Welcome to part two of my Fionavar Tapestry review, the soundtrack! This is longer than most of my other book soundtracks but I mean, it is a trilogy so that makes sense. Some of these songs are here for specific reasons which I'll talk about, others just fit the whole fantasy genre thing that's going on. There's a particular abundance of classic rock style stuff because that's just a genre of music that I really associate with fantasy. If you fancy having a listen you can do so here!
The Last Dance – Within Temptation (Let Us Burn Live Version)
Real talk guys: why is this song only a B Side on the German version of The Dance EP, WHY??? It’s so freaking good. Seriously, listen to this song and then try and tell me you don’t feel transported into an alternate medieval inspired fantasy world. I DARE YOU. This song makes me think of so many different aspects of the trilogy; Dave’s encounter with Ceinwen, Kevin realising who he is and sacrificing himself to end the winter, Lisan and Jennifer waiting in the tower, Paul hanging on the Summer Tree….Finally, and absolutely heartbreakingly, it’s Sharra holding Diarmund as he dies after sacrificing himself to break to cycle of Arthur’s punishment. Maybe I am just naïve but that is a death I did not see coming and it hurt.
Ymer - Grand Magus
This song just builds and layers and creates a really great atmosphere that just really fits the trilogy. It's not very long at all but it just works.
Gracious – Ben Howard
I mean this entire album could feature in this soundtrack because I listened to it on repeat for most of the second book but especially this one.
This Woman’s Work – Kate Bush
Why does this song make me think of this series? I have no idea. It just really does. There’s a little bit of Paul in it, pre-Summer Tree when he’s filled with guilt about Rachel and unable to cry about it.
Creature Fear - Bon Iver
This was playing during the Kavin/Liadon scene. Just something about how the song starts quiet and then builds a bit and does that a couple of times just really reflected how the tension in that scene built. Because for a while I thought that maybe he would be ok and he wouldn't have to die. That whole bit just gives me really mixed feelings to be honest because it's really sad but at the time it's not, because he goes quite willingly and his death really means something but I still get sad. This isn't very coherent but essentially a lot of the deaths in this trilogy give me really mixed feelings because I really didn't want the people to die but at the same time a lot of them went into the situation with their eyes open and accepted their fate so it's not entirely sad. I don't know okay, I just have a lot of feelings!
This Time Around (Live) – Glenn Hughes
In case it’s not already obvious, I got serious feels about the Arthur/Jennifer/Lancelot plotline and this is another song for that. “To lose you I would rather see the endless time and space go passing by / This time around”.
At The End Of Day – Once and Future King
If you like Arthuriana and/or 80’s rock and haven’t already listened to Gary Hughes’ Once and Future King album then you need to get on that shit. I mean, it retells the story of King Arthur with a bunch of awesome rock vocalists including the brilliant Bob Catley, plus Lana Lane and Irene Jansen (sister of After Forever and now Nightwish vocalist Fleur) and so many other great people. It should be pretty obvious why this is included seeing as there is a whole Arthurian plotline going on.
Down Where I Am - Demons & Wizards
First off I just really like Hansi's voice, I think it's so unique and interesting so I like throwing him into playlists. This is kind of a Darien song. I found his plot really interesting, especially the questions it raised about good/evil/choice. Everyone is constantly so wrapped up in being afraid of him and his potential that they want to make him choose to be on the good side, and it's only Jennifer who really holds onto the importance of him making his own choices.
The Parting (Acoustic Version) - Katatonia
I don't know Katatonia super well but I really like their acoustic album so I listened to it a bunch whilst reading the final book. It's a bit dark and gloomy and makes me think a little of Rakoth? I don't know why. Also, the singer sounds very Biffy Clyro-esque in the first two lines and I like that!
Believe Enough To Fight – Once and Future King
So technically this is Morgana trying to convince Merlin to bring back the Pagan gods to Britain but I feel like it works pretty well for this series to be honest! “Think about the way you feel tonight / Does the fire inside you still burn bright / Find a way somehow / To believe enough to fight”. There are so many moments in this series where the light just seem to be drastically overpowered and it all seems a little hopeless, but they persevere.
Broadsword - Jethro Tull
I mean, this is a fantasy novel in a song really isn't it! If you listen to it I think you'll get why it's here.
Shake It Out - Florence & The Machine
This is one of my friend's favourite songs because she really likes the line "it's always darkest before the dawn" so now whenever I hear it I think of her! But I also like the optimism that's there. Sometimes everything is shit, but things don't usually stay shit. At some point they will get better and you just have to push through in order to get to that good bit, which is quite relevant to this book!
Heavy Stone - Kyla La Grange
This is sort of a Dave and Paul song. By which I mean it applies to them both individually, not their relationship to each other. They just both have their own sadness which they negotiate and come to terms with as the trilogy progresses and this song makes me think of them at the beginning when they're not quite able to deal with it yet.
Up On The Hollow Hill (Understanding Arthur) - Robert Plant
I mean this is just the Arthurian theme again really. The entire summoning scene on Glastonbury was just great and I really liked it.
Worth Fighting For - Judas Priest
This is here for very similar reasons to Believe Enough To Fight!
Kingdoms - Toseland
Oh The Tose! For those who don't know, Toseland is a world superbike champion or something who after retiring from that decided to go forward with his backup career of being a rockstar. As you do. I went to see him last year with my dad and it was fun! It's not the greatest gig I've ever been to but it was perfectly enjoyable and I particularly like this song and it makes me think of fantasy kingdoms so it's on this mix.
Small Mountain - Midlake
Literally so many of these songs are just here because I have little fantasy novel headcanons about them. This is another.
The Crow, The Owl, and The Dove - Nightwish
This is a bit of a Kim song for no good reason, just because it is.
Our Farewell – Within Temptation
Okay so I was listening to Within Temptation on shuffle during the final epic battle of the series and this song just happened to start playing right when Tabor and Imraith-Nimphais appeared and if you’ve read the book you know all the mixed emotions associated with that and dear lord I WEPT. Ivor turning his face away so he doesn’t have to see his son die and then just when you think he’s lost he’s saved and I CRY. It was just too perfect a soundtrack to that moment. And it was right on the heels of Darien’s sacrifice of himself and gaaaaah. Darien’s entire plot kills me, he’s just so lonely and all he wants is someone to choose him and love him and to find a home and even though he chooses the light at the end and he saves them all, it still breaks my heart because he never really got that. He chooses to align himself with the light and I love that he stakes that claim to identity but god I wish someone would have just given the poor child a hug.
All Ends Well – Alter Bridge
I mentioned in my review post that I really liked the underlying hope of this series and I just feel like this song really embodies that idea.
Edge of the World – Within Temptation
This is just the Arthurian triangle. And unlike a lot of media, this is actually a triangle in the true sense. Lancelot and Arthur aren’t just two guys who dislike each other but love the same woman, they also love each other deeply which is why the cycle is able to hurt them all so much. (It’s at this point I have to do a shout out to Gwyneth Jones’ Bold As Love which decided not to spend too much time dragging out the ‘who shall she pick’ storyline and went straight for the ‘fuck it we all know they love each other let’s just make it a threesome’ plot. I am well overdue a re-read of that series.)