Tigana | Guy Gavriel Kay

  • Tigana © 1990
  • Roc (Penguin)
  • 673 pages

With Kay’s pedigree, you know you’re in for quite a story. He worked with Christopher Tolkien in the editing of The Silmarillion. That says a lot: Kay is able to construct and integrate complex mythologies in a way that feels thoroughly realistic and natural.

Tigana is more than an epic fantasy for me: the underlying tension in this book resonates theologically. It’s the story of a people whose name was taken from them. It’s the story of recovering that name, and the power that names hold over people. Isn’t that what all believers are in the process of right now?

To him who overcomes, I will . . . give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)

Our name—our real identity—is still hidden in God. We confuse our identity with work. Our identity is challenged by competing desires from within and without. It’s somehow fitting that identity theft has become the tell-tale crime of our time.

Until the day we overcome and learn our true names, we have people like Kay who remind us of our value while we live in the days of Brandin.

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