Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is a lot to love about Tigana and for Guy Gavriel Kay in general. His writing is often prose-poetical, smooth and impressionistic, and also, at times, lush. His core strengths always revolve around vast worldbuilding, complex and detailed characterizations, and fantasy worlds that are often close, if not perfectly like, real historical settings in our world.
That's not to say there aren't magic or dual moons, because there is.
This particular book is all about memory. Magic stole away the very name of a city when a grieving magician/lord plowed through the offending kingdom of Tigana and then cursed it (and its people) to forget the very NAME of Tigana.
Of course, the family name of Tigana, as well as the members of this family, are affected. They remember their own name, but no one else in the kingdom can. This is is both their tragic story and how they deal with this loss after 20 years and it is a story of a whole culture forced underground.
We have plenty of examples of this in our own world.
Maybe not to the same extreme as magically erasing whole cultures, but there are many methods that can do this as completely and tragically right here.
I was struck by such unutterable sadness as I read this. So many scenes were memorable, emotional, and deeply ironic. More were simply introspective and a matter of living each day, taking that next step.
I admit, for all the things that I loved about this book, I also grew somewhat *bored*. The characters, while often holding my attention, sometimes... didn't. A lot of the time, I really had to struggle to want to keep reading or do something else. It was more like my appreciation was pretty much the only thing keeping my eyes glued to the page during certain long passages, and that's... not great.
Still, a lot more than not, I really liked this book and I have nothing bad to say about his prose. Indeed, he's a lot better than most. :)
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