The Lions of Al Rassan Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 1999
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1 Mar 1999||
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An enormously rewarding novel -- Booklist
Magnificent -- Locus
One of the premier fantasists of our time -- The Financial Post -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
From the Back Cover
AN EXHILARATING EPIC ADVENTURE OF FIERCE PASSIONS, DIVIDED LOYALTIES AND TRIBAL WAR
In the once powerful empire of Al-Rassan, King Almalik Cartada is on the ascendancy, adding city after city to his realm aided always by the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan – poet, diplomat, soldier and assassin. Cartada's empire is threatened only by the ambitious Jaddite kings of the north who are eager to reclaim the lands they once held.
But the Jaddite lands are divided and their own celebrated military leader Rodrigo Belmonte and his war-band are forced into exile. Thus in the exquisite lakeside city of Ragosa, Rodrigo and ibn Khairan meet and serve – for a time – the same monarch. And observing the byplay between the two men, is the beautiful, brilliant physician, Jehane, who herself becomes a crucial player as the peninsula is swept to the brink of holy war…
"An engrossing tale"
"[A] magnificent, deeply moving book"
"Kay provides insightful glimpses into the goals and motives of this many characters"
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Top Customer Reviews
At the heart of the story is a complex series of personal relationships, drawn with such clarity and emotional honesty that the reader never loses sight of the human consequences of the epic events. In particular, there is the emerging friendship (and love) between the three central characters: Rodrigo Belmonte, celebrated Jaddite war leader (the novel's El Cid); Ammar ibn Khairan, an Asharite poet, soldier and diplomat; and Jehane bet Ishak, a female Kindath physician. All three are unique and memorable creations, living, breating and believably conflicted people, showcasing Kay's talent for well-rounded characters.
In bringing these three together - exiled to a brilliant Asharite city-state as the peninsula moves to the brink of war - the novel provides not only a highly-involving (and extremely moving) read, but it also elegantly underscores the themes of the work. Demonstrating the impact of the coming war upon the main characters' lives and loves, Kay explores how religious and cultural fundamentalism fractures and polarises societies, shutting down the spaces in which people may interact simply as human beings. Wider political considerations put them on opposite sides of the conflict, with shattering results.Read more ›
After this trilogy he began to write novels that could be described as "Alternative History". Whilst set on "fantasy" worlds the novels were visibly based upon real-world events. For example, A Song for Arbonne is based upon Medieval France and the concepts of courtly love.
All this brings me to Kay's masterwork - The Lions of Al-Rassan. This novel is set in Kay's interpretation of a Moorish Spain (including a take on The Day of the Ditch). The three principal characters representing the three faiths involved in the struggle for freedom (from oppression and intolerance), for this is a novel about faith and humanity.
Ammar ibn-Khairan - poet, diplomat, assassin - represents the ruling class of Al-Rassan (based upon the Islamic faith). Rodrigo Belmonte - soldier - the Jaddite war-leader in exile (Catholic). And the woman at the centre of the conflict - Jehane, a Kindath (Jewish) physician. Events conspire to pull the characters together in the lakeside city of Ragosa where they overcome ideological differences in the cause of freedom.
This novel is Kay at his most poetic, it has a beauty that flows from the writing and makes you wish that this novel would not end. For you know, whilst reading, that this can only end badly. The characters have but a small time to live without conflict before they are ripped apart by religion and war.Read more ›
Yet a it's core this is a book about four people with strengths and weaknesses who stay true to their ideals and natures and write themselves a place in history.
This theme has been dealt with before, Holywood tackled it and Charlton Heston became El Cid. The spine tinkling feeling that I felt at the end of that movie when the dead El Cid rides forth to battle for a new Spain is the same feeling I had although reading Kay's book.
If I could write one book myself and never to write again then I would wish to tell a story with this much power, this much sadness and this much Humanity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful, expressive writing of the kind I have come to love and expect from Guy Gavriel Kay.Published 6 months ago by Medshamen
I read this book because it was book of the month in my group. The story is based in a kind of middle east/Mediterranean setting, focusing really on Al-Rassan. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lel
I could not put it down even not watching Murray win I was so enthralled, Kay writes fantastic stories that make one laugh and weep sometimes both together!!!Published 12 months ago by janine goddard
I saw this book in a list of classics - I had read all the others but but not this one so, intrigued, I decided to buy it. I was not disappointed. Fantastic book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
An absolutely brilliant book.I have enjoyed a number by this author and he doesn't disappoint.Published 14 months ago by jones
I've re read this book so often and now have it on audio, and it's amazing how the prose still fascinates and captivates. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
He can do better, and he has...some of his books I re-read every summer, during vacation, but not this one...several reasons, one being the lack of a clear story line... Read morePublished on 22 July 2014 by april
Author never ceases to amaze and awe me with his stories. This is no less. I couldn't put it down, nor could I stop myself being moved. A must readPublished on 14 May 2014 by Amazon Customer