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Lord of Emperors (Sarantine Mosaic) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 531 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061051217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061051210
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,495,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'This is Kay at his very very best!' -- BSFA VECTOR

‘LORD OF EMPERORS is wonderful. I never expect less from Guy Gavriel Kay.’ -- ROBERT JORDAN --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Guy Gavriel Kay was born and raised in Canada, although he does most of his writing in Europe. He is the author of six previous novels: THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY TRILOGY (made up of THE SUMMER TREE, THE WANDERING FIRE and THE DARKEST ROAD), TIGANA, and A SONG FOR ARBONNE --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favourite writers; he combines the character depth and plot struture of Dunnett and Renault with an extraordinary sense of place and a brilliant interweaving of history and imagination to provide the quality of writing rarely found in this, or any genre. This, the second part of the Sarantine Mosaic, opens with a fresh character (Rustem, the physician) and weaves him effortlessly into the loose threads of the preceeding book. The tone is sharper, harder and more brutal than its lyrical predecessor but it more than delivers all the early promise; characters are brought out of the shadows and built up to a fine tension so that even the killing of one of the key players (a Kay special) is gloriously done.
If I have one gripe as to the characterisation it is his constant ability to create deep, fascinating homosexual male characters while rendering all of his women uniformly straight. It would be good to break out of this sometime but some things simply won't work for a writer and maybe this is his brick wall.
On a more serious note, my one genuine problem with this book (and the reason it's four stars, not five) is the prose. There was a time when Kay was a master of flowing, precise, beautiful prose to complement the plot, place and character. Here, as with the previous book, he has fallen into the fast writer's trap of the subjectless sentence. Grounded himself in an absence of semi-colons. Become wedded to unnecessary brevity. And massively overused the conjunctions at the start of a sentence. It's a great pity and it smacks of a writer who's reached the point of invulnerability to editors, which may be reasonable - except that when you're one of the best, the internal editor should be picking up the sloppy writing. With luck, it will be cleared up in the next one. In the meantime, this is still one of the best - buy it and enjoy a weekend at home.
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Format: Paperback
Despite a few niggles, this was an extremely enjoyable and satisfying conclusion to the story begun with Sailing to Sarantium.
I agree with the previous reviewer about the writing (especially the over-use of "And...", which was particularly noticeable), but a more important flaw for me was a number of events that were not 100% believable. A commander deserting his post to go on what looked like a wild-goose raised my eyebrows, then the stakes were raised with a successful plot against one who has been potrayed as the unbeatable master of intrigue - who would surely have seen it coming, and finally there's a disastrously mis-timed invasion (launched just *before* the defending army is due to sail away to a distant war of its own).
For all my criticisms, this is still a wonderful book that stands head-and-shoulders above the vast majority of fantasy writing. There are some interesting new characters, as well as a few old ones more fully fleshed out. There's another thumpingly exciting chariot race. Crispin's unfolding emotional recovery and romantic entanglements (he must have had something very special to attract so many high-born and desirable women!) also make a pleasant story: I was truly glad for him when things turned out better than he could ever have believed.
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By A Customer on 31 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
'The Sarantine Mosaic' is next to 'Tigana' and 'The Lions of Al Rassan' one of the best fantasy novels I have read. (Or should I say novels with a lot of historical aspects and a little bit of fantasy?)
The story described in 'Sailing to Sarantium' is continued in this volume. Guy Gavriel Kay continues with the same strong characters who develop further and intriques are spun out; all leading up to several powerful concluding scenes. In this second volume there are even traces that hint to magical aspects in 'The Lions of Al Rassan'. 'Lord of Emperors' is a good sequel, and everybody who enjoyed reading the first volume, should also read this volume. Find out what will happen to Crispin, Valerius and his Empress, Queen Gisel, and all the other characters. It completes the mosaic...
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By Jason Mills VINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
The first book had a brilliant structure, with the scaffold at the start and end arranged symmetrically about the unearthly forest-god scene (bit like "A Scarlet Letter" in that respect...). This volume was a tad less 'perfect', lacking that centrepiece, but there are amazing scenes and heart-rending episodes. GGK is head-and-shoulders the most literate fantasy writer (unless you rope the immaculate John Crowley into the genre) and seems to be tragically underread. Everybody: read everything by Guy Gavriel Kay! Don't say you haven't been told.
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Format: Paperback
Guy Gavriel Kay cut his teeth editing the Silmarillion before going on to write the very fine Fionavar Trilogy, a sub-Tolkienesque fantasy. This book (together with its prequel, 'Sailing to Sarantium' takes another tack. Although technically fantasy, this is essentially a moderately accurate historical novel describing Byzantium in its high period. Kay uses a craftsman - a mosaicist - as his central character, in order to be able to use the creation and destruction of a work of art to reflect and comment on the themes he's discussing; themes of power, trust, friendship.
In order to avoid being bound by the detail of history, Kay renames Byzantium 'Sarantium', changes many details (Chrisitanity is replaced by another middle-eastern mystery religion, somewhat mithraic in its forms), introduces some magical elements, and by doing so makes a transparent pretence that this is a fantasy place in a fantasy world. It's not, not really; but the conceit does not get in the way of the story telling at all.
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