A Song for Arbonne

Guy Gavriel Kay

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A Song for Arbonne

A Song for Arbonne Based on the troubadour culture that rose in Provence during the High Middle Ages this panoramic absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world The matriarchal cultu

  • Title: A Song for Arbonne
  • Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
  • ISBN: 9780451458971
  • Page: 465
  • Format: Paperback
  • Based on the troubadour culture that rose in Provence during the High Middle Ages, this panoramic, absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world.The matriarchal, cultured land of Arbonne is rent by a feud between its two most powerful dukes, the noble troubador Bertran de Talair and Urte de Miraval, over long dead Aelis, lover of one, wifeBased on the troubadour culture that rose in Provence during the High Middle Ages, this panoramic, absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world.The matriarchal, cultured land of Arbonne is rent by a feud between its two most powerful dukes, the noble troubador Bertran de Talair and Urte de Miraval, over long dead Aelis, lover of one, wife of the other and once heir to the country s throne.To the north lies militaristic Gorhaut, whose inhabitants worship the militant god Corannos and are ruled by corrupt, womanizing King Ademar His chief advisor, the high priest of Corannos, is determined to irradicate the worship of a female deity, whose followers live to the south.Into this cauldron of brewing disaster comes the mysterious Gorhaut mercenary Blaise, who takes service with Bertran and averts an attempt on his life The revelation of Blaise s lineage and a claim for sanctuary by his sister in law sets the stage for a brutal clash between the two cultures Intertwined is the tale of a young woman troubadour whose role suggests the sweep of the drama to come.

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      Published :2018-04-04T18:03:47+00:00

    One thought on “A Song for Arbonne

    1. Chris on said:

      I am in awe. This might be the best book I've read this year. It might be one of the best books I've ever read.If you like epics, this is for you. Romance, intrigue, artistic expression, mystery, combat scenes, sex, violence, passion, compassion, bitter revenge, redemption. It's all here.This book was what makes fantasy great. It is what makes historical fiction great. A perfect blend of the two, with very human elements there to give life to the characters. The reader is constantly on the edge [...]

    2. Choko on said:

      *** 4.75 ***A Buddy Read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group, because we love G. G. Kay!Have you ever read a book and felt completely inadequate to write a review for it? Not that the book was that overwhelming in scope or plot lines, nor because it tackled some deep philosophical issues whose gravity would be impossible to put in several paragraphs. The ineptitude I find myself in, is because this is the forth book written by Kay I have read in the last couple of months and with each volume I be [...]

    3. Kelly on said:

      Insert rant about the many reasons why I really like a lot of Kay's early work here.

    4. Mayim De Vries on said:

      Artisans, it seems, are very important for Kay. Tigana had musicians, Sarantine duology a mosaicist as the main protagonist, in Arbonne, fashioned after the medieval Provence and Occitania, troubadours are in the middle of things (along with joglars and trobairitz, that is female performers). With them, the ideals of court love, gallantry, poetry, tournaments, knights and dames and all the associated drama constitutes a backbone of this novel. To give you a proper context: Dante Alighieri saw th [...]

    5. رحمان on said:

      Guy Gavriel Kay molds characters from ideas and a splash of his imagination, shapes them with delicate letters and beautiful words, and then he breathes life into them with his pen. And they become real, almost. Then he creates a world, based on our own, a world so beautiful yet so cruel, rare but typical, charming from afar but revolting at a closer inspection. Then he releases all of those characters into this newly crafted world, and let them roam the fields and populate the emptiness, and so [...]

    6. Manju on said:

      My fourth book by GGK and once again I liked the the world, story and the characters created by him. This is a beautiful story of love, loyalty, honor, family, courage, sacrifice, betrayal and survival. First I must confess I was not impressed in first five chapters but after that I was unable to put it down. It took me a little time to understand the plot. Arbonne a land famous for its troubadours which is ruled by a woman and worship a goddess. Their passion for their country is remarkable. It [...]

    7. Eilonwy on said:

      Two countries, two deities. Arbonne: Southerly, warm, goddess-worshipping, and filled with songs of love. Gorhaut: Northern, harsh, god-worshipping, and ruled by a cruel and twisted king. They couldn’t seem more different. Blaise de Garsenc has a foot in both lands: A younger-son noble of Gorhaut, he has come to Arbonne to work as a mercenary coran. As the two countries come closer to war with one another, he begins to recognize a disturbing parallel between them. Each has internal rivalries t [...]

