Sci-fi and Heroic Fantasy discussion

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General SF&F Chat > Anyone else have a problem with the Five in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry series?

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Tanya (Novel Paperbacks) | 26 comments I am thoroughly enjoying The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay, I really love his emotive yet concise language and I am enjoying the plot. But the characters of Kevin, Paul, Dave, Jennifer and Kim are annoying me a little in their acceptance of everything. I mean some old guy takes them to a hotel room and tells them he is a Mage and wants to take them to another world and they just accept it?! I mean Dave does question it and they look at him like he is the lunatic? And then while they are there they just accept everything so easily. I am only 163 pages in but so many things have happened where they just so easily deal with everything. It makes them seem less real and relatable and lessens my enjoyment a bit. It’s just a bit of a let down in what would be a really fantastic book. Does anyone else agree with this?


message 2: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 460 comments I remember that I thought the first book was the weakest of the series, but I don't remember exactly why I thought that. I tend to take everyone's acceptance of the fantastic for granted when I read fantasy, but I could see where that would make it less realistic for you.


Tanya (Novel Paperbacks) | 26 comments I live the fantastic and expect it in fantasy books but I also like characters who are well developed and thought out and they weren’t in the beginning. They got better as they went on though.


message 4: by Robin P (new)

Robin P I agree with you, Tanya. I love GGK but I think this series is his weakest work. Of course, it's his earliest. I feel like it's more of a copy of Tolkien, and I thought the modern characters were annoying. I felt the same way about his sequel Ysabel, even though he wrote it much later.


message 5: by Noor (new)

Noor Al-Shanti | 68 comments Yeah, I always thought Fionavar was the weakest of his series/works. I also didn't like the 'modern" characters. Totally agree that it seemed a copy of Tolkien. And GGK did work with Christopher Tolkien on some stuff, I believe, so that does kind of make sense. Also, I felt like the world was too derivative and cobbled together. I know everyone borrows things from everywhere else, but it just seemed to visible, like he hadn't done enough to make it his own or to bring it together properly. Also, the whole Arthur parallel thing was the worst part for me.


message 6: by Robin P (new)

Robin P It also has the simplistic view of having an obviously good and an evil side. Like in Star Wars, the bad guy says he is the dark side. The real challenge for a hero is when the "bad" guy can try to convince you that he is the real "good" side. In more sophisticated works, like Tigana, it's not that simple. Characters you think are good or bad may turn out differently.


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