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Book Title: The Lions of Al-Rassan|
The author of the book: Guy Gavriel Kay
Date of issue: June 1st 1995
ISBN 13: 9780061052170
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.41 MB
Read full description of the books The Lions of Al-Rassan:The Lions of al-Rassan is a sweeping historical epic that examines the price of war, the deadly toll on lives that can occur when religion and politics meet and clash, the seemingly endless give and take between Christians & Muslims & Jews, the power that certain charismatic individuals can exert during times of tumult and change, and - just as important as everything i've mentioned - the nature of love and of friendship. its cast features El Cid and Ibn Ammar; it is set during Moorish Spain.
actually, no it isn't set there and those characters are nowhere to be found in this novel. and yet Moorish Spain, Ibn Ammar and El Cid, the history of conflict between Jews and Muslims and Christians are exactly what Kay is using as his templates. it is a rather ingenious idea: instead of having to worry about getting everything just right, each historical detail and each character's deeds and traits, why not just use them all as inspiration and recreate a world anew? and so the novel is considered a "fantasy" because it takes place in an alternate reality that has two moons (as well as a boy with psychic powers - but hey, that can happen right here in this dimension).
i have a GR bookshelf called "Into the Past" in which i place books that are some sort of historical fiction. The Lions of al-Rassan is on that shelf, mainly due to how this novel perfectly (and beautifully - Kay is a gorgeous writer) evokes its time period. but recreating Moorish Spain and paying homage to fascinating historical figures are not the novel's goals. this is a romantic saga that illustrates the best and the worst of mankind; the details of a past milieu are really not its overriding concern. those details are all backdrop. what it is is wonderful wish fulfillment at its purest - heroes who are wise & witty & brave & kind, a heroine who is strong & empowered & brave & kind, a story full of battles big and small, complicated political machinations and complicated villains, vivid supporting characters, a richness that is rich because in many ways it is timeless. its narrative is thrilling and melancholy and brutally clear-eyed and sweetly sentimental in equal parts. its prose is elegant and has such a lovely flowing feel to it. its themes are genuinely adult themes. it sees the need for change and yet mourns all the beautiful things buried by time. it is full of anger and gentleness.
at the heart of its story is the idea that people can actually come together, respect and love each other, move past their differences while respecting those differences - how people can truly see each other as brothers and sisters. they can come together in romantic love, they can come together as teachers and students, they can come together as a family. and most of all they can come together in friendship, as equals. the novel features one of the most heartfelt and tragic bromances i've read in a while. but it is not just about the boys - it also features a very real and very independent woman at its core. all three characters are splendid creations. for me, the best thing about their complicated relationship is how necessary each of them is to the other. at different points in the novel, each of the three characters will save the life of somone dear to another of those three characters. this was a beautiful thing, a resonant thing, a timeless thing. humans can rise above their baser instincts, they can be more than just pawns or animals or people who keep their heads down while others fall. we can save each other's lives. we can, i know we can. if not, then why even be alive?
Read information about the authorGuy Gavriel Kay is a Canadian author of fantasy fiction. Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid. Those works are published and marketed as historical fantasy, though the author himself has expressed a preference to shy away from genre categorization when possible.
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