etc // art // book in hand

Just wondering

Am I the only person who finds Guy Gavriel Kay to be extremely, um, overrated?

I just ask because I was going through my shelves -- I'm trying to pare down my collection to the ones I'm likely to reread, and donate some, along with some clothes, to the local hospice thrift store. And I realized that even though I have in the past reread Tigana and A Song for Arbonne, it was more because at the time I couldn't remember much about them. And right now, while I could give you the basic plot of Tigana, I don't remember any of the characters or especially exciting moments. As for Arbonne and The Lions of al-Rassan... nope. I got nothing.

I do remember specifics about The Summer Tree and its sequels, but mostly because I thought all the Fionavar books were a hot mess.

And yet all of the titles I've mentioned have a 4-star or better rating on Amazon. What am I missing?

Sure I know plenty of crap (we need not speak its name) gets good ratings on Amazon, but this is an author who I've always felt like I should appreciate... and never have. I don't argue that he's a very talented writer, but the stories themselves just leave me cold. I'd much, much rather go read (or reread) something by a more 'obscure' author like Martha Wells or Moira J Moore, or a relative newcomer like Brandon Sanderson, or oldie-but-goodies like Lois McMaster Bujold or Sharon Shinn or Juliet Marillier.

So I'm interested in finding out if (a) anyone can explain the specific appeal of Kay and (b) if anyone has similar stories with other authors, i.e. 'I just don't understand why Book X is so gosh darn popular'. And please, no sparkly vampires.

Now excuse me, I'm off to donate stuff and then get a pedicure.
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