A Song for Arbonne
by Guy Gavriel Kay
 
Discussed May 2006
A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay
Map of Arbonne
Map of Arbonne Region

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Overview
by Brenda Krekeler


A Song for Arbonne
by Guy Gavriel Kay

Characters
Anselme of Cauvas – greatest troubadour
Aelis de Miraval –wife of Urte’ de Miraval and daughter of Signe de Barbentain, ruler of Arbonne
Urte’ de Miraval- husband of Aelis
Bertran de Talair – Aelis’s lover, Blaise’s friend
En Mallin de Baude – hired Blaise in his first job as a mercenary
Corran Hirnam – of de Baude, Blaise trained him and he had skills
Luth – was a bad soldier and Blaise left him on the Island in trade for the troubadour de Baude wanted.
Blaise of Gorhau – son of Galbert de Garsenc

Blaise guarded De Baude’s wife but was clobbered by Bertran. Bertran went to DeBaude’s wife. When Blaise woke he found Bertran coming down the stairs. They shared a bottle. Bertran told Blaise that he would never find another one, inferring he had a previous love that could never be replaced.

Signe de Barbentain, countess of Arbonne ruled Arbonne. Her husband Gulbor de Barbentain died a year earlier. They had two daughters. Beatrice was blinded to gain powers from Raiane and was the High Priestess of Raiane. She lived on Raiane Island in the temple. The second daughter was Aelis de Miraval who died at childbirth twenty three years ago. Aelis de Miraval was the one love of Bertran de Talair’s. Urte’ de Miraval, Aelis’s husband knew that Aelis was pregnant with Bertran’s baby. Mirval told everyone that Aelis died at childbirth. Mirval also indicated that maybe the baby boy had survived or maybe the baby had died. He used this information against Bertran to secure his own safety. Mirval knew that Bertran would never kill him if he thought there was any hope that Mirval would tell Bertran where his son was.

The Ruler of Arbonne Signe de Barbentain lived in the Barbentain Castle on an island in a river which was a tributary of the Arbonne River.

Blaise fought at the Battle of Iersen Bridge before he left his home land. The result of this war made Blaise determined to leave his home. Blaise saw his king die and the resulting treaty gave Gortzdand land of Gorhaut and the King of Gorhaut Ademar and Blaise’s father, Galbert de Garsenc in return for the land received a lot of money.

Valery de Talair was Bertran’s cousin. Blaise’s father paid $250,000 in gold to Blaise’s best friend Rudel del Correze to kill Bertram.

Ranald de Garsenc, Blaise’s older brother was married to Rosala. Just before Blaise left, Rosala had become pregnant by Blaise. Rosala could not become pregnant by Ranald as he was sterile. Rosala witnessed her husband Ranald receiving oral sex at a party at the Gorhaut castle also in the presence of King Ademar and her father-in-law Galbert de Garsenc, High Elder of Corannos in Gorhaut. Galbert de Garsenc was also the Chief Counselor to King Ademar.

At the Midsummer Carnival in Tavernal, Valery de Talair takes a poison arrow for his cousin Bertran. Blaise’s identification of the poison allowed the Beatrice the Princess of Raiane to save Valey’s life.

Blaise goes directly to his friend’s house that shot the arrow. Rudel del Correze was a Portezzan, the man hired to kill Bertran. Lisseut a female troubadour followed Blaise and learned Blaise was the son of Galbert de Garsenc. After Blaise left Rudel’s he was escorted to Signe de Barbentain's castle.

Lucianna Delonghi, an old flame of Blaise’s, had married many times to have all her husbands die. She is a beautiful, seductress who dresses in jewels.

Rosala was on a walk while Ranald was away and was verbally attached by Galbert de Garsenc, Blaise’s father. He revealed his plan to her that he was going to take the baby and send Rosala to the King of Gorhaut. Rosala ran from the castle in Gorhaut to Sign de Barbentain and requested protection. Bertran promised he would always protect her and her child (Blaise’s son).