    8. Eric on said:

      This book is like a nice painting splattered with mud. It's a great story - intrigue, war, love, mystery, politics, tension, regret, impending doom, death, surprises, clear good guys, clear bad guys, and some you aren't sure about. And the setting is nice if you like traditional fantasy of the medieval/Renaissance style - more swords and nobles than magic and monsters. I enjoyed it. But the author threw up a lot of unnecessary chaff between me and my enjoyment of the story. It wasn't enough to r [...]

    9. Alissa on said:

      Pure poetry. A tale of undiluted love on both an epic and a personal scale. A tale of pride, regret and music. Of courtly love and the hard game of nations. Of family, hatred, war and betrayal. Of ambition and endless longing. Of the timeless seasons of one’s own homeland. A tale of men and women.Kay works his magic with emphatic brilliance and exquisite execution, regaling us with a thought-provoking story of beauty and suspense.There were ripples to events, and they went a long way sometimes [...]

    10. Nikki on said:

      I can understand people who don't like Guy Gavriel Kay's work. I think I've said it before, but there are definite quirks of style, ways he plots and deals with characters, that can drive even me mad in the wrong mood -- which is why I first picked this up to reread in April, and now it's November when I've finally finished. I do love most of Kay's work when I'm in the right mood, though, and A Song for Arbonne is additionally up my street because of the Court of Love, the troubadours, all the s [...]

    11. KatHooper on said:

      ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.Blaise, a sellsword from Gorhaut (a violent and chauvinistic northern country), has moved to the warmer country of Arbonne. Blaise doesn’t have much appreciation or tolerance for Arbonne’s womanly culture which is highly influenced by the Court of Love. He also doesn’t have much hope that Arbonne – which values singers over soldiers, and troubadours over troops – will put up much of a fight if Gorhaut decides to try to eradicate Arbonne’s godde [...]

    12. MTK on said:

      Υπέροχο φαντασιακό μυθιστόρημα του Kay (νομίζω ότι διαδραματίζεται στο ίδιο σύμπαν με την Τιγκάνα, αλλά δεν είμαι σίγουρη). Έξτρα πόντοι για το βαθύτατα φιλογυνιστικό (ως αντίθετο του μισογυνιστικού) μήνυμά του.

    13. Catie on said:

      This was my first Guy Gavriel Kay, and I was not disappointed. I would recommend this book for any fans of emotional, historical epics. There's really not too much fantasy here, besides that the story takes place in a fictional world with two moons. This story centers around Gorhaut, a God-worshipping, male dominated nation that recently went through an upheaval in leadership, and Arbonne, it's neighbor. Arbonne is a Goddess worshipping nation in which troubadours are greatly admired and women h [...]

    14. Nicholas Kotar on said:

      How I found this book is a story in itself. A few years ago I was living in what basically amounted to a "boarding university" (not merely a dorm, but all the restrictions you'd expect at a closed campus boarding school somewhere in North England) The guy living next door, who impressed me before only with the incredible number of days he could go without showering, unexpectedly impressed me with his reading materials. In a burst of gratitude that I helped him figure out how to play something on [...]

    15. Richard on said:

      A Song For Arbonne is a lyrical portrayal of one tumultuous year in Arbonne, as its peace-loving people — aristocracy, mercenaries, troubadours, priests and priestesses — deal with the threat of invasion from their war-hungry neighbors to the north.Much to my astonishment, some folks don’t enjoy the works of Guy Kay as much as I do. That said, the overall ratings for A Song For Arbonne is well above four, which puts it in pretty rarified territory. Even the negative reviews of Kay usually [...]

    16. Timóteo on said:

      Que livro!!Se Tigana tinha sido uma experiência muito boa com o autor, A Song for Arbonne cravou o nome de Guy Gavriel Kay naquela lista de "Autores que eu preciso ler absolutamente TUDO que eles publicaram na vida!" .O livro como um todo foi emocionante, os personagens são muito marcantes, apesar de talvez no inicio ser possível ficar meio perdido, quando você se familiariza com todos, a história flui de uma forma muito gostosa. Até os vilões, que são totalmente odiáveis, no final voc [...]

