Hard to get through until the last hundred pages. The plot moves glacially, the narrative gets mired down by reflection and flashbacks, and some scenes and characters were superfluous. I had trouble understanding Dianora -- there just wasn't enough to convince me that a woman could come to love the man who destroyed her family and home. I didn't hate any of the characters, but I never connected to any of them or their struggles.
However, it's masterful world building, so believable and consistent that it feels more like history than fantasy. This is a guy who really knows what's he's talking about. There's a lot of interesting world building out there, but not all of, in the end, manages to create a believable world that you feel you could actually live in. Kay achieves that, mostly because he gets his ideas from real history. I am definately going to read more of his work, because even if Tigana did little for me, I like what he's doing here. Which is why I've given the book such a high rating -- it was worth it, in the end, I was glad I pushed through the turgid parts.
And that last page was a cruel surprise. So cruel it was AWESOME. Bravo.
A captivating fantasy with vivid characters.
A moving and thought provoking story about whether or not it is possible to eliminate a country and its history without consequences.
This is the one book I can say really was Tolkien-esque. Not in the content or the plot, but in the way it was written. What a great book! The author really continues in the tradition of George Macdonald, Tolkien and Stephen Donaldson. Great read.
I love Guy Kay, and this is my favorite of his books. Truly magnificent.