Blaise’s friend and King of Gorhaut was King Duergar. It was at Iersen Bridge that Blaise saw his King killed at his side by an arrow in his eye. It was Rosala’s father Cadar de Savaric Daufridi who killed King Duergar. The Treaty of Iersen Bridge was where Blaise’s father Galbert de Garsenc surrendered the ancient northlands of Gorhaut for Valensan gold.

Roban has been in love with Sign de Barbentain his entire life. He has always been her most noble servant.

Urte’ Miraval who was married to Aelis de Miraval de Savcric let Bertran believe that his son by Aelis either died or lived thereby securing his safety. Bertran and Miraval were adversaries and this caused a riff in Arbonne.

In the autumn a northern town in Arbonne Aubry was burned and the temple members were raped. This was a message to Arbonne. Soon the King of Gorhaut would invade and take over the female dominated society of Arbonne. It was a character of Arbonne that troubadours would sing songs about the history of Arbonne. Many were love songs and would sing about the presence of the two moons, one blue, one white.

Ariane de Carenzer, Aelis’s Cousin witnessed the birth of Aelis’s twin daughters.

Duke Ereibert de Garsenc, Galbert’s brother died childless and Galbert guessed that Ranald was also sterile.

Quzman of Arimonda had a duel to the death with Blaise. Blaise had won. Quzman was killed by four arrows sent by four people other than Blaise.

Blaise went north to his home with his Corannos and took the castle of his father in the fog. His father escaped and Blaise also let his brother Ranald go. Blaise realized that his father and the King were going south to Arbonne to rape, burn and destroy all in their path. So Blaise went south and collaborated with Bertran and Sign and went to talk to Galbert and the King prior to the battle. Here Ranald challenged his father for giving away Rosala to the King and Galbert killed his oldest son. All the armies saw it happen. The battle ensued. When all looked as if it might be lost for Arbonne, Blaise encouraged the Corannos of Gorhaut to join him. Then Urte’ de Marvel’s 1,500 men entered and surprised Galbert by fighting for Arbonne. King Ademar was killed by Luth, the soldier relinquished by Blaise on Raiane Island. Luth send an arrow to the sky and it fell into the eye of the king. Galbert was captured and he talked to Blaise telling him it was his plan for Blaise to be King. Galbert was killed. Urte’ de Mirval also died in the battle. This freed Arian from the secret she had held for twenty three years the identity of Alelis’s surviving twin daughter. Ariane told the daughter of Aelis and Bertran, Rinette who she was. Rinette was to be the future Princess of Raiane. Ariane also rode to the house where Bertram and Aelis used to meet twenty three years ago and told Bertran about his one twin daughter that had survived. Rinette was informed that she would be expected to marry Blaise to solidify the regions of Arbonne and Gorhaut. Blaise became King of Gorhaut.

Book Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Based on the troubadour culture that rose in Provence during the High Middle Ages, this panoramic, absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world. As in Tigana , it is a world with two moons. The matriarchal, cultured land of Arbonne is rent by a feud between its two most powerful dukes, the noble troubador Bertran de Talair and Urte de Miraval, over long-dead Aelis, lover of one, wife of the other and once heir to the country's throne. To the north lies militaristic Gorhaut, whose inhabitants worship the militant god Corannos and are ruled by corrupt, womanizing King Ademar. His chief advisor, the high priest of Corannos, is bent on wiping out the worship of a female deity, whose followers live to the south. Into this cauldron of brewing disaster comes the mysterious Gorhaut mercenary Blaise, who takes service with Bertran and averts an attempt on his life. The revelation of Blaise's lineage and a claim for sanctuary by his sister-in-law set the stage for a brutal clash between the two cultures. Intertwined is the tale of a young woman troubadour whose role suggests the sweep of the drama to come. Kay creates a vivid world of love and music, magic and death in a realm that resembles ours but is just different enough to enrich the fantasy genre. 25,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
 
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