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The Wandering Fire (The Fionavar Tapestry #2)

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4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,822 Ratings  ·  336 Reviews
The second volume in Guy Gavriel Kay’s stunning fantasy masterwork.

As the evil of Rakoth Maugrim threatens the very existence of Fionavar, the five from our own world must cross over once again to play out their given roles: Kimberly to summon the dead from their rest and the undead to their doom; Dave to take his place in battle among the Dalrei of the Plain; Paul, Lord o
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Mass Market Paperback, 298 pages
Published 1987 by Totem (Collins) (first published January 1986)
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Multivolume Lit
26th out of 161 books — 4 voters
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124th out of 195 books — 51 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
the second book in the Fionavar Tapestry is not quite as impressive as the first, but hey it's still pretty damn good. two things in particular stick out for me:

Sex. i love how this novel places sexuality at the center of much of its magic, both implicitly and explicitly. it is really refreshing. and not corny! i suppose that is the danger of including sex in fantasy - if its not done right, it is a trashy sex scene or, even worse, an eye-rolling tantric experience featuring new age nonsense tha
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Brad
I've been falling into and out of this book in almost precisely the same way I had in the first. I love the short lyrical descriptions, I enjoy the mythic references, and I especially love how each character eventually gets woven into each of the underlying story structures. There is a great deal to love in these books, and I've enjoyed tracing much of the straight-line continuation of style from this fantasy novel into the types that have enjoyed much fame and popularity in the eighties and nin ...more
Wanda
What can I say about book two that won’t be too spoiler-y for book one? I guess I can say that there is more of the same. The world of Fionavar is locked in an unnatural winter, caused of course by a Mage-gone-wrong. What can the forces of good do against the very winds of winter?

King Arthur is the Eternal Warrior, needed for any possibly-world-ending war. The five wayward Canadians who have found their way to Fionavar have also proven why they were selected by fate to make the transfer to that
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Sparrow
May 16, 2011 Sparrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sparrow by: Kay
Shelves: monsters, reviewed
Okay, this story finally got me. Fiction takes life and crystallizes it. It boils down and simplifies, so that when real life is too overwhelming, I can remember what to filter out and what to hear. I can remember that the pining lovers reunite, the little girl grows into wisdom, the white horses win. The double-edged part of that sword is that it’s probably not true, it probably shouldn’t be true. But, sometimes stories don’t need to be true in order to be somehow necessary, I guess. I was in t ...more
Sarah Anne
DNF at 47%. I just can't do it. I'm bored and I don't like the humans in Fionavar scenario. I'm dreading picking it up, so I'm calling it quits. :(
Robyn
Jan 26, 2016 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I can't really put my finger on what it is that I'm loving about this series. I can name the faults at length (but I won't) and I don't feel that I *should* like this as (gasp) I dislike both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, both of which seem to be major influences,, and yet! Totally enamoured.
Nikki
By this point in reading the trilogy, you've probably decided whether you can bear with Guy Gavriel Kay's style or not -- whether you can be invested in his characters or not. If the answer is yes, then carry on: he won't disappoint you. If not, then... I don't think he will get your attention at all.

Less seems to happen in this book until the end: it's a time of waiting, of things coming together. If you're invested in the characters, though, there's plenty to worry about: Kim's dilemmas, wheth
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Stephen
5.0 stars. This is an incredible book and part two of an incredible series. Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the best writers working in any genre and his writing is both technically superb and deeply emotional. This series should definitely be on the "must read" list of any fan of epic fantasy.

Highly recommended!!
Carmine
Aug 04, 2016 Carmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Accettazione e sacrificio

"Seppellirai il tuo dolore nel profondo dell'oceano. Ma le onde non si lasciano domare così facilmente. Verrà un domani in cui piangerai per me"

Il secondo romanzo di una trilogia non gode del fattore sorpresa del primo volume, nè la tensione narrativa peculiare della terza opera.
"La via del fuoco" sfugge all'etichetta "opera di transizione", riuscendo a garantire un'apprezzabile continuità narrativa grazie ad un intreccio semplice e dei personaggi indovinati.
Tale cont
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Lindsay
Aug 17, 2016 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is from my reread of this series in 2015/16.

The middle volume is often a let down in trilogies. I would argue that this one is anything but a let down. In this one the Arthurian myths get weaved into the story, although they had been foreshadowed in the first book. We also get the results of Jennifer's violation and rescue from the first book with the birth of the new andain Darien. Of the five visitors to Fionavar from the first book it's only Kevin and Jennifer's roles that hadn't
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Jackie
Dec 03, 2010 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, the second novel of the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy, was truly amazing. The blending of Celtic mythology and Arthurian legend was artistry.

Vivid imagery and spectacular storytelling, this is Epic Fantasy at it's very best.

Best image: Diarmuid singing in battle. So very Celtic.

Best fight scene of all time: In Chapter 15, on the Plains near Adein. It surpasses any and all fight scenes of the myriad books I've read. It'll stay with me for a long time.

Everything about this book is fantastic an
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Chris
2.5 stars. I rounded the first book to 3, so I'll round down with this and maintain the average.

Next up, The Darkest Road. If I can bear it.
Mike (the Paladin)
This is the second in a trilogy (The Fionavar Tapestry as you've already noticed). I noted in the review of the first volume that I tried to read these some years ago and really couldn't get into them.

Without giving any spoilers (something it can be difficult to accomplish and also say "why" you think or feel what you do about a book) this one stays (for me) in the "middle ground" area. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't really get into it either. I found my interest waxing and waning throughout.
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Bart
Apr 03, 2016 Bart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: speculative, reviewed
Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig...

The Summer Tree, the first book of The Fionavar Tapestry, was gripping & amazing. It gutted me. As the series is regarded as one of the classics of fantasy, it is no surprise that The Wandering Fire was a feast as well. My review of The Summer Tree applies to this book too: The Wandering Fire continues the story, and has the same strengths as Kay’s debut. I’ll elaborate a bit on some of those – language & emotion -, and discuss a few themes
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Lucrezia
Jul 23, 2016 Lucrezia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il mio vocabolario non comprende parole in grado di esprimere come mi fa sentire Kay.
Don Bradshaw
Nov 30, 2015 Don Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Most of this book was spent amassing forces. There were a few big surprises in abilities and one of the five was lost. Some of our Earth lore seems to have been woven into Fionavar lore which got a little confusing. The gods are beginning to play a more active role. Still a great fantasy series.
Bookwraiths
May 20, 2014 Bookwraiths rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Excellent read, even if it wasn't quite as good as book one. Review forthcoming after I finish the whole trilogy.
Kat  Hooper
Oct 20, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

It’s been 1 years since I read The Summer Tree, Guy Gavriel Kay’s first novel and the first in his Fionavar Tapestry. I mentioned in the review for that book that I’m an adoring fan of Kay’s later stand-alone novels but that I found The Summer Tree derivative and heavy. I would have happily skipped its sequel, The Wandering Fire, but I had already purchased it at Audible, so I thought I’d give it a chance to win me over. Simon Vance, the narrator, is one o
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Nikki
The second book of the Fionavar Tapestry feels by far the shortest, to me. That isn't to say not much happens -- a lot does happen, so much that it makes my head spin a little, but it feels quite short. Possibly because my copy is both slim and has bigger writing than the other books, which are both thicker and have tiny writing. Anyway!

The Wandering Fire really introduces the Arthurian thread, which is the newest thing. It's been hinted at and set up already in The Summer Tree, but it's in The
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Mike
Mar 19, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a book to make you remember why we read. It not only takes you to a new world, it makes you want to go there, to know these people, to become part of their lives, to join in their quest. The second book in Fionavar is simply amazing. He can write so well, what takes Tolkien a chapter to paint, Kay does in a page or two. And he just plays with your emotions so effortlessly:

So it was amid laughter and joy that the company set forth to ride to Taerlindel. Where a ship lay waiting to bear fi
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Kate
Aug 03, 2012 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2012, never-again
Just as much nonsense as the first book in the series with gratuitous Arthur-Lancelot-Guinevere thrown in. It's so crap it's laughable, GGK has tried to get every conceivable fantasy trope into this series, and all it does is make a complete mess.

There really isn't any coherent story, the protagonists lurch from scene to scene with no character development apart from they all suddenly develop mysterious!powers or are *beloved of the gods* or given *items of power*. Why five Canadians transporte
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Vedran Karlić
Jan 11, 2016 Vedran Karlić rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isti problem kao i s prethodnom knjigom serijala, spor i šlampav, ponekad čak i dosadan početak te vrlo zanimljiva događanja pred sam kraj.

Mislio sam joj dati trojku, al kraj ju je spasio.

Ps: u nekim momentima mi se činilo kako prijevod nije na razini.
Patti's Book Nook
I could smooch Kay for including a summary of the first book in the preface. George RR Martin are you reading this?! The Song of Ice and Fire series could do with this format, especially since it is hard to re-read those massive books (for me anyway), combined with the issue of the time span between each installment. Perhaps my memory is worse than average. Anyway, Wikipedia is okay occasionally, but I feel an author's summary would include the appropriate rundown for what action is to come.


I r
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Ron
Dec 14, 2010 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, maps, arthuriana
This was probably the worst written book I've read by Kay--the story was good, the writing wasn't--which still leaves it above three quarters of the fantasy books written. Two primary criticisms. First, his regressing, telescoping narrative got very confusing. Hard to be sure when or where you were.

Second, the five human protagonists are way too quick picking up on arcania of a world totally different from their own. It's all just too easy.
Dan
May 27, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Quite good.
Nicki
Mar 27, 2015 Nicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Months have passed since Kim transported her Canadian companions back from Fionavar to our world, and Jennifer now carries the child of Rakoth Maugrim. She is determined, against her friends' advice, to bring the baby to term; to thwart her captor, and perhaps the Weaver herself, by bringing about an element of chance unforeseen. When Jennifer delivers her little bundle of defiance into the hands of a familiar loving family, Kim leads the group to England to summon once more the Warrior who has ...more
Mary
Feb 04, 2014 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After careful consideration and some time between my feelings about the situation and finishing the book I need to address something that made me very angry. I'm sure I'll get a lot of flack for it, as anyone who addresses women's issues in a public forum often does, but I digress. The biggest flaw in my opinion can be summarized in one question, "What the hell happened to Jennifer?" Jennifer, as we all know, was raped by Rakoth Maugrim and gave birth to his unwanted child. It stands out. Its ho ...more
Lightreads
Jan 11, 2010 Lightreads rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Sequel to The Summer Tree. More epic fantasy. It's the middle of a trilogy, so the evil becomes eviler and everyone maneuvers for the coming war.

Okay, I finally put my finger on something here.


What could he do though? What was in him to deny what had been laid down? These were dark times, maybe the very darkest times of all. He had been marked. His legs would walk even if his heart and courage stayed behind. It was better, he knew, to have the heart and soul go too, to make the offering run dee
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Patrícia
Guy Gavriel Kay e a sua Tapeçaria de Fionavar marcaram uma geração, um género, um método. Ao criar algo em bruto, rudimentar, o escritor estava a dar a essa geração e a todas as que se seguiram um marco e um exemplo para tudo o que a Fantasia devia ser.
Depois de um primeiro volume cheio de novidades, profecias e aventuras, a viagem dos cinco amigos por Paras Derval atingiu o seu expoente e agora cada um tem uma missão que pode ou não salvar uma guerra contra o Mal que parece perdida. Por entre l
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Jesse
May 18, 2013 Jesse rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only got 2/3 through this... MAN is it bad

not only is GGK so creatively bankrupt that he opens this book with the other characters summoning in King fucking Arthur (no, not just a carbon copy like the dopple-Aragorn/Gandalf/Saurons of this trilogy. Literally, he pulls out King Arthur.), this Guy might be the most incompetent professional writer I've ever read. E.g. this gem on p 120,

"In the space before the cave were seven shadowy figures, and each of them bore a crown and rode a shadowy horse
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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 Darkest Road (The Fionavar Tapestry, #3)

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“It was Aileron who saw the light blaze in Arthur's face. The Warrior leaped from his horse down into the road and, at the top of his great voice, cried 'Cavall!'

Bracing his legs, he opened wide his arms and was knocked flying, nonetheless, by the wild leap of the dog. Over and over they rolled, the dog yelping in intoxicated delight, the Warrior mock growling in his chest. . . .
This is' asked Aileron with gentle irony, 'your dog?”
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“Unless the perfidious wolves have the temerity to disobey the High King's plans, we should meet Shalhassan's forces by the Latham in mid-wood with the wolves between us. If they aren't,' Diarmuid concluded, 'we blame anyone and everything except the plan.” 11 likes
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