Whenever someone asked me what I was reading during the last few weeks, I coyly avoided the question, palming it off with the response “Oh, just some mindless fantasy, it won’t change the world or anything, but it’s very entertaining.” Which, coincidentally, is the ideal way to describe The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay.
I searched long and hard to get my hands on copies of these books, which I originally read in high school, but have always wanted to own for myself. I remembered being blown-away by them at that time, and was hoping for the same experience when I re-read them recently.
I must say, it’s clear to see the Tolkien influence in these books. Most of the time, you feel like the story is the love-child of Lord of the Rings and Narnia, with a bit of Biblical influence thrown in there (not that this story has any Christian allegory whatsoever, unlike the more famous predecessors). But, by the time it reaches its conclusion, it does stand as a trilogy in its own right, even if it feels quite cheesy a lot of the time.
It tells the story of five American students transported to another world to join in annual celebrations of the King. However, they arrive on the brink of catastrophic war, and each discovers that they have a purpose much greater than just celebrating.
It’s fluffy and entertaining, and if you can dig into a bit of fantasy-escapism, then you’ll probably enjoy this series. I paired it with the magical Nitida Cabernet Sauvignon, which carries flavours of cherries, vanilla, leather and musky tobacco leaves.