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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  33,256 Ratings  ·  1,925 Reviews
With a new introduction by the acclaimed bestselling author, this is the spectacular deluxe tenth-anniversary edition of a fantasy classic -- the sweeping tale of sorcery, magic, politics, war, love, betrayal, and survival..
Hardcover, 673 pages
Published 1990 by Roc
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Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-physical
4.5/5 Stars

I have this belief that 90% of the time, standalone high fantasy just won’t satisfy me. I still stand by it, but Tigana luckily is not one of those cases.

Memories and names, something that breathes life into the people and possessions we lost. Both of these can be summed up as the fabric of identity. Despite all the war, deaths, sex, hardships, betrayal, magic, deception, subterfuge, the main essence of Tigana is reclaiming your freedom, home, memories and the implication of holding
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
Aug 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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?
For starters, nobody cares about the destruction of Tigana.
In fact, the pro
Springtime morning in Avalle
I don’t care that the priests say:
I’m going down to the river today
On a springtime morning in Avalle.

When I’m all grown up, come what may
I’ll build a boat to carry me away
And the river will take it to Tigana Bay
And the sea even further away from Avalle

But wherever I wander, by night or by day
Where water runs swiftly or high trees sway,
My heart will carry me back and away
To a dream of the towers of Avalle

Twenty years ago, the nine quarrelling city-states of the Penins
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!


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,
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
*** 4.66 ***

A Buddy Read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group, because we wanted a stand-alone for a change...

How do I even start on writing a review for this book? I think, just as most everyone else has done, I have to begin with the style of writing. It is a throwback to a time long past, it carries a lyrical magic which simmers in every sentence, and without being in itself overly flowery, it conveyed a sense of Gothic melodrama, which made me feel as if a bard of old was telling the story of
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Full review now posted!
Original review can be found at Booknest.

The best books in any genre are the ones that move you. And I just found a new one in my very favorite genre.

“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.”

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that I’ve read hundreds of fantasy books in my lifetime. I’ve taken so many adventures through extravagantly strange worlds with casts of immensely varied characters on a multitude of nigh impossible ques
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
Mayim De Vries
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a state that ceased to exist. It has been swallowed on the map by hungry neighbours, swept away by winds of history and not even an empty space remains to bear witness to what once was. Things like that have happened before. Take Poland, partitioned by her three neighbours and for 123 years disappearing from the face of the world.


But where the state had vanished, the people survived. And so the people of Poland cultivated their language, their arts, their traditions, their culture. They
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It's been long time since I read standalone fantasy book.

So far I mostly avoided Kay for no particular reason and I came into possession of this book almost by accident. What a happy accident it was as this turned out to be wonderful and pretty unique book.

I already encountered combination of heroic fantasy characters in grimdark setting from another Canadian author, Steven Erikson, but Kay does it with his own unique flavor.

World building in this book is just wonderful.Without too detailed desc
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this book a 4* rating despite not being sure until the very last chapter about if it would be a 3*s or 3.5*s or 4*s. I was pretty sure by the time I finished up the book that it was a solid 3*s but I then read the author's afterword and he states all of his influences and what he wanted to achieve with the book and I decided that this had to be a 4* book because I totally understood where he was coming from and it really resonated true with me.

This book certainly feels a lot more hist

The Peninsula of the Palm is a place divided -- but not against itself. Its nine provinces are occupied territory, under the power of foreign wizards. Brandin of Ygrath holds the east, while Alberico of Barbadior holds the west. Each state has been allowed to maintain its identity -- except for one, cursed to oblivion.

But a few people remember. They are determined to get their home back; and to free the entire Palm in the process.
Before I can say anything else, I have to gush about the writing
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All those who like a good story
Tigana is a book that will put you through all the emotions that exist. I am seriously exhausted (in a good way). Reading this book was a great experience. Some of the best characters that I have read in a long time. The story build-up is awesome, to epic proportions. By the time the book reached its climax I was all clammy-palmed-stuttering-heart-hanging-from-the-edge-of-my-seat no,fingernails not bitten to stubbs at all.

Something fell a no
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anirudh by: Manju
Shelves: fantasy
Before reading Tigana, it was inconceivable for me to picture a stand alone fantasy book without any intention or hope of a series. I often wondered how it would be possible to create a whole new world in just one book and give it a satisfactory ending. When I read this book, I finally understood.

Tigana is not a book. It is a journey. A journey through the lives of men and their emotions. A journey of wonder, a journey of pain and a journey of understanding. Rarely do you come across a book as
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
David Sven
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
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
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
I first heard about Guy Gavriel Kay shortly after joining Goodreads, and have just finally managed to get around to reading my first book. It won't be the last!

Tigana was a wonderful reading experience. Complex, nuanced characters captured my heart and I hoped against hope that everyone could somehow be saved in the end. It was beautiful and tragic, full of loss, hope and redemption. I wanted to spend more time in the aftermath and follow them all home. It finished too soon.
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
This story is, at its essence, about how the past influences the present. The protagonists are driven to reclaim their homeland not just from a conquering army, but from a magical spell that prevents others from remembering or even hearing their homeland's name, Tigana. Within a generation any knowledge of their land, its history and culture will be forever lost.

Instead of a fast paced, sword and sorcery story, Tigana is rather reflective. There are several POV characters that spend a good deal
May 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: SciFi & Fantasy Group 2009-05 Fantasy Selection
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 books, so I might never find out. Perhaps Tolkien is like Shakespeare — it is easy to convince oneself that it is just hype, that he really can’t be all that astonishingly good; b
Duchess Nicole
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for *coughcough* six years. And then, wouldn't you know it, but I don't even read it, but instead download an audiobook. Because knitting. (I do that a lot, actually.)

This is my second GGK novel, and I liked this one quite a bit more than I liked the first one, though apparently that makes me a heathen or something. I DID like The Lions of Al-Rassan, but I just didn't love it. Jeez! I'm not sure that I necessarily loved this one either, but it spoke to
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.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A stand alone fantasy story - a very difficult task to achieve successfully. And Tigana accomplished that!
The story is unique - there is sorcery and there is fighting and the prologue is to die for.

The prose was fantastic - possibly the best part of the book.

The characters also were really good - some excellent and some less interesting. Which makes the book more realistic (when was the last time you liked every single person you met and/or found them interesting)?

The book will also try to sque
Hasham Rasool
'Tigana' is the first book I have read by Guy Gavriel Kay.

I have heard of 'Tigana' book from Brandon Sanderson. He recommends lists of books to his fans to read. 'Tigana' is one of lists he has recommended.

I love this book so much Alhamdulillah. I am surprise that Guy Gavriel Kay's books aren't well recognized. I really love his writing style too. Alhamdulillah.

There is a few authors who I love their writing style:
J.R.R. Tolkien
Guy Gavriel Kay
Robert Jordan
Brandon Sanderson

I think I would be int
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Tigana [August 2017] 291 123 Aug 11, 2017 01:46PM  
Play Book Tag: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay - 4 stars 2 14 May 06, 2016 10:25AM  
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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
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“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” 2061 likes
“In this world, where we find ourselves, we need compassion more than anything, I think, or we are all alone.” 127 likes
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