Tigana

Last updated
Tigana
Tigana - bookcover.jpg
First edition cover
Author Guy Gavriel Kay
Cover artist Mel Odom
Country Canada
Language English
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Penguin Canada
Publication date
August 1990
Media typePrint
Pages673 pp.
ISBN 0-451-45028-0
OCLC 21332269

Tigana is a 1990 fantasy novel by Canadian writer Guy Gavriel Kay. The novel is set in a fictional world, in a region called the Peninsula of the Palm, which somewhat resembles renaissance Italy as well as the Peloponnese in shape.

Fantasy Genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.

Novel Narrative text, normally of a substantial length and in the form of prose describing a fictional and sequential story

A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book.

Guy Gavriel Kay Canadian author of fantasy fiction

Guy Gavriel Kay is a Canadian writer of fantasy fiction. The majority of his novels take place in fictional settings that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid. Kay has expressed a preference to avoid genre categorization of these works as historical fantasy. As of 2019, Kay has published 14 novels and a book of poetry. As of 2018, his fiction has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Contents

Setting

The world where Tigana takes place is a planet orbited by two moons. Kay notes that some of his readers tried to connect Tigana with A Song for Arbonne by speculating the stories take place on the same fictional world, orbited by two moons; [1] Kay explained that he only repeated the same theme rather than attempting to expand his canon. [2]

In fiction, canon is the material accepted as officially part of the story in the fictional universe of that story. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction. The alternative terms mythology, timeline, universe and continuity are often used, with the first of these being used especially to refer to a richly detailed fictional canon requiring a large degree of suspension of disbelief, while the latter two typically refer to a single arc where all events are directly connected chronologically. Other times, the word can mean "to be acknowledged by the creator(s)".

Action is centered on the Peninsula of the Palm which shares a common culture and language, but, like medieval Italy, is not a unified nation, comprising instead nine provinces with a long history of internecine struggle. The provinces are: Asoli, Astibar, Certando, Chiara, Corte, Ferraut, Senzio, Tigana, and Tregea. With great subtlety, Kay conveys the fact that all this takes place in the Southern Hemisphere of the unnamed world.

This internal conflict facilitates the conquest of the region by two powerful sorcerers: Brandin, the King of Ygrath, and Alberico, an independent warlord from the empire of Barbadior. The two sorcerers conquered simultaneously but independently the peninsula, and have divided it in an uneasy balance of power.

A warlord is a leader able to exercise military, economic, and political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state due to their ability to mobilize loyal armed forces. These armed forces, usually considered militias, are loyal to the warlord rather than to the state regime. Warlords have existed throughout much of history, albeit in a variety of different capacities within the political, economic, and social structure of states or ungoverned territories.

Mythology

The religion of the Palm is centered on a triad of deities, a God and two Goddesses; the one being his sister-wife and the other being their daughter. An annual feast celebrates the torment and deicide of the God by his sister-wife and daughter, their eating of his flesh, and his rebirth.

Riselka

The riselka is the only supernatural creature of the book. Based on the rusalka of Slavic folklore and mythology, its appearance in Kay's world is a token of some portent. A portion of it reads as follows:

Legendary creature often supernatural animal, often a hybrid, sometimes part human, whose existence cannot be proven, described in legends, myths, fables, folklore, poetry, fairy tales, etc

A legendary, mythical, and mythological creature, also called a fabulous beast and fabulous creature, is a supernatural animal, often a hybrid, sometimes part human, whose existence has not or cannot be proved and that is described in folklore but also in historical accounts before history became a science.

Rusalka female spirit in Slavic mythology

In Slavic folklore, the rusalka is a female entity, often malicious toward mankind and frequently associated with water. Folklorists have proposed a variety of origins for the entity, including that they may originally stem from Slavic paganism, where they may have been seen as benevolent spirits. Rusalki appear in a variety of media in modern popular culture, particularly in Slavic language-speaking countries, where they frequently resemble the concept of the mermaid.

Slavic folklore encompasses the folklore of the Slavic peoples from their earliest records until today. Folklorists have published a variety of works focused specifically on the topic over the years.

One man sees a riselka: his life forks there.
Two men see a riselka: one of them shall die.
Three men see a riselka: one is blessed, one forks, one shall die.
One woman sees a riselka: her path comes clear to her.
Two women see a riselka: one of them shall bear a child.
Three women see a riselka: one is blessed, one is clear, one shall bear a child.

