Review: Under Heaven

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

I think I just experienced a reading slump. The blog hasn’t been affected, because my staggering control issues keep my posting buffer nice and clean, but I had a pretty good ten to twelve days where I just could not summon up the enthusiasm to pick Under Heaven pack up again. I meant to! I brought it to work, I left it on the kitchen table, but nothing could, until I realized that I had to get through it to get to anything else. So I forced myself to sit down one Friday and Saturday and finish it off in two shifts, and I feel much better now.

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The Literary Horizon: Under Heaven, Throne of the Crescent Moon

Fantasy, as a genre, is noted for how homogenous it can be—medieval European setting (adjusting for British or Continental tastes accordingly), wizards, royalty, and, of course, white people. But there are two titles on my reading list that fight this by injecting some much needed diversity into the genre. (And, for the first time in a while, an actually recent release!)

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Review: Tigana

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Well, this is it—the last update for Memory’s Tigana Read-Along. I’ve really enjoyed slowing down and looking at the text semi-academically; it’s helped me get more out of the text than, perhaps, I would have on my own, considering my last experience with Kay, The Summer Tree. (I enjoyed it, but I could definitely tell Kay is a devotee of Tolkien.) I was always going to give Kay another shot, and I’m quite glad I ultimately did with Tigana; I’ll be definitely be reading more. (But maybe just not The Fionavar Tapestry.)

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Challenge: Tigana Read-Along Part #5—The Memory of a Flame

She was no longer herself, she thought. No longer Dianora, or not only Dianora. She was merging further into legend with every step she took. (547)

It’s time for my last bimonthly update for the Tigana Read-Along, hosted by the wonderful Memory of Stella Matutina. If you’re interested, we’ve already posted about “A Blade in the Soul“, “Dianora“, “Ember to Ember“, and “The Price of Blood“. There’s one more update scheduled, but I’ll be putting up my review of the book then. Naturally, spoilers abound.

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Challenge: Tigana Read-Along #4—The Price of Blood

She looked over at Scelto. Their eyes met. For a fleeting moment she was sorely tempted to confide in him, to make an ally of a friend. What could she say, though? How explain in the middle of a dawn corridor the dark night and the train of years that had led her here? (400)

It’s time for our bimonthly update for the Tigana Read-Along, hosted by the wonderful Memory of Stella Matutina. If you’re interested, we’ve already posted about “A Blade in the Soul“, “Dianora“, and “Ember to Ember“. Naturally, spoilers abound.

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The Sunday Salon: Rant — Literary Fiction

And now for something a little different—a video rant about “literary fiction” and “genre fiction” (both literally meaningless labels). Emo!Ten, our cardboard cut-out of the Tenth Doctor (he survived a near collision between Sasha, the small Honda Civic, and a MARTA bus; his sadness attracts disaster), looms over my shoulder, Demora Pasha’s fan is really loud, and our window of dramatic lighting, well, lights dramatically.

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Booking Through Thursday: Multi-Tasking

Do you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, et cetera?

Or is it just me, and you sit and do nothing but focus on what you’re reading?

(Or, if you do both, why, when, and which do you prefer?)

I multitask to a degree—anything that doesn’t involve my eyes, like watching television or walking, is fair game. I read digital books while I blow dry my hair (it, uh, takes some time) and I usually read while I eat; I’m always trying to cram in as much reading as possible into my day.

But I ultimately prefer being able to sit down and spend a few hours with a book, which I don’t really have time for during the week. Last weekend, I spend Sunday morning in bed reading Tigana, and it was utterly blissful.

Challenge: Tigana Read-Along, Part #2—Dianora

Of course she knew why Brandin needed to stay here in the Palm, why he needed to use his sorcery to prolong his life here in what was surely a place of exile for him in a hand of grief.

He had to wait for everyone born in Tigana to die. (166)

And with this post, I ought to be all caught up! I’ll be able to finish up Tigana this week and write up these posts at my leisure, along with the review at the end. I’m so glad—I’ll be able to fully participate now. Yay for a bimonthly read-along schedule! Let’s dig into the second part of Tigana, “Dianora”. Spoilers abound!

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Challenge: Tigana Read-Along, Part #1—A Blade in the Soul

“I only spoke a prayer of my own.” Alessan’s voice was careful and very clear. “I always do. I said: Tigana, let my memory of you be like a blade in my soul.” (133)

This is me playing catch-up. You see, I was under the impression that the Tigana read-along, hosted by Memory over at Stella Matutina, began on February 28th, not February 23th. Oops. In any case, the book was checked out at the library and I had to wait until March 3rd to get my hands on a library copy. (Which for some reason doesn’t have a copyright page… hmm…) But I’ve just missed one scheduled posting, so I’m going to throw this and Part #2 up today as I dive right in. Spoilers for the novel abound, my friends, so if you haven’t read Tigana or you’re not playing along at home, I’d skip it. That said, let’s dig in.

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