Tag Archives: fionavar tapestry

River of Stars

I met Guy Gavriel Kay (henceforth referred to as GGK, because I’m lazy) last week.  The occasion was the launch of his newest book, River of Stars.  I am about halfway through it, and it is as beautifully written as everything else he’s done.

Have you ever met one of your heroes?  I’m not sure hero is exactly the right word, but you get the picture.

I have read everything GGK has written, except his volume of poetry, which I intend to lay hands on at some point.   His A Song for Arbonne may be my favorite book of all time.  I have strong-armed family members into reading his books, including my husband, who now counts the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy as his favorite books, having edged out The Lord of the Rings and David Eddings’ Sapphire Rose trilogy.  At the bookstore, GGK is my author.   I must have sold hundreds of his books by now, guaranteeing that customers will love his writing.   And he has no idea who I am.

That’s the strangest feeling.  Someone who has been such an influence in your life, through his writing, and it’s entirely a one-sided relationship.   It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate his readers, because he does.  At the book launch he mentioned that he’s especially lucky to have readers who are willing to let him write slowly, taking years between books, so he can be a perfectionist.  But I’m just one of the faceless thousands, and after having signed my giant pile of his books, he will forget me immediately.

I wasn’t really expecting him to hug me like a long-lost relative, but I hadn’t really thought about it until I was actually face-to-face with him.  It was very… professional.  Oh well.

The library will be posting a video of GGK’s reading and interview on their site soon, if you’re interested.

I’m going back to River of Stars, now.

Happy Reading!

Christie

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Oh Kay!

I have now read everything Guy Gavriel Kay has written, except his volume of poetry.

Have you ever felt compelled to do that, find and read everything by a certain author? It doesn’t happen to me often. Many authors are inconsistent in their writing quality, which is only natural. Also, not every book is necessarily going to appeal to a reader, even if they like the author’s other work. Mercedes Lackey also does this for me – she is the literary equivalent of coffee and cinnamon toast for me, warm and comforting.

Guy Gavriel Kay makes me want to write, if only to go the places he does to research, like Provence. Lucky jerk. His books are all fantasy, but can be very, very different. The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy (high fantasy, elves and dragons) is quite different from Ysabel (urban fantasy), even though Ysabel kind of ties in to the trilogy.  The Sarantine Mosaic books (Byzantine historical fantasy, and doesn’t he have the best names for his series?) are quite unlike A Song for Arbonne (medieval fantasy), which is also unlike Under Heaven (Asian epic fantasy).   Tigana – George R.R. Martin wishes he wrote this book, with its complex storyline, magic, conflict.

They are all, however, so beautifully written it could make you cry, and the descriptions are so vivid you have to stop yourself from packing up and heading to Provence, or China, or just about anywhere he sets his stories.    The characters are so perfectly done you feel you would recognize them in the street – since he and I are both in Toronto, I’ll let you know if I see any.

The Fionavar Tapestry may just be my favorite series of all time.  He builds slowly, so don’t get impatient at the beginning of the book.   It really is tapestry like, since he presents threads, here and there, and then weaves them together.  We’re so used to fast-paced books, but these are worth the wait, believe me.

You can thank me after you’ve read them.  Probably repeatedly.  I will be modestly gracious.

P.S. He has a new book coming, River of Stars.  So excited!  You have One Direction, I have books.  I win.

Christie

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Filed under Books, Review

Guy Gavriel Kay

I’m currently reading Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay, for the second time.  I love this book, and the beautiful images it evokes.  It is set in a fictionalized version of historic China and Mongolia, at the height of imperial power and influence.  Although there are definitely elements of fantasy, I would say that they are there almost as metaphors, and it is not high fantasy, like his Fionavar Tapestry (the best word for trilogy yet).  The first time I read this book, I experienced such a strange sense of deja vu that it distracted me from the story line.  I had the feeling that I had read a short story with very similar elements, but I still haven’t figured out what story that might have been.

Guy Gavriel Kay’s writing is always gorgeous, and often has some very interesting philosophical and moral questions that come up.  I’ve also read his Ysabel, which is somewhat of a fourth book in the Fionavar series, and may be my favorite, Tigana, The Lion of Al-Rassan, and others.   No wait, A Song for Arbonne is my favorite.  I think.

If you are looking for a book that will stay with you, that you will drag around with you and force other people to read, so they can exoerience that sensation that only comes with reading a beloved book, I highly recommend Guy Gavriel Kay.  Just don’t blame me when you are still reading at three o’clock in the morning.

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Filed under Books, Review