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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on 21 April 2004
Anyone who's had the pleasure to read a novel by Guy Gavriel Kay will knowwhat to expect from "The Last Light of the Sun", namely a wonderfullymoving fantasy based around a certain time or culture in our own history.As this is Kay's "Northern" book, it is easy to identify the Erlings,Cyngael and Anglcyn from the novel to our own Vikings, Welsh Celts andAngles of England. Each and every character has their own believablemotives, history and depth, no matter how minor or incidental to the mainstory, and Kay has never been afraid to put many of them through theemotional wringer or to kill off main characters as an integral part ofthe story.
Kay has always been one of the few authors who can generategenuine lump-in-the-throat moments for me, who could forget the finalscene between Paul and Jaelle in "The Darkest Road", and this one iscertainly no exception, especially in the more magical scenes.
Though certainly a lesser work in scope and size than "The SarantineMosaic" or "Tigana" I still have no hesitation in giving this top marks.
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on 29 May 2006
One of the best fantasy books. It is better than Tigana imho. Tigana was sort of epic fantasy with wizards, etc. This one is a dark fantasy reminding me of Black Company by Glen Cook but in some ways it is even better. I am not very good at reviews, so I can only say that I really really liked the book. I would most definitely recommend this one. Love, death, heroes, loyalty, battles, ugliness of the war, unpredictable events and mystery. I am stunned. I never expected so much from a single volume fantasy work. 10 out of 10 without a cloud of doubt. The only slight drawback is a missing map.
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on 27 May 2005
I have finished this book in 3 nights, and that says a lot for a full-time working mother of a small baby ... This is Kay at his best, the only one of his books I loved more than Tigana.
Every time I pick up one of his books, I am amazed how the writer has managed to create an imaginary world similar enough to our own to be realistic, but completely different and fascinating at the same time. The Last Light of the Sun has the proper mix of familiar places and everyday people on the one hand and magic creatures and violent battles on the other, to satisfy any serious fantasy reader. I also personally enjoyed a lot the references to places and events of previous books (e.g. Sailing to Sarantium) that create a sense of familiarity, while at the same time the story and characters are completely original. I wish more writers of "series" could be inspired by this example, and avoiding repeating themselves over and over.
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on 27 June 2006
A great book. Agree that geography was a little disorientating at times but not enough to put me off enjoying it.

Characters were very good as always and I really felt for them as usual. I personally like the 'chopping' style of the storyline as it is good to see how the multiple paths interact together. This is a fairly new direction for GGK and it was good that (unlike RJ's WOT series) there were no 'dull' paths which you felt were taking you away from the action you wanted to read about.

Emotionally speaking I felt more for the characters in Arbonne or AlRassan but those were different storys with different focuses so this is in no way a criticism of LLotS.

All in all an excellent read and throw in Vikings and Blood Eagles and in my book you have a winner ;)
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on 9 April 2010
Another wonderful story from Guy Gavriel Kay. This book reminded me of 'The lions of Al-Rassan' where he took a familiar place and history and then twisted it to make a fantastic story. I loved the characters in this book and although some of the reviewers have disliked the writing style I think it's just a matter of taste and it worked for me.

Basically, if you've ever read and enjoyed any of Guy Gavriel Kay's other works I doubt you'll regret buying this one. And if you've never read one of his books I can't recommend them highly enough.
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on 19 May 2004
For those of you who know of Kay's writing, it will come as no surprise that there is no disappointment with The Last Light of the Sun after such a long wait. Yet another amazingly written history for escapists everywhere, as Kay transports you to a different realm in such complete entirety that you will spend weeks pining for this world once you leave. And again, be prepared to shed tears, as joy and sorrow are so completely interwoven on the tapestry.
For those of you who don't know of Kay's writing, get reading. You won't regret it, and you will never look back. You would probably not want to read this book before any of the other Kay books as there are references to his previous sagas which take you back in time and emotion, although they do not in fact limit the reader should you choose to read this book first.
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on 29 January 2005
Like each of Kay's books since Tigana, Last Light views history through a prism of fantasy, drawing rich inspiration from early medieval northern Europe - specifically the neighbouring cultures of the Vikings (Kay's Erlings), the Anglo-Saxons (Anglcyn), and the Welsh (Cyngael). Yet it is not simply history under different names, nor even an alternative version. Rather, Kay uses his historical-fantasy environment to illuminate themes as compelling and relevant to the reader as they are to the characters: family, exile, faith, and finding one's place.
It is less a straightforward narrative than a portrait of a land and its peoples in the throes of change. As the title hints, the setting is the edge of a world, and the story that plays out is of lives lived on the periphery. To the followers of the rising Jaddite faith, their lands witness the final descent of the one god's sun each evening. But as Alun ab Owyn discovers, the faery, and other remnants of the old ways, hover in the half-light; there is poetry here, but life is harsh. Human settlement is hard-won, and precarious.
Simultaneously, it is a story about storytelling. The sparse, stylised prose and deliberately self-reflexive structure both mirror the sagas of their inspiration, and serve as a vehicle for exploring how stories are told. Characters' concerns with memory and legacy are matched by a self-conscious authorial voice, which directly and indirectly examines how decisions made in the telling of a story can shape the reading of it.
For all its use of traditional epic motifs, this is a distinctly unconventional fantasy, constantly upsetting assumptions of how it should unfold. Farmers' daughters are woven in alongside warriors and kings, and in this transitional world the ordinary and accidental echo just as strongly as great deeds.
Blending history, myth and fantasy into a seamless, poetic whole, The Last Light of the Sun is an accomplished and truly evocative novel.
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on 29 October 2013
Once again this author writes beautifully of an imagined world sufficiently like our own to be recognisable but different enough to stop one trying to tie the story in to real history. His characters are believable and the story whips along at a good pace. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 28 August 2013
Hadn't read this author for many a year and this book reminded me what a great author he is. The plot was well thought out and the book is gripping from start to finish. I love how he interweaves history and fantasy.
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on 24 November 2013
I loved this- the first book I had read by this author. What a careful combination of well researched history and spiritual/ magical overtones. This is excellent alternative history and stays with me still
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