Friday, August 12, 2011

Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay

YsabelYsabel by Guy Gavriel Kay

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was tough for me to get though. In fairness, though, I should say that if you like atmospheric writing and a cool setting, this may be the perfect book for you. I'm a plot junkie, and if I don't see interesting moving parts coming together, I get bored.

The premise of ancient legends coming alive in modern times was interesting enough, but the characters' main objective was to find an individual, and their searches were uninteresting, just a lot of traipsing around Provence to historically significant places that weren't presented in a way to add much to the story. Other characters would show up and have random fights, a whole scene was devoted to one of them getting his fight injuries bound up for a second time (because the first time wasn't interesting enough?), and none of this moves the plot forward at all. There're allusions to a tragic family history and a final revelation that made me shrug.

But what is unfair about this, as I'll openly admit, is that I downrate authors who've disappointed my expectations. I *love* Kay's "Lions of Al-Rassan". That had a richly layered narrative structure that was complex and captivating. I thus hold the man to a higher standard. "Tigana" and "A Song for Arbonne" also held my attention, so I'm not going to give up on Kay. I recommend those other books over this one, though.

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