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Fionavar Tapestry Omnibus [Paperback]

Guy Gavriel Kay
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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In the three novels that make up the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy collected in this omnibus edition (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road), five University of Toronto students find themselves transported to a magical land to do battle with the forces of evil. At a Celtic conference, Kimberley, Kevin, Jennifer, Dave, and Paul meet wizard Loren Silvercloak. Returning with him to the magical kingdom of Fionavar to attend a festival, they soon discover that they are being drawn into the conflict between the dark and the light as Unraveller Rakoth Maugrim breaks free of his mountain prison and threatens the continued existence of Fionavar. They join mages, elves, dwarves, and the forces of the High King of Brennin to do battle with Maugrim, where Kay's imaginative powers as a world-builder come to the fore. He stunningly weaves Arthurian legends into the fluid mix of Celtic, Nordic, and Teutonic, creating a grand fantasy that sweeps readers into a heroic struggle that the author makes all the more memorable because of the tributes he pays to past masters.

The trilogy is a grand homage to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, but while the echoes of Tolkien's masterwork are very real, the books offer the wonderful taste of a new fantasy writer cutting his teeth at the foot of a master. Kay has a very real connection to Tolkien--as Christopher Tolkien's assistant, Kay was invaluable in helping to wrestle Tolkien's posthumous The Silmarillion into shape for publication. Kay is undoubtedly one of the Canadian masters of high fantasy, and The Fionavar Tapestry is one of his most enduring works. Readers, however, should also check out Kay's Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, The Lions of Al-Rassan, and The Sarantine Mosaic to truly experience a master at work. --Jeffrey Canton

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Works of Fantasy Out There Feb. 2 2003
I'm usually skeptic about reading a fantasy. So often have I picked up a fantasy looking for a book of sophistication that would still entertain, and so often have I been dissapointed. Kay's Fionavar Tapestry, however, is simply a brilliant work of modern fantasy. Well developed characters and a simple yet engrossing plot make this one of the best fantasies out there. However, Kay introduces an Arthurian sub plot about half way through the tapestry. Some may enjoy such a thing, but I found it tacky and contrived. Putting this aside, though, I would highly reccomend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful storytelling Sept. 4 2005
By A Customer
Nothing is truly original, especially in the realm of fantasy; there will always be magic, mystical beasts, powerful beings and epic battles. But then that is why we like this stuff, and so Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry, is indeed a wonderous and exciting story to experience. In fact I have no qualms with placing this right with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in the category of great writing and storytelling. I wouldn't say that Kay copies Tolkien's style of poetic writing but rather derives hisown techniques of description that are reminiscent of LOTR. There are profoundly developed characters and adventurous plot twists that kept me interested and glued to the pages. If you're someone who really enjoys good fantasy, I recommend this. And despite the fact that the book isn't 100% original, almost immediately within the first few pages, it's obviously and undeniably unique from other fantasy novels. You will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute MUST READ fantasy! Feb. 6 2009
By Why Not
Kay has a wonderfully smooth, poetic writing style that lends itself perfectly to weaving the rich mythology of this tale. The reader becomes utterly immersed in the land of Fionavar through its peoples, its history and its magic. Unforgettable characters and unending adventure make this an epic fantasy that easily rivals The Lord of The Rings! This is a MUST READ for any fantasy lover!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A favourite book June 26 2005
This is a favourite book of mine - my favourite, even. As someone else said, identifying to characters is easy, as they come from our world. The story is well-balanced, complex and full of surprises. It can make you worry, make you cry and make you laugh out loud. The world is nicely built and beautiful, too. And don't worry about the size: I never got through Lord of the Rings, but the Tapestry can keep me up late nights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written Fantasy Dec 12 2004
By Julie
I read books from all catagories and have always had a special place in my heart for a good fantasy novel. This trilogy is second only to The Lord OF the Rings.
I felt compelled to add a review as someone has left a mocking negative review. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates a well written story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This book was one of the best fantasy trilogies ever written. Associating with the characters becomes extremely easy due to the fact they are from the same world as we are. Well worth the read.+
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