E-Book, 676 Pages
Adult/ Historical Fantasy
By: Guy Gavriel Kay
Rating: 🌟🌟 (DNF@50%)
“In this world, where we find ourselves, we need compassion more than anything, I think, or we are all alone.”
Tigana was a book that I had so many expectations for because literally all my friends gave it a rating of 4 or higher save for a couple of friends who rated it lower than that. This is my first time reading the author’s books but I guess the writing style is not just for me. I don’t know how much this review will be helpful because as I said, I am in the minority here and I will be ranting so take it with a pinch of salt! I am going to break up my thoughts to elements as follows:
💉 The Author:
I don’t have anything against the author, I know many people are in love with his writing and many are also impressed by the fact that he helped editing some of Tolkien’s works. That is all cool but when I am reading a book, I put all these facts aside and judge what I am reading.
💉 The Genre:
This is supposed to be an adult historical fantasy book. I am not a big fan of historical novels in general and I read this for the fantasy parts. Unfortunately, it read more like a historical fiction which I don’t like -just personal preferences- and the fantasy elements were very underwhelming. I think readers of fantasy who enjoy historical fiction will most certainly enjoy this book.
💉 The Writing:
Before reading this, I heard a lot about GGK prose and how it is so beautiful and you can’t get enough of it. I honestly did not like the writing! I saw some saying it has a great and solid prologue and for me it was just many pages of confusion. The book is divided into 5 parts, the chapters are really long (like 40-60 Pages) and maybe the first 100 pages or so, I was so confused, I did not know what the hell was happening and who is who and then things started to get clear and bam, it was the end of the first part at that point. We move into part 2, a new character is introduced, there are info dumps and confusion all over again so It took me some tens of pages to start enjoying it again and then part three and I guess you know how it went and that’s when I decided to DNF. Also it was so melodramatic and garrulous, each chapter would tell us the same things again and again that could have been written in one page instead of ten!!!
💉 The Characters:
I did not care about the characters, I did not understand their motives and it was just them being loquacious, going into internal monologues for hundred of pages for no good reason. Devin realizes he is from Tigana and then wants to join the revolution for that sole reason. I appreciate characters that cry and have feelings but whenever Tigana was mentioned they would start crying and it made me roll my eyes instead of sympathizing with them. I also understand that this book was written in 1990 so I expect the writing to be different from modern writing (although I picked an Agatha Christie book after DNFing this one and I enjoyed its writing despite it being written decades before this one) and I also understand the not so great representation of women and gay people (Heavy breasts, women are only as good as they are beautiful and then there was an incest that I did not understand the point of, sometimes these things have a shock value and sometimes they just make me cringe.)
💉 The Pacing:
I think it is not a surprise that this was very slooooooow given all of what I said previously in this review. And as you probably know, I like fast pacing although I did enjoy novels with slow pacing when the other elements were well done!
💉 The Community:
It is funny how desperate I was feeling because I wanted someone to have my same feelings and “validate” them. I was going through GR reviews and ratings that were mostly rave reviews and I had to go through a lot of reviews just to find a few ones that reflected my thoughts. Funny thing is that Reddit seems to like this book less than GR so I felt relieved I was not the only one who felt this way after reading some of the discussions there. I understand the pressure to like this and conform to the community standards but I just couldn’t!
Summary: I know I am in the minority here but this felt like an amalgamation of things I am not a fan of in story telling from the extremely slow pacing to the overly descriptive writing and the plot and genre that I am not a fan of. I don’t think I will be discovering the author’s other works so here is where we depart!