Compulsive Overreader

Along with borderline hypergraffia, my other literary disorder is -- I'm a compulsive overreader. I'd like to say that I'm trying to get it under control, but I'm clearly not. Check out the archives here to find what I'm reading and what I think of it. If you came here directly through blogger --if your page has no yellow frames and no pretty pic of me in the top left corner -- you may want to visit my main site at, where you can read this blog and much much more.


I'm Trudy Morgan-Cole, a writer from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. My books include "The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson," "Esther: A Story of Courage," and "Deborah and Barak." I'm also a married mom of two, a teacher in an adult-ed program, and a Christian of the Seventh-day Adventist kind. I blog about writing, reading, parenting, teaching, spirituality, and shiny things that catch my eye.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay

As I moved into my Christmas reading this year I decided to relax with some classic fantasy, which included re-reading my all-time favourite fantasy novel, Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana. I first read this about 12 or 13 years ago and I can still remember where I was sitting when I read the final pages and discovered the surprise twist at the ending: it hit me like a kick in the stomach. For my money, nobody can constuct a plot like Kay; he keeps me constantly on the edge of my seat with twists and turns and just when I think I've got everything figured out, he pulls another surprise out of the bag. Add to that memorable characters you can't help falling in love with and a vivid, detailed, fully realized fantasy world, and you can see why I am shameless in declaring Guy Gavriel Kay the greatest living fantasy writer -- or at least the best suited to my reading tastes!

Tigana is my favourite Kay novel because the story is so poignant and heartwrenching. A small country has lost its independence to a powerful dictator -- but the dictator is also a sorcerer. As punishment for their resistance, the sorcerer cast a spell so that the name of the country -- Tigana -- would be unable to be heard or understood by anyone not born there. But wiping out the name, he literally erases the memory of a people and their culture.

The novel picks up twenty years later, when a small band of rebels is determined to overthrow the dictator and restore the name and nation of Tigana to map and memory. Every character is complex and compelling; the story never stops moving forward. I know that at least a couple of people who are near and dear to me and whose reading tastes I respect have found the beginning of Tigana slow and hard to get into, and having given up on it. I really can't relate, but I have to say that if you find the beginning slow, you should hang in there till at least page 100 and see if you don't start enjoying the ride. You don't know what you're missing.


Blogger Jamie said...

...Of course, somewhere around page 248 he introduces a WHOLE NEW CHARACTER to a book already populated with plenty of characters! I almost gave up then, but it was too late, I was hooked.

And yes, it took me three or four attempts to get past the first few chapters. I've finished the book now, and did enjoy it as much as everyone said I would.

4:17 PM  

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