Friday, 13 February 2015

The Fionavar Tapestry Review

In my top ten books of 2014 post I very briefly talked about Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana and how much I loved it. After finishing it I did my usual ‘go onto GoodReads and mark everything written by that author as to read’ spree that happens when I love a book, and I saw such great reviews of this trilogy that I was determined to source it as soon as possible. Enter Father Prewett, stage left, with a gigantic box of his books for me to read. And then cue giddy excitement as I found this trilogy within it! I have to say, I really bloody loved this. The series just got better the more it went on and I just absolutely devoured it. This is going to be a bit spoilery so maybe don’t read this if you were ever planning on reading this trilogy. OR go off and do that now and then come back and flail with me! That would be cool. There is going to be a part two which will be a book soundtrack but due to my eternal struggle to get internet I haven't been able to make it on 8tracks yet. But soon!

So, first things first, I really do love Guy Gaviel Kay’s writing. It's so beautiful and lovely to read.

I really have lost count of the amount of times that my heart broke when reading this trilogy. There are just so many moments that made me absolutely ache when I read them (see: a thousand years of the lios alfar setting out in their boats and meeting the Souleater instead of reaching their island. PAIN.) The thing is, there are the big obvious sadnesses which are painful in themselves, and then there are just these tiny moments that take you by surprise. They’re maybe only a sentence or two long so you could almost miss you but instead they just pierce your heart. However, my absolute favourite thing about this series is the sheer, underlying hope. Throughout all of the sad moments there is always this continued thread of love and hope that lifts everything up a little and makes you feel like somehow everything will turn out okay. Which I’ll be honest is quite comforting at times as there are also some seriously sad moments in this!

Secondly, before I go any further I need to establish the fact that Ivor is my babe and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH OKAY. He is just an absolute sweetie and he loves his family so much and is such a wonderful father but will also lead the Dalrei to war and kick some serious svart alfar butt and then go back to trying not to cry every time he’s proud of his family. He’s just awesome okay? On the subject of the Dalrei, I loved all of the focus on them. I seriously have all the time in the world for stories about people creating found families so I loved watching Dave discover himself and find a family in the Dalrei. But I also liked the fact that he goes back to our world at the end. I know he kind of has to but I like the idea that he might be able to make things work with his family back home.

Confession: I am an absolute sucker for Arthuriana. Even more so if it plays up the whole Glastonbury connection. My family isn’t religious but my mum was a full time complementary therapist for ages so I grew up in quite a spiritual household and we also used to visit Glastonbury a lot so I think I just latched onto the Arthurian legends when I was little and just never let go (also the 3 hour long Merlin film starring Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter is definitely to blame as well. I bloody loved that.) Suffice to say, when Kim summoned Arthur on top of Glastonbur Tor I was practically squealing with joy.  And then promptly weeping as he looks at her and says "they were just children" (all quotes are rough cos I don't have the time to check. Forgive me please.). OH BOOK YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO MANY THINGS. And good lord the moment where Jennifer meets him and it becomes clear who she is, ach my heart. “There were so many falling stars in his eyes, so many fallen. She wondered if there were any left in the sky.” And also "Oh Lance, come on". THESE STUPID MEDIEVAL ASSHOLES WITH THEIR HEARTBREAKING STORY REPEATING THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES. THEY BREAK MY HEART. (again.) And also can I just take a moment to appreciate the fact that we have an Arthurian story here that doesn’t vilify Guinevere? Or any of the trio for that matter. They’re doomed to repeat their cycle of pain over and over again because that is Arthur’s punishment for killing the children but none of them are singled out as a villain. And they all get to go off and live happily ever after together which makes me very happy.

Also, I totally shipped Matt and Loren. I know there is more to love than just the romantic variety but I like to imagine that they’re totally married. I mean can you really deny their love in the face of moments like near the end when Matt is all “WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME LOREN I NEED YOU” and so Loren is all “I WILL STAY WITH YOU FOREVER MY LOVE” and then they totally give each other heart eyes and merrily go off to lead the Dwarven army to war. That’s totally how it happened, right? On the subject of shipping, I absolutely shipped Paul and Jaelle and was second guessing myself so hard throughout the entire last book because I wasn’t sure if I was just imagining it. I let out such a cheer at the end when it became canon!

The book soundtrack will elaborate on a whole bunch of other stuff that I liked about this series because I have all of the feelings, but if you like fantasy books I would absolutely recommend you read this.

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