    17. StoryTellerShannon on said:

      Lyrical prose; developed characters; but not enough happening! Not enough wonder or plot; it's more like a Historical epic; I never liked any of his characters and he meanders too much on the prose for my tastes; a lot of people love him though; if you loved LOTR then you may very well like this one . . . while I can appreciate his style, he isn't for me; if his pacing was faster, there would have been promise.

    18. Amanda on said:

      This is a generous five stars, to be honest. It is based on the prose and the characters and the worldbuilding. The plot itself isn't much, and should bring the book to four stars, but I can't bring myself to do so, because the writing was so beautifully crafted. I love GGK's rhythm and word choice, and his ability to evoke a feeling with just a sentence. Stunning.

    19. Olivia on said:

      Guy Gavriel Kay has the kind of prose that makes me want to bury myself and cry because I'll never be able to write like him. A Song for Arbonne has everything: romance, troubadours, intrigue, war, passion, revenge. It's an epic story. Guy Gavriel Kay writes something I wouldn't call fantasy but more alternative history. He takes a place (here it's the lovely Provence) then does his research and sets a story in an alternative version of it. Beautiful plot, great characters and a lot of heartbrea [...]

    20. Jane on said:

      An enchanting, highly recommended historical fantasy that pulled me into the world of Provence, land of 'courts of love' and of troubadours, and other kingdoms or dukedoms of medieval France, with Kay using each civilization as a basis for his fantasy concept of these places. The story begins and ends with excerpts from the written 'vidans' or lives of two of Arbonne's most famous troubadours: "the first and perhaps most famous", Anselme of Cauvas and ending with that of Lisseut of Vezét, the l [...]

    21. Shy on said:

      This was my first exposure to Kay's work, and I've to say that I've already fallen in love with his writing. In A Song for Arbonne, he created a dazzling and extraordinary tale of mere mortals, whose life were entangled by malevolence, political intrigue and love. From this overtly distinct mix, Kay managed to weave such a convoluted story that acquire a life of its own. This, coupled with the story's multi-layered characters, interesting plot and Kay's very own magnificent prose produced an awe [...]

    22. Teeuhh on said:

      STOP THE PRESSES! THIS MIGHT BE MY NEW FAVORITE GUY GAVRIEL KAY NOVEL!I NEED SOME TIME ALONE.

    23. Veronica on said:

      ”Until the sun dies and the moons fall, Gorhaut and Arbonne shall not lie easily beside each other.”This is my third book by Guy Gavriel Kay and, while all have been excellent, this one is my favorite so far. I give that qualifier because there are more Kay books to read and with every story he manages to enthrall me all over again. In each book he has managed to make his fictionalized lands seem real and familiar by evoking the memories of our world’s own past. Tigana conjures visions of [...]

    24. Anirudh on said:

      I write this review as an aggrieved reader. What I thought this book would be like and what it actually is are so different that I begin to wonder if I am really reading the same author who wrote Tigana.Many or most of you will perhaps disagree with me or my issues with the book, and even might complain that a book should not be compared to another book and must be read for what it is, rather than what it should have been. Generally I would agree. However, seeing that GGK Sacrifices so many thin [...]

    25. Mike on said:

      A Song for Arbonne. “Damn glad to meet you, Mr Kay. We seem to have been traveling separate avenues until now. Do you mind if I tag along for awhile?” I am giving this one a 4-Star slap on the back, admiring some fine wordsmithing and in the expectation that I will enjoy other books by GGK. I was on the verge of putting this one on my “never-finished” shelf as I plodded through the first two chapters. Set in a thinly-disguised alternate earth version of medieval France, I thought the int [...]

    26. Clarisse on said:

      Just over halfway into this book, I already knew it was going to be one of my favorites, for a number of reasons:1. I really enjoyed the characters. There were just so many of them, all of which were so different, and almost all of which I loved. Though majority of the main female characters were described as extremely beautiful, which is definitely something we could've done without, we had a lot of strong female characters, which was pretty great.2. This book was kind of dramatic, possibly eve [...]

    27. Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship on said:

      A Song for Arbonne is a lovely book, and Kay is on his way to becoming one of my favorite fantasy authors. The book focuses on the conflict between Arbonne (inspired by Provence, with a troubadour culture and a goddess and women in some powerful positions) and northern Gorhaut (a warrior-based culture that brutally oppresses its women). I was a little concerned by what the bookjacket built up as a war of the sexes, but in reality the focus is on the conflict between two very different cultures. [...]

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