Ysabel

Ysabel

by Guy Gavriel Kay

Provence, in the south of France, is a part of the world that has beenand continues to becalled a paradise.

Ned has accompanied his father, Edward Marriner, and a team of assistants to Provence for a six week shoot.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3.61
  • Pages: 416
  • Publish Date: February 6th 2007 by Roc Hardcover
  • Isbn10: 0451461290
  • Isbn13: 9780451461292

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Here he introduces a 2nd element thats equally annoying: wrap the basic story in a wet blanket of obtuse statements. I was pleasantly surprised to see Kay bring back 2 characters from the Fionavar Tapestry for this story. If I was the main character in this book, I would have popped a few Xanax, murdered everyone around me and gone off to solve the mystery by myself. It didnt necessarily progress in the traditional story arc of a fantasy novel (which is not necessarily a bad thing) but it had good prose and was definitely not painful to read.

That being said, his historical fantasy can be divided in two, both solidly anchored in our own world, history and legends.

The bull, the boar, Liadon, the immutable triangle, a fight between a wolf and someone named Cadell, and even Dave's alias (Ivorson!) gave the plot that heartbreaking quality we've all come to expect from Kay. There was one moment when I thought Kay was going to commit an Unforgivable Sin with regard to Dave, but he didn't. All in all, no this wasn't in the vein of Kay's recent work, but it was still wonderful, still really fun to read, and still incredibly sad when it ends.

As a whole it lacks the richness GGK's other books offer.

Things go from strange to bizarre when the stranger warns Ned to stay out things that don't concern him.

But in a way I am sort of glad to have read it, despite thinking it is really a quite bad book. There is a spoilerish link to another book which would have made me want to read it anyway. Leaving me going "yeah, but dont you think this or that"?. Ysabel at least helps me ID what - GGK writes not so much of how things are, but how he wishes history was. It is just too shallow, too theatrical, too ridiculous in comparison with real history.Combine that with an overdose of little tricks to deceive the reader, a love of pointlessly dramatic prose and it can get very syrupy. The use of history as some sort of backdrop to a recurring eternal love triangle is just not convincing here. That is just a symptom, that GGK is using real history to project his own private world into. Lots of brand-name dropping and a particularly unconvincing teenager who seems to have the music tastes of a 40+ year old and who runs listening to his ipod ( a real ipod I mean. Real teens dont flirt the same way 30/40 year olds do, their interaction was just unbelievable!

This is due to the main character being a teenage boy, as well as the fact that it takes place in a modern setting and has a far less epic scope than his other books. This is only his tenth book, he has plenty of names to pick from." At one point, the realization struck me rather forcefully that the name was not being reused, and was in fact referring to the same character. Ysabel is still a fully stand-alone novel, and can be understood and appreciated without reading any of Kay's other works, but knowing the history of the reused characters makes it even deeper. For those who haven't read Kay's other novels, this untold back story simply folds into another of the author's signature touches: the hints that there is far more to the world than the current story can show.

Since I first read Ysabel, I discovered all the rest of Guy Gavriel Kay's work and found that, really, Ysabel wasn't anything like the best he could do. The characters themselves don't quite have the depth that Guy Gavriel Kay brought to Fionavar, but at the same time, I think that's to be expected. I wouldn't have complained had it been longer, and a bit more detailed when it comes to characters and background, but I did enjoy it and still want more of Guy Gavriel Kay's work, despite being warned that I probably wouldn't find it up to the standard of the Tapestry trilogy.

A young adult story about two teenagers in the south of France stumbling into an ancient love triangle. It's a young adult book where the grown-ups are also awesome, and it does a beautiful job with that part of France, and I dug the entire cast.