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The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay

Review by Liara

The Summer Tree
The Wandering Fire
The Darkest Road

The World
Fionavar is the first of all worlds, connected to the others by various magical means. The setting draws heavily on Celtic mythology, including a number of gods and goddesses, and an Arthurian thread (though it is by no means just another Arthur retelling). Some of the other elements of the world that I liked are the lios alfar (Children of Light), who reminded me strongly of Tolkien's Elves, and the Native American-like Dalrei. There is magic at every turn.

The Plot
A mage from Fionavar is sent into our world, bringing back five Canadian college students as a part of the High King's anniversary celebration. However, it soon becomes clear that more than a celebration is going on. The dark power Rakoth Maugrim threatens to unravel the Tapestry of all the worlds, and each of the Five have something to contribute to the battle.

The Characters
Most of the points of view we see are from the five people from our world. I especially liked Kim and Dave, who had somewhat larger roles than the others. There are also a wide variety of very cool characters from Fionavar, but I can't think of anything else to say about them at the moment *l*.

Comments
This series is Kay's first work, so it has a different feel from the rest of his books. In my opinion, they aren't as polished or as tightly woven (teehee, excuse the pun) as his later works, especially in the first two books, but a weak Kay is still definitely worth reading. Also, though the plot could have used a little more...something at times, the writing style was very lyrical and poetic throughout, something I definitely enjoyed. Even after liking the first two books a lot, I noticed a big difference in the last book; suddenly I was much more addicted to reading it than I'd been since the first two chapters of the whole thing (which really grabbed me). The conclusion was powerful and very well tied together; quite satisfying to read even if it did make me cry *l*. I think I'll give the books separate ratings, since I found them a bit different from each other.

The Summer Tree: 4 amulets
The Wandering Fire: 4 amulets
The Darkest Road: 4.75 amulets
Overall: 4.5 amulets


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