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  • Kevin Grant
    Jan 4, 1999
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      Just to throw some more variety into the discussion, I'd like to hear opinions on
      Guy Gavriel Kay's latest, "Sailing to Sarantium". I've just finished Book One, and
      while I'm waiting patiently for Book Two to come out to read, I'm not entirely into
      the book. It still has its good points, but it seems to me to fall far short of the
      greatness he achieved in the Tapestry, and even in Tiganna, Song for Arbonne and The
      Lions of Al-Rassan. I thought all the previous books were excellent, and The
      Tapestry to be one of the finest pieces of literature I've ever read (so much so
      that I'd probably rank it just below Tolkien's work; and if I were less of a fan,
      then at about the same level).

      One thing that really bothered me about this new book is the language. I found it
      to be much more offensive than any of his previous books. The sexual imagery is on
      about the same level as in the others, but I'm also wondering if it is more
      gratuitous (even in his other non-Tapestry books). I could see the centrality of
      the imagery in the Tapestry, and to various extents in some of the others. I
      suppose I'm wondering if sexuality has become more of a selling strategy, or if it
      is sadly such a dominant part of society that it must be included in the literature
      of the times, or does it truly have some literary value.

      But beside that, I found that Kay used so many curse words that the story suffered
      greatly (and I also believe that the same thing, although he used less, also hurt
      his other works). He seems to spend more time throwing out curse words than
      developing the characters. None of them are as strong as the characters in his
      early works.

      So, overall, I would say this is an inferior effort for Kay. Somehow or other,
      however, he does hold my interest enough that I still plan on buying the second book
      to finish reading the story.

      Other opinions?

      Kevin Grant
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