I had picked up Guy Gavriel Kay's Ysabel, which was marked as a contemporary fantasy. I've worked hard the last few days, so I decided to take the morning off and read a little. I expected to enjoy the book, as I've enjoyed all of Kay's writing, although for me, nothing compares to my mad passion for his original trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry. I fell in love with those books as a teenager, read them in the library and then couldn't find them again for years and years. So frustrating! I finally hunted them down in used editions, then, not long after, they were reissued in new editions and I could press them on my friends. I loved them, and their characters so much. I do also urge his other books on people -- in fact, I usually tell people to start with Tigana, for a variety of reasons. But I love Fionavar best by far.
And I don't know how to talk around this without giving a spoiler, so I'll try to keep it as minor as I can -- but there are characters from Fionavar in Ysabel. And seeing them again was like seeing an old lover after many years apart -- look, how they've changed! Here is something new about them, something you never knew, or never noticed, when you were together before. And yet, there it still is, what you once loved about them, and even though it's been so long, you fall in love again, just a little bit, for the sheer joy of meeting them again.
I read straight through for four hours, and now I want to just go back and read it all again.