Plot

The plot focuses on a group of rebels attempting to overthrow both tyrants and win back their homeland. Many of the rebels are natives of the province of Tigana, which was the province that most ably resisted Brandin: In a crucial battle, Brandin's son was killed. In retaliation for this, Brandin attacked Tigana and crushed it more savagely than any other part of the Palm; then, following this victory, he used his magic to remove the name and history of Tigana from the minds of the population. Brandin named it Lower Corte, making Corte, their traditional enemies to their north, seem superior to a land that was all but forgotten.

A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman provincia, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries. In some countries with no actual provinces, "the provinces" is a metaphorical term meaning "outside the capital city".

Only those born in Tigana before the invasion can hear or speak its name, or remember it as it was; as far as everyone else is concerned, that area of the country has always been an insignificant part of a neighbouring province, hence the rebels are battling for the very soul of their country.

The book puts great emphasis on the different moral shades of people. Though seen by most of the characters as a ruthless, grief-maddened tyrant, Brandin is actually a very sympathetic character, especially in his love for Dianora, one of the women of his harem, called a saishan in the book — a character who is in fact from Tigana herself and engineered her own selection into Brandin's seraglio so that she could assassinate him, only to fall in love with him before she could. Despite being likeable and sympathetic, many of the rebels are equally ruthless in their attempts to overthrow the Tyrants, setting off wars, assassinating soldiers and officials and even committing suicide to depose Brandin.

The book is full of themes of identity, love, patriotism, revenge and magic.

Trivia

Kay says [3] that the province of Tigana, and thus the book, was – inadvertently – named after the soccer player Jean Tigana. Because of the name clash, the Italian edition of the novel uses the name Tigane instead.

Awards

Tigana was nominated for the 1991 World Fantasy Award—Novel and Aurora Award for Best Novel, winning the latter.

Related Research Articles

A caul or cowl is a piece of membrane that can cover a newborn's head and face. Birth with a caul is rare, occurring in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births. The caul is harmless and is immediately removed by the physician or midwife upon delivery of the child.

The Fionavar Tapestry is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay, published between 1984 and 1986. The novels are partly set in our own contemporary world, but mostly in the fictional world of Fionavar. It is the story of five University of Toronto senior law and medical students, who are drawn into the 'first world of the Tapestry' by the mage Loren Silvercloak. Once there, each discovers his or her own role and destiny in the framework of an epic conflict. The books' original cover illustrations were created by Martin Springett.

<i>The Lions of Al-Rassan</i> book by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Lions of Al-Rassan is a work of historical fantasy novel by Canadian writer Guy Gavriel Kay. It is set in a peninsula of the same world in which The Sarantine Mosaic and The Last Light of the Sun are set, and is based on Moorish Spain. The novel concentrates on the relationships between the three peoples: the Kindath, the Asharites, and the Jaddites, although the religions of the Kindath, Asharites, and Jaddites, as described in the novel, bear no relation to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

<i>The Summer Tree</i> 1984 Book by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Summer Tree is a 1984 novel written by Canadian fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay and the first book of The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy.

<i>The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber</i> Wuxia novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha)

The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, also translated as The Sword and the Knife, is a wuxia novel by Jin Yong. It is the third installment in the Condor Trilogy and is preceded by The Legend of the Condor Heroes and The Return of the Condor Heroes. It was first serialised from 6 July 1961 to 2 September 1963 in the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao.

<i>The Sword and the Sorcerer</i> 1982 film by Albert Pyun

The Sword and the Sorcerer is a 1982 American sword and sorcery fantasy film directed by Albert Pyun and starring Lee Horsley, Simon McCorkindale, Richard Lynch, and Richard Moll.

<i>Ysabel</i> book by Guy Gavriel Kay

Ysabel is a fantasy novel by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay. It was first published in January 2007 by Viking Canada. It is Kay's first urban fantasy and his first book set outside his fantasied Europe milieux since the publication of his first three novels in the 1980s. Kay lived in the countryside near Aix-en-Provence, the setting of Ysabel, while he wrote it. The story tells of 15-year-old Ned Marriner who discovers his magical heritage while staying with his photographer father in Provence. He meets an American exchange student, the two become involved in an ancient "story" of love, sacrifice, and magic unfolding in the present day, which draws in Ned's family and friends.

<i>The Last Light of the Sun</i> book by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Last Light of the Sun is a 2004 fantasy novel by Canadian writer Guy Gavriel Kay. Like many of his books, it is set in a world that draws heavily upon real times, events, places and people. In this particular book, the period is the Viking invasions of Saxon England. The story concerns a young Erling's attempt to prove himself as a warrior, his father's attempts to make amends for his mistakes, a young prince searching for revenge and a King's attempt to transform his realm into a more civilized one that will resist attacks from the Erlings forever. The books main themes are revenge, violence, the passing of an era, clash of cultures, and love, especially between father and son.

Janeen Webb is an Australian writer, critic and editor, working mainly in the field of science fiction and fantasy.

A Wizard in Rhyme is a series of fantasy novels by American writer Christopher Stasheff. The series follows the character of Matthew Mantrell, a Ph.D. student, who is transported to a magical world where poetry is used to cast spells. There his knowledge of poetry, gained through his literature studies, establishes him as a powerful wizard and positions him as "lord wizard of the realm". The series consists of eight novels, and is said to have hints of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt.

Mel Odom is an American artist who has created book covers for numerous novels, including a number of paperback editions of the novels of Patrick White, the Australian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and several books by fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay such as The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy, Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, and The Lions of Al-Rassan. Dreamer, a collection of his work, with an introduction by Edmund White, was published by Penguin Books in 1984. Odom is also the designer of the Gene Marshall collectible fashion doll.

<i>Shadowland</i> (Straub novel) novel by Peter Straub

Shadowland is a novel by Peter Straub, first published in 1980 by Coward, McCann and Geohegen. It is a horror novel that has strong elements of fantasy. It was the first book Straub wrote following his highly successful Ghost Story.

<i>Personal Demon</i> book by Kelley Armstrong

Personal Demon, a fantasy novel published in 2008, is the eighth book in the Women of the Otherworld series written by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong. It is the first novel in the series to have more than one narrator and the first to include a male narrator.

Sheriff of Nottingham the main villain in the legend of Robin Hood

The Sheriff of Nottingham is the main antagonist in the legend of Robin Hood. He is generally depicted as an unjust tyrant, who mistreats the local people of Nottinghamshire, subjecting them to unaffordable taxes. Robin Hood fights against him, stealing from the rich, and the Sheriff, in order to give to the poor; a characteristic for which Robin Hood is best known.

<i>Royal Exile</i> novel by Fiona McIntosh

Royal Exile is the first novel in the Valisar trilogy, by Australian fantasy author Fiona McIntosh. It was first published in September 2008 by HarperVoyager Royal Exile follows the story of Leo, a young Valisar Royal whose world is destroyed by the Barbarian, Loethar, as he attempts to win back his throne and rid his land of the evil barbarian horde. The story is continued in A Tyrant's Blood.

<i>Under Heaven</i> (novel) book by Guy Gavriel Kay

Under Heaven is a fantasy novel by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay. It is his eleventh novel and was published in April 2010 by Viking Canada. Set in a fantasied Tang China, it is Kay's first work set outside of a fantasied European or Mediterranean setting. The novel is based on a fictionalized version of the An Shi Rebellion. Under Heaven takes place in a completely new world, as seen by it having only one moon as opposed to the two moons normally present in Guy Gavriel Kay's works. In 2013 he published a second novel, River of Stars, set approximately 400 years later in the same world.

<i>The Three Sui Quash the Demons Revolt</i> shenmo fantasy novel

The Three Sui Quash the Demons' Revolt (三遂平妖傳) is a Chinese novel attributed to the 14th-century novelist Luo Guanzhong, although the earliest extant version was compiled between 1571 and 1589, possibly by Wang Shenxiu (王慎脩). In 1620, Feng Menglong expanded the novel to forty chapters from the original twenty. A work in the shenmo genre, the novel blends comedy with the supernatural, and is an early work of vernacular fiction.

<i>Bravelands</i>

Bravelands is a children's novel series written by a team of authors under the pseudonym Erin Hunter, who also wrote the Warriors series. The series follows the adventures of three animals: Fearless, a lion who was cast out of his pride and starts living among baboons, Thorn, a baboon who tries to rebel against his destiny, and Sky, an elephant whose mother was killed by a lion, gifted with a special ability to read bones. The story is set in the Bravelands, ruled by the Great Mother. The first book in the series Broken Pride was released on 6 June 2017 with a sequel titled Code of Honor, released on 6 February 2018, and the 3rd book, Blood and bone, on the 2nd of October. Broken Pride shows the trio becoming close friends with each other in their attempt to answer the call of the wild. The series has been well received, with critics praising the realistic behavior of the characters, the excitement in the novels, and the description of the Bravelands, while at first criticizing it for its similarities to The Lion King.

References

  1. "Fiction Book Review: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, Author Roc $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-451-45028-9". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  2. Interview to Andrew A. Adams
  3. Jean-Louis Trudel. "Interview with Solaris". Solaris / Bright Weavings. Retrieved 5 May 2017.