January 19, 2020, 08:02:17 PM

Author Topic: Guy Gavriel Kay  (Read 13439 times)

Offline Idlewilder

Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2016, 11:10:13 AM »
Huh. Seems maybe after Fionavar, which is notably different to all of his other books, he got a bit dull...
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2016, 11:30:06 AM »
I remember that @pornokitsch in particular strongly dislike his writing.
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2016, 11:57:09 AM »
I just hated Tigana. Not to double-down on offending absolutely everyone, but it could give Wise Man's Fear a run for its money when it comes to florid emo navel-gazing. Obviously just my opinion, and I know others love it, so hey.

I like Kay's other books a lot. Fionavar especially. It is raw, and has a whole lot going on in it (proper 'throw everything including the kitchen sink at it' fantasy), but is a nice combination of dark fantasy and high fantasy.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2016, 12:06:15 PM »
I just hated Tigana. Not to double-down on offending absolutely everyone, but it could give Wise Man's Fear a run for its money when it comes to florid emo navel-gazing. Obviously just my opinion, and I know others love it, so hey.

I like Kay's other books a lot. Fionavar especially. It is raw, and has a whole lot going on in it (proper 'throw everything including the kitchen sink at it' fantasy), but is a nice combination of dark fantasy and high fantasy.

How do you do that?

Hmmmm. Interesting. So it was just Tigana you disliked?
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Offline Idlewilder

Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2016, 12:50:57 PM »
Well, all I can say is I'm very impressed with Fionavar despite not really getting along with Lions, which as I gather is similar to Tigana and pretty much all of his other books. Fionavar seems to be the anomaly.
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Offline DrNefario

Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2016, 01:25:13 PM »
I've read Lions of Al-Rassan, and it annoyed me enough to put me off reading any more of his work. (I also own Sailing to Sarantium, but I don't think I've read it.)

There were a few repeated ploys that seemed like very obvious string-pulling and rubbed me up the wrong way. "Nobody could later remember..." was one of them, I think, and another was the dodging of names to try to make you think the wrong character was dead/injured/whatever. My memory is a bit hazy about any others.

Offline Revan

Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2016, 01:27:10 PM »
Absolutely loved Tigana, one of the few fantasy books I've given a perfect 5/5 rating, and my favorite standalone fantasy book after Best Served Cold (if that can be called standalone).

Lions of Al Rassan was very good too, though I preferred Tigana.

I agree that his writing is a bit similar to Pat Rothfuss'. Almost poetic! And I like that very much.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2016, 09:03:07 PM »
Funnily enough, though Tigana is usually the most-lauded of his works, it's my least favourite. For a long time, Lions of Al-Rassan was my absolute favourite book in the world. Later on, I came to believe that A Song for Arbonne is actually my favourite of Kay's works - it took me a while, though! The first time I tried to read it, I couldn't even make it past the first chapter. It's sort of incredibly close-focus, but that's part of what I admire about it now, reading as a writer. It has an almost stageplay focus: the story is told in a number of acts, delivering a wider story through showing us a moment in time here and now. I'm also very fond of the Sarantine Mosaic (Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors), though it's more one big novel cut into two, so Sailing is a pretty slow start, mostly laying down the material that leads to some enormous finale set pieces in Lord.

Kay's strength, for me, is in the emotional resonance he creates through careful language and pacing usage throughout. The two are very interrelated for Kay: he uses language to create his pacing on a paragraph, chapter, novel basis, such that his emotional and story beats always fall precisely the way he intended to pile up on you with maximum impact. As long as you like that sort of rhythm, of course. :) We're all different in what we like and how we like it.

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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2016, 09:25:31 PM »
After all this, I want to give him a try.

My library has got:
The last light of the sun
Ysabel
Under heaven
The darkest road
The summer tree
River of stars

Which one should I read?
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2016, 10:58:49 PM »
After all this, I want to give him a try.

My library has got:
The last light of the sun
Ysabel
Under heaven
The darkest road
The summer tree
River of stars

Which one should I read?

