January 18th, 2010


January Books 11) The Wandering Fire 12) The Darkest Road, by Guy Gavriel Kay

Having read The Summer Tree a few months back, and noting the result of my 2010 reading poll, I thought I would tackle the other two books of the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy together. As I've said before, I am a huge fan of Kay's later work, but as with The Summer Tree, I felt that in these earlier books he is still getting his talent together. The explicit resurrection of Arthur and Lancelot (and Guinevere reincarnated as a Canadian) sat rather more uneasily in Kay's fantasy world than his previous plundering of Celtic and Germanic folklore, and the various plot strands are not always easy to entangle, particularly in The Wandering Fire.

But Kay shows early on that he is prepared to kill off key characters, so there is an underlying feeling of suspense as we wonder who will live and who will die. And the series is lifted by the climax: epic final battle, self-sacrifice, and a decent resolution. I am not sure that I would recommend the trilogy generally, but it is a decent enough portal fantasy in its own right, and of course points the way for Kay's subsequent triumphs.

Top LibraryThing UnSuggestion for both books: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers