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ShadowbaneX
05-03-2010, 12:49 PM
I picked this up in Toronto on my way back from JordanCon and just finished it last night.

As with all the other of GGK's books, I enjoyed it. A well woven tale with a nice subplot and the lengths people go to for power, some rational, some not so rational.

It was also somewhat interesting to see Tai's attempts at finding his place in the world. He tried to be a soldier, then a Kanlin, then a scholar, but never really completing any of those tasks, which is somewhat striking to me as I'm seemingly adrift in what I want to do with my life. Also his random stumbling around the world and what he managed to accomplish while not even trying seemed a little...far. Law of Unintended Consequences I guess.

On the whole it was a fairly happy book for GGK (with two exceptions, one major and one minor), I was somewhat surprised by that. Still, a GGK book, so a solid fantasy book that's well worth reading.

Zanguini
05-03-2010, 12:50 PM
I picked up the first three dresden files and have started the first one.

ShadowbaneX
05-03-2010, 12:55 PM
The Dresden Files aren't written by Guy Gavriel Kay though.

Ishara
05-03-2010, 02:04 PM
LOL a bit of a non sequitur, eh?

I loved it, although I doubt that surprises anyone. It felt like I had been dropped right into medieval China, a time period I know next to nothing about. It was nice to have a book that starts slowly, eschewing the "hook" that more contenporary writers rely on too heavily (in my opinion).

It was a really evocative book for me. I gagged, laughed right out loud, cried in public and smiled through tears. I also let loose a couple of heartsore sighs, but on the whole, yes, I agree with SBX. Less with the utter tragedy, and more with the life goes on mentality in this book.

I particularly liked the idea that in this country, at this time, you could not succeed in any sort of Imperial position without a strong grasp, knowledge and execution of poetry. Like your ability to shape language is what kept the Empire moving.

Also, the symbolism of the Great Wall was super interesting for me. As well as another common GGK theme, the role of women in power and society. Very well thought out.

ShadowbaneX
05-03-2010, 02:16 PM
one criticism I have though is that the books feel a little cyberpunkish. Great beginning, middle carried on and the end just kinda...well, life goes on as they say. Also, specifically about the ending, if this were ever made into a movie it would be awesome...but it'd rival Return of the King for the largest number of false endings...but again, life goes on.

Still worth reading though.

Ishara
05-04-2010, 08:43 AM
I don't know what cyberpunkish means. And...all of his books end in a similar fashion, because life does go on. He's not a big one for epic endings with everyone living happily ever after.

ShadowbaneX
05-04-2010, 11:39 AM
cyberpunk has the unfortunate tendency to have mind-blowing openings, decent middle sections and then just petering out at the end almost to the point of having non-endings...(you look to see if there's a chapter or two missing from the book).

Ishara
05-04-2010, 11:44 AM
Ah. Thanks for the explanation.

I disagree. ;)

I felt that this book, moreso than any of his others, had such a gentle mild opening that it eased you into the crazy intrigue and action of the middle, which then eased you back into the ending. Not your standard layout, I'll agree, but successful nonetheless.

ShadowbaneX
05-04-2010, 12:03 PM
I'll admit it's been quite a while since I've read any of his stuff, but I liked the opening, quite a bit, the middle played around, but was still interesting. Then the book ended 3 or 4 times...sorta. Still a good book though.

Davian93
06-23-2010, 08:10 PM
Just finished Under Heaven...quite the sad book at times (typical GGK in that). I liked it a lot though.

He really makes you ponder life sometimes, doesn't he?

ShadowbaneX
06-23-2010, 10:05 PM
He really makes you ponder life sometimes, doesn't he?

The sign of a very good author. The book wasn't sad at times, well, the end definitely had some moments, but a lot "this is life and these are the consequences."

I've got the Lions of Al-Rassan sitting on my desk. I really need to get into that.

Davian93
06-24-2010, 07:18 AM
The sign of a very good author. The book wasn't sad at times, well, the end definitely had some moments, but a lot "this is life and these are the consequences."

I've got the Lions of Al-Rassan sitting on my desk. I really need to get into that.


It had a couple of poignant moments:



1. Shen Tai finally learning the soldier's name (one taking care of his horse) only to have the guy be killed in the very next scene.

2. Jian's death.


Overall, it was a very good book and I love that GGK never takes the easy, everyone wins ending approach. There are no super happy endings, its real, its life. There are consequences...no Deus Ex Machina swooping in to save things.

Ishara
06-24-2010, 08:04 AM
SBX - Lions is my favourite. I always do a re-read of all of them from start to finish after I read a new offering from GGK, and am reminded that it is my favourite. Beautiful story.

Dav - spoilers, dude! Glad you liked it though. The Kanlin warriors were characters that really interested me...kind of a combination of Shaolin and samurai?

Davian93
06-24-2010, 08:23 AM
SBX - Lions is my favourite. I always do a re-read of all of them from start to finish after I read a new offering from GGK, and am reminded that it is my favourite. Beautiful story.

Dav - spoilers, dude! Glad you liked it though. The Kanlin warriors were characters that really interested me...kind of a combination of Shaolin and samurai?

Sorry, I figured everyone that would read this thread would have already read the book...I'll fix it.

So far, Tigana is my favorite...though this one was really good.