- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (4 Oct. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0586216774
- ISBN-13: 978-0586216774
- Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 3.7 x 11.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,467,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Song for Arbonne Paperback – 4 Oct 1993
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More About the Author
‘For anyone who appreciates that rarest of literary treasures: the ideal novel.’
Charles de Lint.
“This panoramic, absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world of love and music, magic and death.”
“A richly ornamented and tightly woven tapestry… War, love, assassination, deception, kindness, heroism, loyalty, friendship, and magic mix…in startling, unexpected, and satisfying ways.”
“An exhilarating epic…a powerful tale of great events in a richly drawn magical kingdom.”
From the Back Cover
"Go and discover this grand book for yourself…Kay encompasses a greater sweep of history, passions and full-realized lives within the space of one big volume than most authors could pack into a trilogy"
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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Anselme, who has ever been acknowledged as the first and perhaps the greatest of all the troubadours of Arbonne, was of modest birth, the youngest son of a clerk in the castle of a baron near Cauvas. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
I have only read this one book by the author but am now looking forward to reading many more! This novel has it all: a deliciously evil villain, ancient feuds, family tensions, fights to the death, carnivals, assassinations and some very compelling female protagonists. The pacing is simply excellent, the characterization is mature and believable - we really see some of our central protagonists grow and learn. It is the Arbonnaisde women, whose rule over their knights is so hateful to masculine Gorhaut, who are particularly fascinating. Although this book is stand alone it feels almost like Kay has expressed succinctly what most authors would put into a trilogy, and the book is the richer for it. The swift sequence of events keeps your attention, dialogue is snappy but does not suffer, as many fantasy authors do, from anachronisms or jarring quotes (George R R Martin's use of a bible verse in his Song of Ice and Fire trilogy nearly made me hurl the book away in disgust).
For those interested in Medieval Europe, it is fascinating to match places and characters with real life inspirations - Portezza is surely Italy,and the saucy and incestuous Lucianna Delonghi is surely modelled on Lucrezia Borgia (or the more lurid tales spread about her). despite these similarities, the world Kay has constructed is comprehensive and stands very well on its own. This is a fantastic book, well written, amusing and intriguing. A must for anyone looking for an escape to fantasy which doesn't entail a five to ten book series and endless waits for authors to publish the next installment.
If I had reviewed it right at the time, when I was heavily into straight fantasy and knew little of the wondrous mix of history and fantasy that is possible, I would still have given it four stars plus.
The characters in the novel stood out for me; particularly Blaise de Gorsenc and his brother Ranulf. I spent most of the book, once I had become lodged in its pages, shouting at the pair to sort themselves and their family problems out and then everything could work out. I since, having read Kay's other novels, realise that this is a key element to his novels and one of the things that makes them priceless to me.
Years on, I have read it several times, and every time I do so, I would add a star. It should now rate about eight out of five. Although at first reading I have found others of his works to surpass this, whenever I look back over the whole bunch, it is 'Song' that brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.
Cannot recommend it enough. Buy it or be forever missing something.
One can guess what happens with a setting like that. However, despite that, the story manages to be surprising and full of unexpected twists. The characters are many-faceted and full of life. The plot makes sense and packs in plenty of action, intrigue and romance. Religion plays a big role, as does family.
Kay is a master: A Song for Arbonne is another fine story well told. Even though the book is labeled fantasy, there is very little supernatural in it, so as long as one is interested in medieval themes, even those who dislike most fantasy books will be able to enjoy this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unbelievable story writing. Generates vigorous sentiments!Published 18 months ago by Spiros Kalimeris
This is is my first GGK novel and I was a little dubious at first thinking it was going to be a silly romance. However, I loved it! Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2009 by Catherine L. Vickers
The book is full of political intrigue and twists and turns.
The characters are realistic, some likeable, others not. Read more
When I first came across "A Song for Arbonne" I was dubious about whether it would be the style of fantasy I like to read. Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2008 by MKJ
... To get this book.
It is by far and away one of the best fantasy books i have ever read (and i tend to read anything i can get my hands on - hell i'm still up to date on... Read more
With 'A song for Arbonne' Guy Gavriel Kay managed to recapture my interest for his work after having read his trilogy of Fionavar. Read morePublished on 13 Mar. 2000
I am not a great fan of Guy Gavriel Kay but this book rivaled the talents of David Eddings and Katherine Kerr, a true masterpeice that combines love, hate and passion with assasin... Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 1999