Justin's Reviews > Tigana

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
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Jan 23, 09

bookshelves: fantasy, shelf-of-fame
Read in October, 2008, read count: 2

I remembered reading this in high school, and being captivated by it. I'm glad I took the time to re-read it.

This is a wonderful fantasy book. Not perfect, by any means, but it's very easy to overlook the few flaws it does have in favor of the engaging story, unique setting, and epic characters.

The novel focuses on a band of characters attempting to free their land (a peninsula painstakingly based on Renaissance-era Italy, a wonderful break from the usual fantasy norm) from the thrall of a pair of rival foreign conquerers, and to restore the name and history of a once-hallowed province that was literally erased through the sorcery of a grieving and vengeance-bent tyrant. The story grabbed me from the very beginning, and continued at a dizzying pace throughout the book. The pace can be disorienting sometimes, as Kay chose to tell his story in one book instead of a never-ending series like many others; this often translates to new characters, settings, and plot devices that seem to appear out of nowhere. However, each chapter of the story is very easy to get into, and these pace oddities end up lending the story an epic feel.

There are a few small problems. The characters feel somewhat like archetypes at times, though this only contributes to the epic quality of the story. There are some punctuation and grammar oddities that bothered me, and without giving too much away, there is some pretty flagrant deus ex machina action at a few points. However, I was not as bothered by these things as I thought I would be... the story is fascinating, the characters are for the most part layered and sympathetic, and the setting is enchanting. Moreover, it is highly satisfying to read a good fantasy story in *one* book, rather than in a bookshelf. Anybody who likes a flavor of political intrigue in their fantasy, as well as complex and ambiguous morality in both the heroes and the villains, should definitely give this one a try.
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Reading Progress

10/09/2008 page 531
78.9%

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