The Fionavar Tapestry is a fantasy trilogy by a Canadian author that prompted me into writing the previous post. I started reading it because the author helped Christopher Tolkien with the Silmarilion, so I thought his works gotta be good. In addition, The Fionavar Tapestry actually won some awards. Yeah, about that…
I also read that Kay (the author) has good knowledge of myths and legends and he demonstrated that knowledge in the Tapestry. Well, that much is true, but that’s about it. All in all, I can honestly say that Fionavar Tapestry is one of the worst works of fiction I’ve ever read.
So the story begins with five University of Toronto students crossing to a fictional world of Fionavar. I have nothing against the concept, but why they crossed – the pretence – is so bloody idiotic. So a mage came to “pick them up” for a party – a celebration of king’s 50th coronation anniversary – and none of them was a bit skeptic. Actually, one was a tiny bit skeptic, but he was quickly turned around. Mkay, a stranger claims he’s from another world and that he came to invite you to a party, and you accept everything he says, welcome him with open arms and go with him with no questions asked… Yeah… And here I can’t understand why people drawl over a royal bloody wedding…
I should have probably stopped reading right there, but I kept going naively hoping against hope things would become better because an author who helped Christopher bloody Tolkien just can’t write something this stupid. Like experience hasn’t taught me times and times again that something can be good or bad whether it’s written or played by a good or bad author/director/actor. The prime example is probably I Am Legend. Will Smith is a great author yet I Am Legend is among the most senseless movies ever.
So what happened when the students crossed over to Fionavar? They quickly became the most important people in Fionavar, of course and everyone in Fionavar was A-okay with that. Mkay… so you’ve been busting your ass for decades with something and suddenly a brat from another world – who came to your world like a day ago – is bossing you around and giving you lessons. Would you accept it so willingly? Wouldn’t you be at least a tiny bit annoyed? Could you say that everyone around you wouldn’t have a problem with such a behaviour of the brat from another world?
But, the students did lack some skills. A law student, the University’s MVP basketball player, lacked the skills to wield a sword, so the poor soul had to go for a battle axe… Minutes after appearing on Fionavar he slew a big monster. One would say that he was at least a lumberjack… alas no, he was a bloody law student; a basketball player. Basically, the 5 main characters are just a bunch of Reys.
In book two, a guy saved the day by fucking a hag… And the ending of the trilogy?! So the bad guy’s son came to his immortal daddy and the daddy told him that if his son had been killed anywhere else but there, he’d become mortal, but now Daddy could kill his boy right there because if he dies in Daddy’s presence, Daddy’s immortality is insured. And what did the son do? He killed himself to insure his evil daddy’s death… Where is the bloody sense???
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying The Fionavar Tapestry doesn’t deserve to be awarded. It really takes talent to write something that stupid. You really need to be something… And, aye, you have to be an even bigger something to continue reading the crap after being disappointed time and time again which, sadly, doesn’t go in my favour.
I might give Kay’s other works – like Tigana – a shot, but not for quite some time. After all, like I said, one crap doesn’t necessarily mean an author’s entire bibliography’s a shit, but the Tapestry… Just stay away from it! You have been warned… 😊