Saturday, January 4, 2020

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Tigana I've never read an author who so fully understands people and how complex our lives and feelings and behaviours can be.

Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favourite authors, and Tigana my favourite of his books. I first read it in my 20s and was bowled over by it. I've now reread it in my 40s, one year after my beloved father died. To say Kay understands and captures all the grief, and pain, and fierce joy there is to be found in this life, is an understatement.

And to intersperse that understanding of humans with grand storytelling of the highest measure is a skill beyond belief. I am, and always will be, in awe of what he can craft.

'Less is more' is a skill in all forms of writing and one in which Kay excels at. And many fantasy authors lack in their sprawling, pointless (but fun :) epics. In Kay's books every scene is essential to the story, and you're always left with this excruciating feeling of inevitability of the ending that occurs.

There are so many moments in this book where I was crying from overwhelming joy or sadness. The characters are mature albeit sometimes broken humans. With so much wisdom, so much heart, so much pain. The story of Dianora will always be one of the most tragic of all time. And a reminder that us humans are complicated creatures, full of seeming contradictions that ultimately make sense. A sentence from the book comes to mind, "It was all true, but none of it was the truth."

That truth is now my life's mission. The truth in me, the truth in others, is what I seek. I have only recently realized how closed off from my emotions I am, we all are, but to quote the book I feel that "the stern bindings that wrapped and held [my] heart [are] loosening."And I think when we can access all the things hidden behind our internal walls, we will begin to know some peace and a more authentic life. This book has showed my why this journey is worth it, and how it might look along the way. :)

Sigh... Tigana is a book so full of life wisdom, so full of heart, yet it's all wrapped up in some of the most exciting storytelling I've ever read.

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