I absolutely love the works of Guy Gavriel Kay. Quite possibly the best fantasy writer after Tolkien. (Which is probably no mere coincidence as Kay helped Christopher Tolkien edit the Silmarillion.) My favorite Kay novel is probably Tigana; but so far I’ve thoroughly loved all of his books.
Which is why I am so very sad to say that while I enjoyed Ysabel, his latest work, I was in the main disappointed. I felt that it was not nearly as good as anything else I’ve read. It was still a good read; but where everything else I’ve read by Kay felt deep and rich and had several moments that left me sobbing, this book felt thinner, poorer in language, in character development, in story, in sense of place, and in that indefinable element of magic that usually pervades a Kay novel.
I’ll detail my reasons after the jump; but there will be SPOILERS, so don’t click through if you haven’t read the book.