The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
The ruling Asharites of Al-Rassan have come from the desert sands, but over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, their stern piety has eroded. The Asharite Empire has splintered into decadent city-states lead by warring petty kings. King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, aided always by his friend and advisor, the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan – poet, diplomat; soldier – until a summer afternoon of savage brutality changes their relationship forever.
Meanwhile, in the north, the conquered Jaddites' most celebrated – and feared – military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, driven into exile, leads his mercenary company south.
In the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan, these two men from different worlds meet and serve – for a time – the same master. Sharing their interwoven fate – and increasingly torn by her feelings – is Jehane, the accomplished court physician, whose own skills play an increasing role as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.
Hauntingly evocative of Medieval Spain, The Lions of Al-Rassan is both a brilliant adventure and a deeply compelling story of love, divided loyalties, and what happens to men and women when hardening beliefs begin to remake – or destroy – a world.
The Lions of Al-Rassan is novel written by acclaimed Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay. It is complex, often beautifully written tale drawing on the Spanish Reconquista for inspiration. Although the races in the book have new names, they are in fact well known to us – the Jaddites are Christians, the Asharites are Muslims and the Kindath are the Jews. The story centres on the relationships of Belmonte, Khairan and Jehane and how the imminent war affects them all.
One by one, through the course of a scorching hot, cloudless summer's afternoon, the elite of Fezanan society made their way along that dark, cool tunnel, and then, dazzled by the return to sunlight, followed the herald's ringing proclamation of their names into the white courtyard where they were slain. The Muwardis had been carefully chosen. No mistakes were made. No one cried out.
From: The Lions of Al-Rassan - Chapter: One
The characters are well rounded and created with depth. The narrative is evenly paced and told from the perspective of the individuals at its heart. The ending to the book is a slight disappointment and could have done with being curtailed by approximately fifty pages but this does not detract from the overall excellence of the book.
The Lions of Al-Rassan takes a while to get going but you will be amply rewarded for your patience. This is what is known as historical fantasy and there are few better exponents of this genre than Guy Gavriel Kay.
This is a grand novel with the scope of Lawrence of Arabia and the immediacy of today's Mideastern headlines. Des Moines – Sunday Register
This The Lions of Al-Rassan book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read The Lions of Al-Rassan?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Lions of Al-Rassan reader reviews
Kristin from USA
Few books have brought me to tears as much as this one. An epic tale of love and loss. If their countrymen had been as noble and tolerant as the three main characters, what wonders they could have created together. Left me crying over what might have been. Brave and good people having to cope with a world not as they wanted it to be but as it was. By taking you into the hearts and minds of the people caught up in an epic, world changing struggle, it brings ycloser to the truth of human experience than the history it parallels.
Joel from Spring TX USA
This book would rank in my top 10 The characters are amazingly written, and connect you to the passions that shape this world, and define this tale in such stark reality.
9.1/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airs...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
Publius Varrus is the last legionnaire in Britain, and The Skystone is in many ways his story. He is a common man with aristocratic friends, and successful both as a soldie...
Dreaming Of Zhou Gong
The Wu have been living in isolation for decades while the Shang Emperor and his enchantress have ruled the land. It has been a terrible time for the common people and the ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: