: SciFi & Fantasy Group 2009-05 Fantasy Selection
This was the Fantasy selection for the Goodreads SciFi and Fantasy Book Club for the month of May 2009. Visit this link to see all of the discusions, group member reviews, etc.

If Goodreads had half-stars, I would have dropped this to only 4-1/2, but more on that below.

Tigana is among the handful of fantasy novels that can make me wonder whether Tolkien is as good as I remember him, or as good as his reputation. It has been many years since I read Lord of the Rings, and I almost never re-read boo...more
David Sven
Reading Tigana was like sipping liquid chocolate. Exquisite! I found myself many times deeply and profoundly moved. Kay was able to communicate the profound sense of loss felt by a dispossessed people and without the aid of music or even lyrics bring the music within the book alive to touch the imagination. I felt the mournful tones of the pipes, and the heart wrenching voice of Devin as he sings.

Kay makes us imagine what it would be like if the memory of your home is removed not only from your...more
Duchess Nicole
Dec 12, 2012 Duchess Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hard core epic fantasy fans
3.5 stars

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
― Mahatma Gandhi


Don't let my 3.5 rating fool you...this book was written by an amazing storyteller. It's a book that I can't possibly do justice in a review, and I encourage you to read some of the other reviews written by those who are more eloquent with wor...more
Rob
Executive Summary: An enjoyable stand-alone fantasy book that is a little uneven in places but really brings shades of gray to the characters and the story.

Audio book: Simon Vance seems like the perfect reader for this book. I first encountered him as part of the great ensemble readers for Dune. I don't recall any particular voices of note, however. He does do Scottish accents for folks from "The Highlands". Overall I think he does an excellent job that is a good fit for the tone of the story.

F...more
Hanne
The premise of Tigana is one of the most interesting backbones for a fantasy story I’ve seen in a while: The Palm is being invaded by two competing foreign magicians, one of them is Brandin, better known as ‘The Tyrant’. The province of Tigana holds out for a long time, winning a big battle to keep their independence, and killing Brandin's favourite son in the process. Burning with rage Brandin takes charge of the war himself and ends it in a dramatic way: the province is under his control, the...more
Siria
I really liked the ideas behind this story—the power of names in the face of colonialism, in the face of enforced forgetfulness—but there was just too much in the writing that worked against my enjoyment of it. Kay's style has improved from what it was in the Fionavar series, but it's still clunky and laboured (and desperately in need of some commas), while the world-building is pedestrian and two-dimensional. Many of the better-drawn characters are unengaging, and most of the cast are such clic...more
Scribble Orca
Ahh.

(That was meant to be a pain-filled gasp.)

I lost interest. Yes, I have attention-deficit syndrome. I'm also a dreadful pragmatist insisting on information (information!) spoon-filled into my needs-facts-for-fuel brain (there's a review somewhere by Greg about this despicable phenomenon and eventually I will hyperlink it).

Perhaps Mr Kay's editor was on holiday. I drowned in a sea of 'ly'. Continually. This was genre-bender of the gratuitous-sex-as-the-McGuffin-when-magic-fails kind. And in ca...more
Chris
May 29, 2009 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Mario Puzo. With a little Tolkien thrown in.
I really can't decide whether to rate this a 4 or 5 star, but I'll go with 5. There is more that I like about this book than dislike.

Overall, I love the story. It is quite the epic, and it seems a waste of great worldbuilding to contain it to one volume. On the other hand, it is good to see such a marvelous work that stands on its own, without a dozen sequels, prequels, and hard to find novellas. In fantasy, that is a rare treat.

Still, this is a world I'd like to visit again someday. The story i...more
Mpauli
Tigana offers a story about memory. How important is it to remember the past and how dangerous is it to overdo it?
This also relates to the question of freedom. Is freedom really the ultimate goal. Is it worth every sacrifice, or is there are line where the price becomes too high.

Guy Gavriel Kay asks this questions enveloped in a beautiful gown of lyrical prose and mythical tale. Most prominently featured are the young musician Devin and Dianora, a courtesan of the powerful wizard-king Brandin.
Th...more
Mimi
Jul 17, 2013 Mimi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sanderson fans
What more can be said other than everyone should read it. At least once. You won't be disappointed. Kay is a great prose writer. It doesn't even matter if fantasy isn't your thing because this book does not read like fantasy. It reads like the sort of well-written historical fiction that weaves in myths to tell the tales of a lost time. A personal favorite combination, I must admit. Also, I'm coming off of a dramatic final battle/confrontation scene... so this is a hugely biased review.


