I dearly love this book for many reasons people who loved it expressed already - beatiful writing, fascinating plot, amazingly greyish characters. What's not to love indeed?
The main reason I am writing this comment is mostly express my puzzlement as to how many people are feeling sympathetic towards Brandin, it seems.
SPOILERS to follow
Um, so he can love a woman, really and truly love a woman. That makes him less evil how exactly?
Does he show one drop of remorse for basically whiping out the whole country?
I just do not get it, I mean evil otherwise people can love their families indeed, that makes them not cartboard villains, but human.
I am just not seeing how his love is supposed to make him likeable in reader's eyes if he wiped out the whole country in the minds and memories of the people and shows no remorse whatsoever.
And yeah, he lost a son, and no he did not lose a son because big bad people of Tigana attacked him from the corner and murdered him. He lost a son because he sent this son to conquer and enslave those people. I find any sympathy for this character to be mind boggling in my opinion.
Heeee, but Kay is an amazing writer when he makes me feel so strongly about characters' actions.
Now Alexan here is the grey figure IMO, but not evil. We don't care what we do to achieve our goals, eh? If we have to enslave a person we do so and what this person wants matters not as long as we advance our cause.
I was so glad that he realized that not all means are good even for the best of causes.
Love Tigana so much.