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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Darkest Road: Book Three of the Fionavar Tapestry Paperback – June 1, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Fionavar Tapestry Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In some ways Kay’s work is more satisfying than Tolkien’s…a highly literate, lovingly detailed work of fantasy.” —Fantasy Review

“Immense scale, literary richness and dazzling heroes.” —Toronto Star

About the Author

Guy Gavriel Kay is an internationally bestselling author. He has been awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his work in the literature of the fantastic, is a two-time winner of the Aurora Award, and won the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Ysabel. His works have been translated into twenty-five languages.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fionavar Tapestry (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reissue edition (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458339
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Potter on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I remember the first time I read this series. It took me four days (it would have taken three, but there was a delay in getting the last two from a friend). I was moved more deeply than any other work in fantasy I had read. I remember staying up until 6 AM (I was in theater at the time) reading them, and weeping my way through the last third of the last book in the series.

Without doubt, Kay invokes all that is deep in us as people who have created mythos and myths to carry us. He evokes all that is strong in us, while showing that even the mythic have their weaknesses. While later works of Kay's may be more polished, this is the raw material that he still works from.

As with every reading, when I finished my recent re-read I was almost traumatised to leave the world that had been so well crafted. The end leaves all satisfied, but there is a bittersweet flavor to it, since the people he has created are no longer accessable to the reader.

This is the series I would want while stranded on a desert island. And I cannot think of anything more to say than that.
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I read the first two books, and kept feeling like quitting but they sort of picked up at the end. They were just barely good enough for me to care to try and finish the series. I only made it about 1/4 through this book. So many names and made-up ideas were being thrown around with no explanation or context that it became terribly frustrating. Kay's style seems to be to throw out names, places, references to things within his universe yet to be revealed, and explain them later. This narrative style just got out of control to the point where the book became unreadable. The characters also lack depth and and are unrelatable for me. I love Tolkien, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, and others in that vein. When I heard that Kay was criticized by some for being a Tolkien clone, I thought maybe I'd like his books. Though I can see where he draws on some of Tolkien's themes, his writing (in this trilogy - I have not read any of his other work and am not in a rush to do so) is nothing at all like Tolkiens, nor is it enjoyable in its own right.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good friend recommended The Fionavar Tapestry to me many years ago. It surprised me at how much it pulled an emotional reaction from me (Paul on the Tree, Kevin on Maidaladan, Matt Soren on the island, Darien's ending, etc.). Even after reading the series many, many times, each still brings tears. The Darkest Road itself is probably the weakest of the three books, but it is still and excellent read.
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In my opinion this is the best one of the trilogy, in spite that I found it, as the other ones, too romantic and lacking credibility. But it was very entertaining to read, and somehow I found the old GGK with his elegant prose.
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This review is for the whole Fionavar Tapestry. Next to the LOTR this is the best fantasy I have ever read! I can't praise it enough. If you love fantasies especially King Arthur legends do yourself a favor and read these books.
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The first of this series was strongest. Kay's writing is beautiful, but he was in serious need of a better editor. There are only so many great sacrifices and moments of intense pain and feeling the characters can experience before these moments become standard and dulled.
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Format: Paperback
I have mixed feelings about this book (and the entire trilogy). I've re-read it a few times over the years, and once I start re-reading, it's definitely quite addictive.

This doesn't mean it doesn't have flaws though, the most major one being that the entire series seems to be a modernised, 'how-I-would-have-written-the-LOTR-if-I-were-Tolkien'. Indeed, if you read the entire series with that as the caveat, it is quite an entertaining one.

The Darkest Road itself has quite a few weak points, the Arthurian thread being my major pet peeve. I found it extremely irritating with how Kay tells - not shows - over and over and *over* how terribly tragic the whole thing is - I get it already! I love the Arthurian myth cycle, and have read a good deal of material from there, and Kay doesn't even begin to do it justice. In effect all he has done is lift the names.

There are three moments in this book that stand out with crystal clarity for me though - I'd say these three are the ones that make the book worth reading. So, one star each. ;)

(Warning: spoilers.)

1) Diarmuid's last battle with the urgach Uathach. This one was beautifully done - with Kay having the courage to kill off a very engaging, major character in a memorable, meaningful way.

It's a pity he seems to lose his nerve for doing such things in his later works - in the Lions of Al-Rassan, there's no contest really. It's so much more obvious that Ibn Khairan is going to live. Which on the one hand is great, because I found him much more engaging than Belmont... but on the other hand...

2) Kimberly's refusal to bind the crystal dragon - and the cost of that choice at the final battle.
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This book is an excellent conclusion to a great series. While it contains some melancholy parts,it is writing that highlights the best of human nature. Discussions of free will, destiny, and theology are interwoven into an exciting story that was impossible to put down.
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