Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay is a stand-alone fantasy book that tells the tale of a group of characters trying to dethrone two separate tyrants who have taken over their land. It’s a very engrossing story and not really suitable for readers who expect a lot of action in a book. It is however written very beautifully although it does take a bit of time getting used to the writing style of the author. The book has a lot of potential but I ultimately felt that the book falls flat in a lot of different places. Character development is also mediocre. It’s not bad but there were some characters that irritated me some bit and that’s never good where a book this long is concerned.
The story with Tigana is simple enough once you’ve been filled in on the facts and I find one aspect of it very interesting where Tigana is concerned with the name and all that. Your main characters include Devin, Alessan, Catriena, Sandre, Dianora and Baerd. The problem I have with the story telling is that although this is not a story told via a first person view, it feels as for the most time, the story is told through Devin’s view point. Well, Devin is the least interesting character because he is the most boring out of the bunch as he really is just a ordinary boy. It feels as if he’s just tagging along for the ride. He is gifted with a good memory but it doesn’t serve any purpose whatsoever throughout the book. Wasted talent I guess? There are wizards and magic usage in the world as well but its use is forbidden or else you’ll be tracked down and executed. This is a shame because the world could have been so much more richer if it had been done so. The author does do a pretty good job of fleshing out the world for the readers but I just wished more magic would have been involved! It didn’t even have to be for fight scenes only but rather to give the world a much more mysterious and special ‘feeling’.
I have to admit that the first part of the book got me hooked immediately. The build up was really suspenseful as the author keeps baiting you with hints of something much bigger to come but keeps a tight lid on it. The whole of the plot is for the characters to find some way to rid the tyrants together, who also hate each other, from the world. Only then can the people truly be set free. Once I finally learned of the plan, I can’t believe that was it. After pages and pages of the book being read and so much suspense hanging in the air, I was angered at the weak plot from the characters to rid the tyrants. It was just unbelievable because I surely thought there was something more to it. But nope. I was wrong. You’re telling me one of the main character was in hiding for 15 years plotting away to free the people and all he could think of was this?
Tigana in my opinion is an OK read nonetheless despite all the negatives I mentioned so far. The plot doesn’t move as fast as some would like but it actually works out quite fine in the end. Now that I think about it, it’s pretty hard trying to write a review for Tigana. It’s got a little bit of everything. There were great moments but there were moments where you just wish the author would get to the point instead of writing so much about a characters inner turmoil. There’s just so much repetition and those wasted pages could have allowed the characters to be more active. So much more could have been accomplished by the characters in general. So much more could have been done to make this book more exciting! At the same time, you can tell that this is not the author’s style. Which is completely OK, mind you. Crafting up a good story takes time and the author definitely doesn’t mind doing so here. I just don’t agree with many of the choices he’s made throughout the book.