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Tigana  By  cover art

Tigana

By: Guy Gavriel Kay
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed author Guy Gavriel Kay has been honored with the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (Ysabel) and the International Goliardos Award for his work in fantasy. 

Eight of the nine Palm provinces of the Peninsula have been overcome by warrior sorcerers Brandin and Alberico. But the sorcerers don't know that a small band of survivors is plotting their removal. With tensions mounting, the sorcerers become increasingly at odds as each decides where his own path - and that of the land - should truly lie. 

"Brilliant. Rich in intrigue and subtlety. A gracefully plotted story. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

©1990, 1999 Guy Gavriel Kay (P)2009 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Tigana

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Sex was overwhelming

Story was ok. The sex just rubbed me the wrong way. Incest, rape, and weird “underaged” sex. Not my cup of tea…

35 people found this helpful

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A little self-indulgent

GGK is a master storyteller, no doubt about that. I’ve loved his previous books, but this one put me off a little. Perhaps as the author gets older he allows himself an increasing sentimentality, emotional descriptive passages that run too long. That makes the pacing of the book seem glacially slow at times, and has caused more than one eye roll.

15 people found this helpful

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Unexpectedly engaging

If someone were to ask me what this book was about, I'd have a hard time doing it justice. A slow story of revenge, of memory, of belonging and family. The main cast (no matter if they fell into slight tropes) felt real and I cared for them deeply.

The fantasy elements mostly fell to the background as we followed the stories of our characters plotting their small grass-roots rebellion to reclaim a birthright. There is a LOT of story in such a 'short' (for fantasy) book and the world felt tangible; Kay's epilogue regarding the Italian city-states of history as inspiration makes a lot of sense and lends itself well to buying into the reality of the story.

It starts off fairly meandering and doesn't necessarily hook the reader in a large action/magic sequence that typically composes the majority of kick-offs into a fantasy realm. The author expects you to just roll with the information and skips in time, seamlessly weaving the Palm's mythology into both small moments and large info dumps, and I appreciate that trust given to the reader - though I suspect some might find it frustrating. Sometimes it felt a bit more like reading a historical recounting, rather than a fantasy novel. Additionally, I found the climax/end to be satisfyingly bittersweet, with more threads tied up than I expected.

9 people found this helpful

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Could not get into it

I wanted to like this book. I don’t. I had problems really getting into it. It felt more like a fairytale where someone is relating a tale - first this happened then that happened etc. as opposed to a tale where I feel like I’m taking part. When I had about two hours left I realized that I could not care less how the story ended, so I stopped listening. I give it three stars because it is not bad, it really isn’t. It is just not for me.

4 people found this helpful

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At long last...

I am so glad I finally read this book that came highly recommended. Superbly written!

4 people found this helpful

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Dnf

Yikes, was expecting to like this one but had to put it down 3/4 of the way through the book—which I almost never do—because it was just that boring. Too much sex, not enough substance and who gives a fuck about Tigana. Seriously though, this has to be one of the least convincing revenge stories I’ve ever read. Despite well written prose and dialogue this book was one of the least emotionally compelling things I’ve read in a long time.

4 people found this helpful

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word vomit, telling instead of showing

great narration, awful storytelling. Lore lore lore then small amount of actual story too early.

3 people found this helpful

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insufferable

the characters are way too ridiculously emotional and the writer tries way too hard to make everything sound like poetry with adult fan fiction. Premise is boring. "they took our old country's name. it was a really good country. don't ask why. I'm not going to explain it. it just was, you had to have been there"

2 people found this helpful

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Heart wrenching and magnificent

A beautiful and emotional tale, told by a master storyteller. Simon Vance does the telling beautifully.

2 people found this helpful

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A True perfomance of a compelling book

This book needs a specific type of narrator and Simon Vance was perfect! He brought out all the imagery and flow of the writing. If you enjoy fantasy with real depth of world and characters that also has conflict where you can understand, appreciate, and even feel compassion for BOTH sides, this book is for you. Just wonderful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Frances
  • 05-13-20

Both gorgeous and gripping

This author produces some of the most beautiful prose I have ever encountered, and the delivery by Simon Vance very much does the book justice.

What I found here was an expertly woven tapestry of interconnecting threads, a uniquely rendered fantasy story whose characters held me in thrall throughout, and which surprised just often enough to keep me gripped but not so often as to lose consistency and my chance to develop understanding.

