The Fionavar Tapestry is a trilogy of High Fantasy novels by Guy Gavriel Kay, set partly in our own contemporary world, but mostly in the fictional world of Fionavar.The trilogy is set firmly and consciously in the Tolkien tradition of High Fantasy. Kay has said that one of his motives for writing it was to show that the 'matter' of High Fantasy was deep enough to be used in various original ways, and that the genre did not have to become debased into nothing but pale Tolkien imitations.The Tapestry tells the tale of five young Canadians, Kimberly (Kim) Ford, Jennifer Lowell, Dave Martyniuk, Paul Schafer and Kevin Laine, who are taken to Fionavar, the first of all worlds, by Loren Silvercloak, a mage of that world. Ostensibly invited to come as guests of the court for a celebration of the anniversary of the monarch's ascension to the throne, all five students quickly find that their roles in Fionavar are far more complex than they originally expected.The book is well known for keeping good track of its Loads and Loads of Characters, drawing a good amount of its themes and setting from Celtic and Norse Myths, as well as Arthurian Legend.The story is divided into 3 books:
The Summer Tree
The Wandering Fire
The Darkest Road
It is also available in a collected edition.While most of Kay's other novels are set in the same multiverse as the Fionavar tapestry, Ysabel (published in 2007) is an actual sequel. Set in twenty-first century Provence, twenty-five years after the events of The Fionavar Tapestry, it tells the tale of Ned Mariner, a Canadian teenager, who find himself involved into an ancient hatred between two cursed souls. With his own second sight barely awakening, and the advice of his aunt Kimberly, who is by then married with Dave (who also appears), Ned has to find a way to free one of his friend who has become a part of the curse, before she is gone forever.Is now trying to get a character sheet.
Aerith and Bob: The Five from Earth all have standard modern names while the characters from Fionavar tend to have strange exotic names. However, there are a few characters who have more standard names, like Matt Soren.
Dragon with an Agenda: Galadan serves Rakoth Maugrim, but it's made very clear that this is only to advance his personal goal- destroying the world that witnessed the shame of his true love abandoning him for a mortal and then getting herself killed. Rakoth is entirely aware of this and finds it funny.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Averted when the protagonists learn that for over a thousand years, every Lios Afar who set sail to the West for their version of heaven... was devoured by a sea monster set to lie in wait for them by the Big Bad. "Most hated by the Dark, for their name was Light."
A God Am I: Several of the characters are either gods or demigod offspring of said gods.
Handsome Lech: Hands down: Diarmuid (at least until he and Sharra hook up). In a way Kevin Laine could qualify too.
Henchmen Race: the Svart Alfar. They are given no origin story, nor an explanation to why they follow the Big Bad without questions — they just do.
Heroic BSOD: Jennifer at the beginning of The Wandering Fire.
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Surprisingly subverted. The one dwarf we meet early on is The Quiet One. When the book finally shows other dwarves, they are excellent craftsmen, and they solve their conflicts through a debate known as a Word Striving. And in one of the more blatant parodies of post-Tolkien fantasy:
She could never have explained rationally why the presence of a Dwarf woman should surprise her so much, why she'd assumed, without ever giving it a moment's thought, that the females among the Dwarves should look like... oh, beardless, stocky equivalents of fighting men like Matt and Brock. After all, she herself didn't much resemble Coll of Taerlindel or Dave Martyniuk. At least on a good day she didn't! Neither did the woman who had come for her. A couple of inches shorter than Matt Sören, she was slim and graceful, with wide-set dark eyes and straight black hair hanging down her back.
Pair the Spares: Kim and Dave, the only two of the five who live to return to our world and don't have any other love interest, seem poised to hook up on literally the last page with very few prior indications. The sequel eventually confirms this.
The Stoic: Aileron, Matt Soren, Torc, Paul, and Dave fit the trope like a glove.
You Can't Fight Fate: Averted. Humans at the very least very much can fight fate (it's part of what the Wild Hunt stands for), and several characters pointedly do; however, there will usually be a price to pay for that. (For example, when Kimberley refuses the Baelrath's urging to call the Crystal Dragon to war, it eventually results directly in Imraith-Nimphais sacrificing herself to defeat the enemy the dragon was destined to fight.)