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Moonlight Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay

I've been waiting to read Guy Gavriel Kay for a number of years. I am most attracted to his Fionavar Tapestry series, starting with The Summer Tree, but that is a trilogy, so I decided to give Tigana, a stand-alone, a try first. Tigana also has the distinction of seemingly being Kay's most acclaimed novel, at least from what I've read.


The book was an interesting amalgam of fantasy that felt almost like history. The Palm, the setting for the book, is based at least in part on the warring city-states of medieval Italy - the Italy of the Medici family and Machiavelli - but, of course, because it is high fantasy there must be wizards. It is immersive, but still sometimes a bit dry. Kay doesn't really info-dump, he just tosses the reader into the deep end, and explains very little, trusting that we will figure it out, which means that I was sometimes confused, but still impressed.


There is a lot of ambiguity built into the book - the villains have noble characteristics, and the heroes are sometimes brutal, venal and self-serving. No one possesses unalloyed heroism. and the fight is sometimes over trivial things. I'd recommend it to people who enjoy reading fantasy.


20 Books of Summer: Book 1

Summer book bingo: fantasy