Guy Gavriel Kay.

Cyricus

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Matter of fact, if there's anything Kay reminds me of, it's those DragonLance teenie bopper fantasy novels.
The most ridiculous thing I've heard here.
If someone creates elaborated, perceptible and sensible characters, it is GGK. :| Except for 'Fionavar Tapestry', that is pretty average work, if compared with his other books.

I'm surprised that on this forum a GGK section doesn't exist.
 

Connavar

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His historical fantasy doesnt seem work for everyone.


Me i enjoy fantasy like that.

Have to read more of GGK. I was impressed by his prose,writing and his characters when i read Lion of Al Razzan.
 

Cyricus

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Lions of Al-Rassan. :) Yup, Al-Rassan, Arbonne & Sarantium are the best (for me). <3
 

pyan

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And he had a lot to do with the preparation and ordering of the Silmarillion...(credited in the Foreword)

Tigana, for me...possibly the best example of writing a sweeping fantasy to fit into a single volume I've read.
 

Ian Whates

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Yep, Tigana is arguably is his best novel and considered a classic of the Genre.
...Which doubtless explains why it's one of my least favourites of all his books to date.

The beautiful poignant A Song for Arbonne and the two intricately plotted but great fun volumes of The Sarantine Mosaic, on the other hand, are simply wonderful. :)
 

Cyricus

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I agree completely, Ian. Those books have greater quality, although Tigana is good book. GGK deserves his section. :)
 

Cyricus

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I guess we should make some new topics about his works... I'm on vacation... until 3rd January. ^^ I'll take care of that. Feel free to help me. :D
 

ScottSF

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I've seen several threads on this forum. I think there are a few that are probably just a duplicate of this one talking about his work in general but I do remember a sarantium thread
 

GOLLUM

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Well whatever our personal opinions are as to what Guy's best novel/work is there's an obvious interest as to getting a subforum up and running for him. This will basically depend upon several active threads sustained over a period of time in order to justify this happening. So for those intereasted, happy posting and you never know your luck..:)
 

pyan

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Well, reading this thread has spurred me to take the Sarantium books out of the library, so that's one result.....:p
 

biodroid

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What type of fantasy does he write, I am reading The Blade Itself and really enjoying it. Who can you compare Kay to or stories and style similar to?
 

Clansman

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Kay is in a class by himself. Here is a quote from a recent review on FantasyLiterature.com:

If the current field of fantasy literature were imagined as a sprawling chateau, with the largest spaces being the armor-crowded trophy room of medieval fantasy and the strobe-lit, vampire-haunted ballroom of urban fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay's works would form a niche — a quiet, starlit courtyard brightened by blossoms and faint music, a enchanted sanctuary which, once found, is never forgotten. (Here's the link: Guy Gavriel Kay | Fantasy Literature)

Kay does not write pulp, but elevates fantasy into the realm of literature, at least since his first stand-alone novels A Song for Arbonne and Tigana. His first stuff, the trilogy The Fionavar Tapestry, is an exploration of fantasy themes and devices. His prose is beyond elegant, it is beautiful, and no one writing fantasy today approaches the sheer beauty of his wordsmithing.

Kay is not really comparable to anyone. My lone disappointment with his work was Ysabel, and it may be that I was not open enough to it. I have everything that he has ever published in first print, except Fionavar. I am currently waiting for Under Heaven to arrive.
 

Clansman

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Bodroid, there is no reading order to Kay that matters, as all of his books are stand alones, except for The Fionavar Tapestry, which is a trilogy (and his first work after his editorial stuff with Christopher Tolkien on JRRT's The Silmarillion), and The Sarantine Mosaic, which is a duology (made up of Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors).

My personal favourites of Kay's are Tigana, which is the most beautiful book I have ever read, and The Lions of Al-Rassan (which has been optioned for a feature film). The latter is in the same universe/world (very similar to our own) as The Sarantine Mosaic and Last Light of the Sun. TLAR is loosely based on the Spanish re-conquest of southern Spain from the Moors by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, TSM is loosely based on the reign of Justinian of the Eastern Roman Empire, shortly after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, and LLotS is based loosely on Alfred the Great of England, and the Viking invasions. But the histories are merely frameworks. It is the characters that drive the stories.

Tigana (based on medieval Italy) is in its own universe, as is A Song for Arbonne (based on medieval/renaissance France).

Kay is master at using our own history to explore fantasy themes and human relationships and reactions. His research is impeccable. The fantasy elements, except in The Fionavar Tapestry, are kept to a minimum, and of the stand-alones, Tigana has the most fantastical elements. Kay is more or less the creator of his sub-genre, historical fantasy.

Interestingly, all of his novels refer to The Fionavar Tapestry at some point (as a myth), except Ysabel, which is set in our world, but relates indirectly to the events in TFT, and re-uses two of its characters.
 
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digs

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I completely agree with everything Clansman said, including the disappointment with Ysabel and my pants-tingling exciting for Under Heaven...I can't wait to see how Kay tackles ancient Chinese culture.
 

pearle

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I just finished reading Under Heaven and I would rate it very highly -- definitely up there with Tigana, The Lions of Al-Rassan, and A Song For Arbonne. It's a very special novel and, like most novels by Kay, will probably have me rereading it several times over the coming years.
 

williamjm

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I just finished reading Under Heaven and I would rate it very highly -- definitely up there with Tigana, The Lions of Al-Rassan, and A Song For Arbonne. It's a very special novel and, like most novels by Kay, will probably have me rereading it several times over the coming years.
I finished it a few days ago, mostly agree with that although I might rate Under Heaven slightly below Tigana/Lions/Arbonne/Lord of Emperors it was still very good. I thought it was a definite return to form after having been comparatively disappointed with Last Light of the Sun and Ysabel (although they were still reasonably good).
 
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