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Ysabel, by Guy Gavriel Kay - Haven

periskyye
Date: 2007-02-22 12:48
Subject: Ysabel, by Guy Gavriel Kay
Security: Public
Tags:book review

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.

It's two days since I finished reading the book, and I already have trouble remembering some of the salient points.  My problem may stem from the fact that this book is apparently loosely conntected with his Fionavar trilogy, which I could never quite get into.  It could also be that the book, simply put, was not that outstanding.

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.

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periskyye
User: periskyye
Date: 2007-03-22 20:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
(thinks a moment) I like most of his books. I'd recommend A Song for Arbonne or The Lions of Al-Rassan to start.

His books are described as historical fantasy. I can re-read Lions just about any time.
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