Jane Jago’s review of ‘A Song for Arbonne’ by Guy Gavriel Kay

Courtly love and troubadours. Lust, betrayal and brutality. Lifelong feuds, towering ambition, warlike gods and goddesses.  This book has it all, but without ever feeling like it has too much.

Blaise of Gorhaut, raised to despise Arbonne as soft and women-ruled, has his certainties chopped from beneath his feet as he learns of the worm at the heart of his own homeland whilst coming to both understand and admire a different way of living…

What happens when a society that venerates song and the elements of courtly love is forced into battle by a neighbouring state bent on burning and raping the very land on which they live?

In Blaise, we meet one of the most prosaic of fantasy heroes. He is at heart a very ordinary man, torn between deep-rooted beliefs and new truths he comes to understand, a man who learns to love and to value women, even as he rails against his own looming fate.

This is a complex and wholly believable story, set in an equally complex and equally believable world. 

Five stars without reservation. Read this but be prepared to weep.

Jane Jago

You can find A Song For Arbonne on Amazon and other bookstores.

 

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