Jane Jago’s review of ‘Tigana’, by Guy Gavriel Kay

I have to begin this review with a confession. This is one of my all-time favourite books, so I can find little to criticise (maybe even nothing).

Where to begin? 

What happens when a whole country is made not only to lose its identity, but also to forget it ever existed?

This is a complex multi-layered story – told mostly through the eyes of Devin, a young singer, and Dianora, a not-quite-so young woman who is part of the ‘harem’ of a powerful magic wielder. To begin with there is no obvious crossover between their lives, but as the author brings them closer and closer together we begin to see how destinies intertwine and how there is no simple choice between good and evil. 

The prose is diamond bright and moves between the lyrical and the utterly prosaic without ever missing a beat. The pacing is spot on, and the characterisation is both clever and deep. There are powerful men, but equally there are women who take power where it is offered and who provide exemplars of courage and fortitude.

It doesn’t matter how many times I read this book, I always cry. A testament to heartstoppingly good storytelling and to an author who never gives you an obvious ending.

Five stars and one of those recommendations that goes something like – read this or live your life regretting what you have missed.

Jane Jago

You can find Tigana on Amazon and other bookstores.


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