Customer Reviews

307 Ratings

Overall Ratings

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5 out of 5 stars
By Andrew Stone on 06-06-09

Magic, Humor, Love, Romance & Mystery

Fast paced story which held me bound to listen and complete in just two days.

"Ysabel" is a fun and unique story centered around a 15 yr old boy in modern France.

The story is fit for a broad spectrum of readers. From teens to grand parents.

Myself being in my mid 50s found this book because I love the narration of Kate Reading who I first listen to reading "Eye of the World" by Robert Jordan(I also highly recommend). Her narration of "Ysable" is superb.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Pie on 02-28-09

Quality writing. Excellent story.

I had doubts when the story started: the hero is 15 and talks like a stoner dude <lol>. But I remembered reading books by this author (a long time ago) ....and enjoying them. So, I hung in there. Excellent read. I really enjoyed the story (and it's been a while since I could say that without qualifying the statement <g>).

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Mary on 11-03-09

A good story, well read.

If you liked Sepulchre and Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, you'll like Ysabel. I liked this book very much. It's similar to Sepulchre and Labyrinth - a tangling of characters from different times (although from a much earlier period). Set in the same region - Provence. Narrative is well written and moves along, and the descriptions of the earlier history is very interesting. Characters are well defined. Kate Reading does a good job of portraying all the voices -- even the men.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Alison on 03-17-15

beautifully woven story

Kay has such a talent for creating an astonishing blend of character, setting and plot. Sure, the book could be taken as an extended tourist pamphlet for southern France, but the setting is so essential that it doesn't come off forced.

I love the characters that Kay creates, because they are such true people, none of them really truly good or truly bad, everyone is just trying the best to get what they want. Each character has their own motivation and is good or evil in relation to that. Also, unlike most books, it was nice to see that when some insane problem faces the fifteen year old main character he doesn't go out and solve a thousand year old problem, he goes to his parents for help, like an actual person not a book character would.

Two things to keep in mind. Characters from Kay's Fionavar Tapestry books are in this book. Now, you don't need to have read the Tapestry trilogy since the plots aren't really connected, but it might help you understand some of the characters more.

Second, while I hate to criticize Kay's work, Edward Mariner has two male assistants, yet Greg is the only one who really plays any part in it, and I'm not sure why the other one is in the book at all. It sort of seems like he was written in as an afterthought, and I'm not even sure why. I'm pretty sure he's even referred to by the wrong name at one point. A minor thing, but it just stuck with me as I was listening.

The narrator did a great job, I thought, of capturing both a teenager's sarcastic inner dialogue and the beauty and scope of the tale and its setting.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Corey on 01-02-13

Beautiful Writing, Different Type of Story

What made the experience of listening to Ysabel the most enjoyable?

Kate Reading's reading was excellent as always. Kay's writing was full of the beauty and emotion that as a frequent reader I have come to expect.

What other book might you compare Ysabel to and why?

Ysabel is similar in style and tone to all of the other Kays books that I've read - Tigana, Song for Arbonne, Lions of Al Rassan - but also very different. It isn't as historical in flavor. The elements are there, but the setting is modern-day with talk of iPods and the Internet. Also, the main characters are teen-agers, so it has something of a young-adult feel to it.

Which scene was your favorite?

I think I enjoyed the final wrap up the most. Normally, I am disappointed at the end of a book, but I think the destination made the journey worthwhile in Ysabel.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

How long will your love last?

Any additional comments?

It often takes me a bit to get fully engaged in a new Kay novel. Ysabel, however, was probably the hardest for me to get in to. I think that since the setting and main character ran counter to my more traditional fantasy expectations, I had reservations on how much I would like the book. Also, the action is sparse. I am glad, though, that I stuck with it. The second half of the book was beautiful and worth the extra effort.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 07-30-09


Every book written by Guy Gavriel Kay is a masterpiece!

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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