As you enjoyed The Faithful and the Fallen so much I think you would like the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. The Summer Tree is the first. The Darkest Road is the last  so make sure your library gets you The Wandering Fire , the second book. Feel you should know that it is a modern portal story and strong Arthurian and Tolkien influences, so if you dislike either of these forget it. I am enjoying it very much but had arest after the second book as there is a lot to keep track ofand I wanted a brief rest. But that's me  ;D

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the other Guy Gavriel Kay I have read so far, Tigana and Under Heaven, both standalone, were great.  They had unusual treatment of magic and I liked the portrayal of strong women, despite their circumstances, in both. He manages to include romance and it has important implications in both cases, but without it being out of place or what I call "soppy"- take that as you will. ;)

Under Heaven was a refreshing change, more a historical tale in an  Oriental setting about the fall of a dynasty with only a smidgeon of mysterious magic included.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 11:12:24 PM by Lady_Ty »
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Offline Idlewilder

Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2016, 11:06:22 PM »
After all this, I want to give him a try.

My library has got:
The last light of the sun
Ysabel
Under heaven
The darkest road
The summer tree
River of stars

Which one should I read?

Just from what I can glean looking into the books myself, either:

The Last Light of the Sun
Under Heaven
The Summer Tree

First two are more standard, historical-based fantasy (LLotS = Vikings; UH = Medieval China) whereas tST is lots more fantastical portal fantasy with Arthurian/Tolkien influences.
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2016, 11:37:42 PM »
His not for me gave him two tries The Lions of Al-Rassan and Under Heaven both well written books but I wasn't just excited by them ,Under Heaven started off very well then I just lost interest as the story went on.

Really sorry you didn't enjoy Under Heaven, Eclipse, it is probably the best Guy Gavriel Kay I have read so far, for me it just got better and better.  I enjoy his writing style and description of everything, just brings any scene straight into my imagination, and I lived this particular story with each character.

I was fascinated by the whole setting and the details of that world, the etiquette, politics and rules of that Oriental court, based partly on events in real Chinese history. Can you imagine having hopeful government officials reply to some of their entrance exam questions with impromptu poetry? Would love to bring that in today, maybe for political debate ? ;D ;D

All those conniving, plotting factions and their long term wicked plans, one even stretching to next generation.  Oriental patience to regain control so subtly but without overt action. And I so wanted to be a Kanlin warrior. ;D That book had me smiling in appreciation many times.
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Offline Arry

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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2016, 12:23:20 AM »
Well, all I can say is I'm very impressed with Fionavar despite not really getting along with Lions, which as I gather is similar to Tigana and pretty much all of his other books. Fionavar seems to be the anomaly.

I actually felt that Tigana and Lions were rather different (at least in some respects). There was much more "magic" in Tigana versus more politics in Lions. But I've not read Fionavar to be able to compare how that compares to them. They may be much closer to each other than they are to Fionavar.

(Personally I preferred the lighter magic in Lions versus Tigana, but they were both excellent)

After all this, I want to give him a try.

My library has got:
The last light of the sun
Ysabel
Under heaven
The darkest road
The summer tree
River of stars

Which one should I read?

I'm no help, I haven't read any of them. But I do know River of Stars is set in the same world/location as Under Heaven, just centuries later and someone recommended I probably read Under Heaven before River of Stars. Out of all of those Under Heaven is next on my list. I have heard mixed things about Ysabel (which is a YA book).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 12:26:40 AM by Arry »
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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2016, 06:40:13 AM »
Probably the way he handled the politics and hardly no magic bored me and the snail pace of the story put me off him, I didn't think Bea liked fantasy books with hardly any magic in them.

Mind you I loved the Folding Knife by KJ Parker which is far more awesome than GGK books in my opinion and has politics done in a way which I enjoyed, I guess I just didn't connect with GGK writing
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 07:53:35 AM by Eclipse »
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Offline Arry

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Re: Guy Gavriel Kay
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2016, 09:07:02 AM »
Probably the way he handled the politics and hardly no magic bored me and the snail pace of the story put me off him, I didn't think Bea liked fantasy books with hardly any magic in them.
this is why I decided to mention it :) I think the two books are different enough they may appeal to different people depending on personal preferences, and I think it's possible some readers might not enjoy one but could still have hope for the other.

Quote
Mind you I loved the Folding Knife by KJ Parker which is far more awesome than GGK books in my opinion and has politics done in a way which I enjoyed, I guess I just didn't connect with GGK writing

Yes, Lions is nothing like Folding Knife despite both being very low to no magic.

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