Post by Titus G
The Fionavar Trilogy. Guy Gavriel Kay.
The Summer Tree.
The Wandering Fire.
The Darkest Road.
To me, "Classic Fantasy" is code for bland and unimaginative so I was a
little apprehensive about starting The Summer Tree, such apprehension
being magnified by the abrupt change of worlds so early and I am sure
that lesser minds than mine would easily be able to ridicule these books
from a technical viewpoint but about a quarter or a third of the way
through The Summer Tree, I was enthralled. Incredibly speedily-adaptive
ordinary but magnificent humans and Gods in machines. Who cares? Not me.
Famous five for adults with aliens and magic. Nonsense from start to
finish but brilliant nonsense. Every book five stars.
Dune. Frank Herbert.
A re-read discussed here a couple of months ago.
The Sparrow. Mary Doria Russell.
Five stars for the story and five stars for the look at the Roman
Catholic faith from a convert to Judaism.
As I am still gobsmacked by this book, I plan to look at reviews,
perhaps on Goodreads unless someone has a better suggestion?
Three very different books, but I agree with your ratings on all three.
I seem to be in the minority here, but I regard Kay's early works as
being the best books he's written. _The Fionavar Tapestry_ and _Tigana_
(my top favorite single volume fantasy) are masterpieces in emotional
manipulation. I still buy all of his books (in hardcover yet!) and his
technical skills as a writer has definitely improved over the years, but
the increased complexity of his writings has lessened his unique emotional
_The Sparrow_ is emotional impact of an entirely different
variety. It's on my favorites bookcase, but unlike most books there,
never gets an occasional re-read. I re-read it a couple of times
early on, but haven't wanted to be put through the wringer again,
For reviews, our resident reviewer (James) reviewed it here, with a
bit of discussion, so that review is probably on his web-site. I
profoundly disagree with his review - it mis-categorizes the book as a
hard science fiction book, and then points out all the ways it doesn't
meet the standards of that category. IMO, that completely misses the
point - this is a book about a priest going through hell and trying to
reconcile his faith, his personal philosophy, and what the real world
seems to be showing him.