Just finished reading Tigana.


A really gorgeous book, compelling and moving and lovely, easy to read but richly layered, full of characters I cared about and featuring a couple of take-my-breath-away moments of surprise or beauty. Very nicely done.

I do have a few minor issues with it, including with a couple of very important plot elements, but those issues are far overshadowed by all the good stuff.

I don't think I have anything useful or coherent to say about it just yet, except that in addition to loving the story and the characters and the writing, I'm impressed at how carefully constructed it is--every element, every character, all fitted together, each exactly fulfilling its purpose. (Sorry, I'm having a hard time articulating what I mean here; I may try again another time.) And as Kay's three-page afterword (in the tenth-anniversary edition) makes clear, all of that was entirely intentional. It's a level of craft that I think is hard to sustain even in short stories, but Kay does it for 650 pages and makes it looks easy.

The book didn't quite take me to the heights of total adoration that I have for, say, The Last Unicorn, or "The Grammarian's Five Daughters," or some of Le Guin's work; but it's certainly my favorite novel that I've read in the past several years.

Thanks again to all who recommended it, and I'm sorry I didn't follow your recommendations sooner. And thanks to Kam for loaning it to me; I may have to replace your copy, to avoid having to relocate the dozens of book darts I put in it.

2 Responses to “Tigana”

  1. Elaine Nelson

    Most of Kay’s work rawks my world…hmmm…maybe I should go read Tigana again….

  2. Aliette de Bodard

    Yeah, Kay rocks. Maybe I should go reread some of his works too 🙂


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