There isn...more
Kat  Hooper
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 live...more
Alex Ristea
Shoot, I'm writing this review way too late.

Tigana deserved all the five stars I gave it, and then some.

The writing was fantastic and intricate, I immediately fell for the characters, and the world-building was detailed but presented well. (If you know how much I hate info-dumps, and how often it happens in fantasy, then you'll appreciate when a book does it well.)

My most favourite part about this book was how it toyed with my perceptions of characters. We read one point-of-view and think this...more
sologdin
Nutshell: adherents to eponymous province sous rature stage unlikely coups d'etat.

Inadequate perspective discipline produces a narrative told from the points of view of conquering war criminals, revanchist aristocrats, peasant conspirators, and so on.

Elric-style interlude in chapter 11 (328-66), wherein sidekick protagonist, apparently engaged in some sort of nocturnal (e)mission, gets involved with some random heretics to ward off a threat to the world. This has nothing whatsoever to do with t...more
Tom
I’m going 4.5 on this high fantasy with that 5th star flickering but I don’t think it made it. If this book was 100 pages shorter and wasn’t as in depth in some of the lands it would have been a flat out 5 for me.

The story of Tigana is a world where a very strong sorcerer had removed the memories of a country from everyone’s mind except from the people who lived there. Only the people that lived there can even understand when someone says the word Tigana. The sole remaining prince of Tigana sets...more
Anders
“Tigana, let my memory of you be like a blade in my soul.”

This is the story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of their invader, that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered. After years of hopeless struggle, a handful of men and women plot to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the world the brilliance of a long-lost name: Tigana.

The palm had nine provinces, of which Tigana (now Lo...more
Traci
Tigana is a land forgotten by most through magical means. The naming of which unlocks the memories of those who belonged to it. I feel at the end of this book as though something has been unlocked in me. A coming home to something I didn't know I loved.
Yes, I liked it this much. It is an experience I want to share with others who have journeyed here before me. And that I wish to gift to someone who has not yet gone.
One of the best fantasy book I have ever read and quite possibly of any genre. Be...more
Martine
There was no way I was not going to love this book. Experience has shown that I love Guy Gavriel Kay and the characters he comes up with. They are, without exception, passionate people, and I love reading about passionate people, especially when they have a Cause. And boy, do the characters in this book have a cause. Can you say, epic cause?

Tigana is the name of one of the countries of the Palm, a peninsula loosely based on Renaissance Italy. Divided and distrustful of one another, and unlikely...more
Lazy Seagull
Ugh...this book was gorgeous. I actually really liked it! From the look of the summary on the back of the book itself, I thought this was going to be a slow-moving and dry read.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

The characters...the characters! Devin had me gushing in an altogether fangirlish way every other page (well, for the sections that were in his POV). Catriana had me CHEERING. THIS is how you write female characters! Steven Moffat, take notes. I don't think I've ever seen characters like Alessan and...more
Michael
At the more traditional and dull end of the fantasy genre we have writers writing redundant hero journeys full of elves and dwarves and other cutesy races. Then, at the other end, we have gritty realism with very few fantastic elements, and an inversion of the hero journey storyline. Either the heroes are croaking at a rapid rate (think Martin) or the heroes are...well...not heroes at all when you get down to it, and are incapable of growth (think Abercrombie).

Tigana captures what is best from...more
Angie
DH is the one I have to thank for first introducing me to Guy Gavriel Kay's body of work. He was a fan of The Fionavar Tapestry and felt sure I would like them. And like them I did. So much so that I immediately went and read Kay's slightly later work--TIGANA. Originally published in 1990, TIGANA is an epic romantic fantasy and was nominated for both the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.

The story takes place in the Peninsula of the Palm--a world based on medieval Italy. Like...more
Jonathan
Personally it just wasn't my style of fantasy writing. Honestly it just wasn't. It wasn't too dark. I've read similar novels before. The entire novel just wasn't my taste.

I also felt Tigana was too much for a single book, the ideas and plot dragged. I didn't hate it it was just average which was rather frustrating because it seemed that Kay was such a wonderful writer only the plot he used didn't appeal with me.

Still I'd be interested in reading other Kay novels simply to see what his other wor...more
Kim
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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...
The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, #1) The Lions of Al-Rassan The Darkest Road (The Fionavar Tapestry, #3) The Wandering Fire (The Fionavar Tapestry, #2) A Song for Arbonne

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“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” 198 likes
“In this world, where we find ourselves, we need compassion more than anything, I think, or we are all alone.” 87 likes
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