Absolutely sublime, from start to finish

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-24-21

Top Quality

I love David Gemmell, Feist & Wurts and Trudi Canavan - best fantasy books ever. Well Tigana was different, but equally compelling. A page turner - if you can say that about an audible book. It has a different style, but I just could not stop listening. A great book and I would highly recommend not just for the unique story and concept but for the great narration. As always I read the book many years before I purchased the audible version, but am not disappointed. Will leave it a year and probably listen again.

I have read the Mistress of the Empire trilogy 5 times and listened to it on audible 3 times now. I will say no more just you need to get it!! As for David Gemmell it is all good and thank you Sean Barrett - pure brilliant narration. The black magician trilogy - amazing. The books, especially the first, builds such a rich world with real characters that I could not put it down. Masterpiece Trudi Masterpiece. Read the trilogy 4 times now, but due to the poor narration I will unfortunately not buy it on audible.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alan
  • 11-22-22

Absolute Classic.

Absolutely fantastic, one of my first books by Guy Gavrial Kay and it was an incredibile journey. I loved it, but it also broke my heart. The characters are pretty unique and developed slowly and steadily, Tigana honestly blew away all my expectations, the worldbuilding and plot are simply beautiful. It's a long read, but well worth the time. Though the pace can be slow at times, I didn't mind it at all because I knew it was building up to something special and damn was it. Tigana has been ripped from the memories of those people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the tyrant King Brandin that even the very name of their once beautiful land cannot be spoken or remembered for fear of death. But not everyone has forgotten. When Troubadour band of men and women, driven by love, hope, pride and vengeance set in motion a very dangerous quest for freedom and bring back to the world the lost land of Tigana. Cant wait to read more of Guy Gaveriel’s books. For anyone looking for a good oul classic, I very highly recommend...😁🔥💙

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 11-05-22

Wonderfully musical

A masterfully crafted musical lament of loss, revenge and political intrigue filled with intricate imagery and sounds.

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  • Andy Staples
  • 07-28-22

Superb

I first read Tigana around 30 years ago. I quickly realised that it spoke to deeper themes than is typical in fantasy, and even before the end I mentaly placed it alongside works like A Wizard of Earthsea: intelligent, thoughtful fantasy. I've re-read it several times since. Simon Vance's performance brings a fresh perspective on this firm favourite.

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  • A.T. BARNES
  • 12-15-21

Great depth of plot and characters

I read this book years ago and had forgotten how brilliant it is. It's a slow burning story with a wealth of complex characters and many many twists to the tale. Loved the reading which allowed me to completely immerse myself in the tale.

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  • MO
  • 03-29-21

Needs to be a trilogy

Different themes and lots of characters but needed parts 2 and 3 to be fully developed. Didn’t like the ending and in some places the sentences were never ending. However, I still enjoyed the story!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-02-21

Fantastic

Loved everything about it. Prose is superb and Simon Vance captured it perfectly. I had high expectations since it was highly recommended, and it fulfilled them completely.

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  • Ms A MCGUIRE
  • 01-10-21

A wonderful narration of one of my favourite books

Tigama was the first book I ever read by Guy Gavriel Kay and this is a wonderful audio version of it. I can't recommend this highly enough.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-22-20

Tigana

A fabulous story that kept me gripped from the start; I couldn’t put it down! If I have one tiny gripe, apart from no sleep, it was Simon Vance, who is also my favourite narrator, giving the Nightwalkers a Scottish accent. Thankfully, that part of the tale only takes up a relatively short time, although it spoiled, for me, what was otherwise the usual perfect narration I have come to expect from him.

I can recommend this book wholeheartedly; there’s intrigue; mystery; murder; love, war and magic, with a cast of characters that draw you in and take you with them on their journey. Loved it!

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  • Jennifer Robinson
  • 10-10-22

Good, apart from too much blood

interesting themes, but I get tired of sword play and brutality. The air wheels are especially unpleasant.

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  • Lise
  • 06-06-22

Beautifully written

I loved the concept since throughout our own history there have been countless tyrants and conquerors who wish to ERASE the existence of a land and its people - their names and history. This was a beautifully written book and wonderfully performed by star narrator Vance. Some reader comments about too much sex are a bit confusing for me since there were only about 4-5 scenes in a long book and they were all relevant to the story and well-written between consenting adults. Ultimately these scenes added to the character development - they highlight what makes us human with our loves and memories- what motivates us to do what we do villain or not? And speaking of villains, I thought it interesting that one was made to look more evil than the other just from his inability to love anyone but himself and his climb for power. Very well done!