Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

2012 Archives > Jun 2012: Kushiel's Dart vs Tigana (or VF vs S&L!)

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message 1: by Seawood (last edited Jun 07, 2012 08:30AM) (new)

Seawood Bound to be spoilers for both books in this one...!

I think there's some overlap between Vaginal Fantasy and Sword & Laser folks, and both groups have High Fantasy this month! I may be a little early in posting this thread as it's only a week into June, but having finished Tigana a few days ago and ploughed straight into Kushiel's Dart, I can't help but compare them. Anyone else in the same boat? What do you think? So far I'm coming firmly down on the side of Kushiel's Dart...

message 2: by Alu (new)

Alu (aluhealz) I actually read Kushiel's Dart several years ago. That series has been a favorite of mine since then. Currently reading Tigana as well since this is really the first time a new book started and I wasn't in the middle of something. Honestly having a hard time getting through Tigana. I'm liking it more as I read, but I have a hard time willing myself to read a book I didn't pick for myself. This will actually be the first time for me ever actually being involved in any book club stuff. I watch/follow/read about a lot of discussion but have never been involved.

On topic though. I'm biased with the VF choice so that one has my vote hands down.

message 3: by Renee (new)

Renee | 17 comments Alisha wrote: "I actually read Kushiel's Dart several years ago. That series has been a favorite of mine since then. Currently reading Tigana as well since this is really the first time a new book started and I..."

Yes! I am in the same boat! I read Kushiel's several years ago and loved it. Now I'm feeling awkward on the S&L forum because everyone is nutty about Tigana and I am having a really hard time getting into it. Now, granted, I haven't finished it so I hope it will pick up a bit later.

Come to think of it, both books start slowly in my opinion. There is a lot of world building at the start, which can be a bit of a slog. At least for Kushiel's, I felt like it had an awesome plot twist that made the second half a can't-put-this-down read. Fingers crossed that Tigana will have the same!

message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia I've read Kushiel's Dart a few weeks ago and am currently reading Tigana for S&L (about 35% done)
So far my vote goes to Kushiel's Dart.
While I found it a bit harder to read than Tigana -so far,- the world and story of Kushiel's Dart were more appealing to me. But I am interested in seeing what the rest of Tigana will bring me, it's definitely a very interesting read as well.

I don't know if it's just me, but in general I find High Fantasy takes me longer to get through. Not because it's not interesting, but because I need to be more focused on all aspects of the story/world and because the language is often not the 'simpler' kind of English. It's a bit more of an effort, not being a native English speaker. But with Kushiel's Dart it was worth it and I hope I'll feel the same way when I finish Tigana.

message 5: by Seawood (last edited Jun 07, 2012 04:21PM) (new)

Seawood Kushiel's sucked me right in from the word go and OMG I have just fallen really, REALLY hard for Joscelin from the moment he arrives on the page :O That's quite unusual for me, particularly as I was listening whilst driving with Mrs Kindle Robot Voice!

Tigana was just such hard work - and whilst I probably wouldn't say it over on S&L ;-) it seems to me to think a great deal of itself. Very like Hyperion, actually. The tone rubbed me up the wrong way.

Phedre's voice is very clear from the start whereas I couldn't really make any connection with any of the characters in Tigana, and there was such a huge infodump with no context. You just about get to know someone and whoosh, they're gone. Phedre's world starts out small and consistent, and becomes enormous as she grows up. Perhaps it's the voice, perhaps it's the timeframe, perhaps it's because I really *get* Phedre on a gut level (very much as I "got" Quentin in The Magicians, which many S&L people seemed to struggle with)...I don't know. Maybe it's the clearer viewpoint which appeals to me.

message 6: by Karly (new)

Karly (karlycay) I was close to finishing Tigana when I started Kushiel's. At first, Kushiel's drew me in faster than Tigana. So I started reading them both at the same time..

But I started to mix up details. I started pronouncing cities in Terre D'Ange in Italian like in Tigana and had to remind myself of the books' respective religions. In fact, there is a city called Ferraut mentioned in both books! So I had to stop reading them at the same time. I finished reading Tigana before continuing Kushiel's.

Then I thought the last 30 pages of Tigana were so awesome, that it was hard to dive back into the other book. Way to go VF and S&L for being so "fantastic" this month. I'd say Tigana and Kushiel's Dart are perfect companion pieces, I'll be on such a roll I'll just fall into Anne Bishop.

message 7: by Molly (last edited Jun 07, 2012 07:16PM) (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) I read Kushiel's Dart in the spring and it's probably one of my all-time favorites. Carey describes everything so vividly, I felt like I was there. Yeah, it was a little slow at first, but soon after Joscelin shows up things really took off. I could barely put the book down after that.

By contrast, I'm slogging through Tigana. I was surprised that so many people over at S&L were raving over it and am glad that some of you seem to feel the same. It's not a bad book, but it hasn't really wowed me either. I agree with Caroline that I'm not particularly invested in any of Kay's characters. I'm also finding the POV switches annoying. I think I'd like it better if Devin was the sole narrator.

*Spoiler*: What did you guys think of the little splash of BDSM in Tigana? Fits very nicely with our VF theme this month. :)

message 8: by Karly (new)

Karly (karlycay) @Molly

I thought the scene between Alienor and Devin was pretty steamy, but the contexts of the similar expressions of sex were completely different in the books. I think that's interesting. In Tigana, the way Devin and Alienor "come together in love" is almost deviant-- because the rest of their lives is shit they want to escape in the oblivion of the experience. In Kushiel's Dart, the BDSM is deviant (in that some patrons are not brave enough to be known for their interests) but still regarded as worship to Naamah just like any other sexual experience in the houses.

message 9: by Seawood (new)

Seawood Karly wrote: "But I started to mix up details. I st..."
I am expecting characters in Kushiel's to order blue wine as their third drink every time :D

I agree that the end of Tigana is great. I nearly lemmed it at 75% but I'm glad I stuck with it to get the payoff. However, I really can't see why so many people think it's so amazing.

Molly wrote: "*Spoiler*: What did you guys think of the little splash of BDSM in Tigana? Fits very nicely with our VF theme this month. :)

Made me laugh when I got to it, actually - I'd already seen someone on S&L post "what do you think of the SURPRISE! BDSM! bit?" and when I got there I thought "Is that it?!". It seemed a little pointless (not to mention tame for a VA reader!), not really part of the story and I don't think Devin got a great deal of insight from it; whereas Phedre is learning all sorts of things about herself, human nature, and her spiritual service with each scene. I love that Phedre's world is so sex-positive and that sexual preferences are not particularly remarked over. It reminds me a lot of the Companions in Firefly.

Another spoiler: I am also a bit surprised so many S&L folks are freaking about the incest scene in Tigana. I thought it was quite gentle and unsurprising, myself, given the vast amount of loss suffered by Baerd & Dianora. I'd be much more shocked at Phedre and Alcuin getting together (but I'm less than half-way through so maybe I've a surprise coming!).

message 10: by Molly (last edited Jun 11, 2012 06:40PM) (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) *More Spoilers!*

The incest in Tigana didn't necessarily bother me, but I do think it felt a little ham-fisted, like it was mostly for shock value.

Kay: 'Wanna know how messed up this world is? People are fucking their siblings!!!'
Me: 'Okay?'

I was also a little troubled by Kay's hypothesis that trauma leads to sexual 'deviancy.' It could be true for all I know, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. There are lots of people who do BDSM for fun, not because of some terrible haunting past. It seemed a little narrow-minded to me. Very unlike Carey, who devotes 2 out of the 13 houses to more violent pleasures and portrays this preference in a mostly positive light.

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