Admittedly, Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorite authors, so I have high expectations when I read a book by him. His latest novel, Ysabel, was therefore somewhat of a disappointment.
Coming from The Lions of Al-Rasan, A Song for Arbonne, Tigana, and the Saratine Mosaic duology, I was looking forward to more of Kay's lyrical language. Other than a few passages, it's not there in Ysabel. I don't know if this is the result of the setting (modern day France), or the chosen main viewpoint character (a 15 year old boy), but I acutely missed it.
The love triangle really didn't hold my interest, either. Why do they love Ysabel? Because she's beautiful? Not much was explained otherwise. I have to agree with what one of the characters said - I don't like Ysabel. For two thousand years plus, she's had these two men fighting over her, causing massive death and destruction along the way. For what purpose, exactly?
I found the most sympathetic character to be "I'm not a good man" Phelan, who seems to be the only one of the three who wants things to end.
I found the end to be a bit disturbing as well. I understand that Melonie was changed by Ysabel's possesion of her, but to offer to have sex with Ned? I didn't understand the need for that, nor for the clarification of when Ned's birthday was.
It sounds like I hated the book, but I really don't. More than anything, I'm indifferent to it. My advice: if you want to buy it, wait for paperback.