A Song for Arbonne

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Crown Publishers, 1992 - Fiction - 513 pages
27 Reviews
A song for Arbonne is one of those rare novels that creates an entire world of its own, one which enfolds and enthralls us so strongly that we close its pages with a pang of regret. It is the finest novel so far from Guy Gavriel Kay, who has received international acclaim for his Fionavar Tapestry trilogy and the epic Tigana. The novel draws its ambience and inspiration from the sensuous culture of medieval Provence - the land of the troubadours and the courts of love. Arbonne is a sun-blessed country of vineyards and olive trees, and the home of a passionate, goddess-centered culture. To the north is Gorhaut, a dour Kingdom of warriors led by a cruel, misogynistic lord who sees Arbonne as ripe for the taking. One man is caught between the two: Blaise, a rough-hewn northern mercenary who serves, bemusedly, in the courts of the south. When the invaders sweep down from the mountains, the men and women of Arbonne face their darkest hour: They find the power of love and poetry tested against the might of fire and sword. And Blaise discovers that the fate of courtly Arbonne may lie in his rugged hands. This is a dazzling imaginary history peopled with a vibrant array of characters, from the sardonic Blaise to the haughty queen of the Court of Love, to a beautiful minstrel girl whose life is forever changed by a chance encounter in a tavern. In the richness and complexity of its setting, A Song for Arbonne calls to mind The Name of the Rose; in its passion and romance, The Mists of Avalon and in its pace and sweep, such classic adventures as Ivanhoe or The Three Musketeers. This is storytelling at its very best, a novel to be savored and passed on with pleasure to one's fellow readers.

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User Review  - ragwaine - LibraryThing

I LOVE Guy Gavriel Kay's writing. [book:The Fionavar Tapestry|1148721] and [book:Tigana|104089] are some of my all-time favorite books. Books that I make friends read, even if I have to give them my ... Read full review

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User Review  - briandarvell - LibraryThing

I found the book to be ok but full of clichés and standard plot items without much new. The writing was of good quality and I liked the concept/idealism of the Arbonne province surrounded by others of ... Read full review

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About the author (1992)

Guy Gavriel Kay was born on November 7, 1954 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada. He became interested in fantasy fiction while working as an assistant to Christopher Tolkien. He assisted him with the editing of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. After receiving a law degree from the University of Toronto, he became principal writer and associate producer for the CBC radio series, The Scales of Justice. He also wrote several episodes when the series moved to television. He has written social and political commentary for several publications including the National Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Guardian. His first fantasy novels were The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road, which make up the Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy. His other works include A Song for Arbonne, The Lions of Al-Rassan, Beyond This Dark House, The Last Light of the Sun, and Under Heaven. He has received numerous awards including and the Aurora Award for Tigana and The Wandering Fire, the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel for Ysabel, and the International Goliardos Award for his work in the fantasy field.

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