Lady in Gil Mass Market Paperback – 30 Mar 2000
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The book opens with an amusing scene where Tigralef, the main character, acts completely calm and collected upon being randomly attacked while studying. Instantly one may view him as a funny caharacter; amusing in a calm and intelligent way, though truthfuly quite unreal. Tig, as he likes to be called, is in fact intelligent, and clearly matures over the course of the story, losing part of his humorous, unserious edge. Like other characters, he changes with the story, and in that respect, is quite realistic.
The setting is mainly of the run-down, poverty-stricken city of Gil. Seventy years prior to the book, the country was attacked with no warning by a barbarous warrior nation, catching the peaceful Gil unawares. The whole country is like a new religion: everything in life may be based upon the rise of the country due to the magical statue of the Lady of Gil. The Lady brought peace, happiness, security, and 1000 years of prosperity to a before worthless and struggling society. The deep-set beliefs of the people of Gil play a powerful role in bringing the plot into action.
In the present day of Gil, to live is to fear, and to fear is the only way to stay alive. Every spirit is as close to being broken as one can imagine it to be. Each person on the street cowers while he walks, making himself as non-existent as possible upon the arival of the Sherank patrols. The agony of a nation now sunken into the very depths of pain is emphasized and amplified by gripping scenes of public torture, by the pocket of rebels trying faithfully to recover the Lady, and by the rage-filled upstarts of youths and young adults who are ready to take the city back for themselves.
And through it all Tigralef must find the Lady hiden deep within the castle of the Gilgard to try to save his people and utterly destroy the enemy nation.
To look at what there is not to praise about "Lady in Gil," I would say there is little. There are some complaints of it being too childish--more of a book for teens. But to look at it realistically, in the ways of complaints it's just like any other fantasy novel: perhaps a pointless love interest somewhere along the lines, characters who don't seem realistic in the sense that a real human from a real country would be different; in effect it all comes into play in some way, and if you are an avid fantasy reader, you won't even notice.
This being the first book of a trilogy may send some readers to look at other books, but in truth one can just imagine that the next two don't exist, and the story would be perfectly complete. This could well act as a single book if someone does not wish to read the next two.
Simply put, any fantasy reader should enjoy "Lady in Gil," which is a powerful tale that will keep you reading through to the end.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Within the boundaries of the conquered kingdom lies a statue said to have powers that would defeat the Sherank if only one of the exiled Scions could but get his hands on it. Unfortunately, the first string Scion has a mishap that sidelines him. His brother Tig, a glorified librarian/historian, is selected to replace him as a last resort.
Lady in Gil is a stand alone book. One does not need to read the other two books that follow, but most will feel compelled to continue reading about Tig and his misadventures. Rebecca Bradley does a masterful job of characterization, but her strongest point is plot development and pace. She is a savvy writer that delivers a completely satisfying story full of love interest, betrayal, humor, despair, and perhaps one of the most intriguing harems ever detailed within any fantasy work.
Lady in Gil is simple. This isn't a Jordan/Goodkind delving in layers of intrique and plot that leaves the casual reader's head swimming/drowning and it isn't a boring one layer book with overly predictable events.
The author keeps to her story, there isn't any meandering on tangent plots, and the story is nice...with a goal that is reached by the end of the book with only small loose ends to draw you into the next book in the series.
Personally I like more depth in my reading, but I don't mind a good simple story now and again. The book is worth a read...but it isn't one you will go back to a second or third time...I plan on getting the second book...or at least going to the library and checking it out for a day or three. ;)
Full review on my blog: