Monday, August 03, 2009

Ysabel - Guy Gavriel Kay


Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages: 511
Format : Fantasy Novel
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge

Ned Marriner is a teenager away with his dad Edward and crew in Provance, France for a work trip which gets him out of school. His father is a photographer and is putting together a book with a local author of some of the sights of the area. With Ned and his father are Melanie (who over organises everything including Ned), Greg and Steve who help Edward with his work. Whilst exploring their first stop, Saint-Sauver Cathedral, Ned meets American exchange student Kate and together they stumble across a mysterious man with a knife who tells them to leave as they have stumbled into an old story. The strange thing is it looks like the man has left but Ned has a strange sense that he is still there and is proved right.

Soon Ned and Kate are caught up in a clash of the old world versus the new. Beltaine is approaching and the mysterious man's story is moving forwards taking Ned and those around him with it. The story becomes a mixture of the local mythology and history combined with a race against time and each other to rescue to girl (if indeed she can be found and rescused). The story plays out in different ways in different times and it is up to Ned to learn why he in particular has been drawn into it and by whom.

I really loved the storytelling and the ideas in this novel. I have just learnt that some of the characters in this book are from a previous series, the Fionavar Tapestry, which I hope to read at some point. My only criticism is that the author often refers to the characters repeatedly by their full name eg. Edward Mariner. It felt quite clumsy at times and unecessary as I felt after the first introcutions we were on first name only terms!

Other Reviews :

Susan at You can Never Have Too Many Books

9 comments:

Nymeth said...

This sounds really good, other than the full name thing. I didn't know some of the characters were from the Fionavar Tapestry. I've heard great things about that series.

Bart's Bookshelf said...

I read this one a few months a few months ago and really enjoyed it.

Melody said...

Sounds very intriguing to me! I love the cover! Will have to check this out. Thanks, Rhinoa!

Chris said...

I've had this one on my bookshelf ever since Bart reviewed it. Sounds so good! Think you just knocked it up a notch! That drives me nuts too for some reason when authors use people's first and last names all the time :/

Kailana said...

I really need to get around to reading this book! I have owned it since it came out.

mariel said...

Sounds good, great review thanks!

Alice Teh said...

I'd love to read this one as well!

bookjourney said...

WOW! This read looks amazing!

Susan said...

I read and reviewed this last year, Rhinoa: http://susanflynn.blogspot.com/2008/02/ysabel-owls-and-other-fantasies-and.html
I really enjoyed it also. I didn't pick up that some of the characters are from the Fionavar Tapestry, which I read 20 years ago and loved. I think it's time to reread them!! Really good review, Rhinoa, better than mine was, I think!