My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There’s really not much more to say than I LOVED TIGANA. Not too long ago, I was introduced to Guy Gavriel Kay with The Lions of Al-Rassan and I was really impressed with his ability to develop characters that you couldn’t help but fall in love with, flaws and all.
Tigana had that AND it was a true high fantasy, where Lions was more historical fiction with a touch of magic. It had been a long time since I had read good high fantasy and, man, I had no idea how much I missed it. So much of what I’ve read lately has been hard, gritty fantasy in the vein of Martin, Weeks, and Abercrombie, I had almost forgotten that fantasy can come in many flavors.
There’s just something about the elegance of high speech flowing from the mouths of true, noble characters that really speaks to me and Kay nailed it. I’m serious when I say this is the best high fantasy I’ve read outside of Tolkien.
As I mentioned previously, Kay has a way with characters and that was especially true in Tigana. I don’t think there was a single character that I couldn’t relate to expect for Alberico.
Combined with that, the story is beautifully written, part wonder, part glory, part sadness. It has all of the bittersweet elements that a great fantasy novel needs.
After reading Tigana, there’s no doubt in my mind that I will read more from Kay’s catalog–I owe it to myself and you owe it to yourself to read Tigana if you like fantasy at all. And if you prefer audio books, this is perfect–Simon Vance’s performance could not have been more fitting.