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The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
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The Last Light of the Sun (2004)

by Guy Gavriel Kay

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English (46)  French (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
I bought this book with a gift card that I received on graduating high school...five years ago, it took me this long to read it for reasons I cannot really explain. It sat on my shelf in the dorms, sharing space over the years with all of my text books and other "pleasure" reads that always more readily caught my interest.
I remember never getting past the first chapter every time I finally sat down to read it. I've read many of Kay's other books, twice or three times even, since purchasing this book. This Spring, with a new - far more expensive - tassel under my belt I finally got past that first chapter.
It is an engaging story, but it does lack some of the power of his other books, but I recommend it to any fantasy and even (thinly) historical fantasy fans, they will enjoy it too, even if it takes an extra degree to do it. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Loved this book. As always, Kay's writing is sterling. ( )
  grouchygrammarian | Mar 19, 2018 |
The Last Light of the Sun - Guy Gavriel Kay
Audio performance by Holter Graham
4 stars


In this fictional medieval saga, Kay’s King Aeldred of the Anglcyn is a stand-in for the historical Alfred the Great. However, the story begins with the other side of the territorial coin, with the Vikings (or Danes), which Kay mutates into the Erlings. In addition, there is the neighboring tribe of the Cyngael, place holding for the Celts. The Cyngael bring along their traditional mythology of fairies existing in a ‘half’ world which threatens the tenets of Jad, a sun god whose worshippers resemble medieval Christians.

Have you got all of that?

The amazing thing is that eventually, I did get it, all the little pieces of the story puzzle fell into place. It was a bit more difficult with this book than with some of Kay’s other books. There were too many subplots; so many that much of the resolution at the end of the book was rushed and underdeveloped.

Still, I have only minor complaints. Once again, I found that persisting with the complicated, interwoven plots of a G.G. Kay saga paid off in the end. This is essentially a tripled coming of age story. There are three young men, one from each of these warring cultures. Athelbert, son of King Aeldred; Prince Alan ab Owyn of the Cyngael; and Bern, the runaway son of the mercenary Erling, Red Thorkell. There are some interesting dynamics between the various fathers and sons and some less interesting interactions with fairies and dead people. I was engaged in the difficult lives of these young men, but this book would have been better without the supernatural element. (There was a bit of telepathy thrown in at the end that really made no sense to me.) The female characters in this book are vibrant and interesting, but they are not major players in the story. To give Kay credit, he did allow more than one of his ladies to express frustration with the restrictions of their lives.

I did have the audio performance of this book, but I gave up on it. There were too many names that sounded similar and too many plot convolutions to keep track of. Holter Graham’s fairy voice was very annoying and may be why I disliked that aspect of the book. The text provides a character breakdown of the three cultures, which I found very helpful, even necessary, to understanding the story. ( )
  msjudy | Jun 3, 2017 |

Guy Gavriel Kay, along with George R. R. Martin, are perhaps the best living writers of epic fantasy, and The Last Light of the Sun" is up to his usual standards. However, this does mean that one has to be in the mood to read epic fantasy to enjoy it.

This is the sort of book where I think one's enjoyment depends greatly on whether you're in the mood to read what it offers.

The Last Light of the Sun is not a flexible book or one that fits itself to the reader's mood. It's epic fantasy of a particular style, and insists on being read in that mode. I recommend saving it for when that's what you want to read, and avoiding it if you don't like that sort of thing at all. If you haven't liked any of Kay's previous work, this book won't convert you. For the right mood, though, it's magic, unhampered by its few slight flaws." ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
Yet another sub-category of fantasy, historical fantasy, that is, fantasy loosely based on our own earthly history, but in a fantasy form (a light touch of faerie). I read happily along with it because it is very nicely and deftly done. The norsemen sweep down and attack the various tribal peoples on two coasts, one clearly Britain the other the coast of France. We mainly follow the characters of the up and coming generation of fledgling adults, in all three categories of Viking, Saxon, and Celt. (Everything is quaintly but not annoyingly renamed and I know I won't retain it, so I won't even try.) But this is a time of change, a single new god has swept away most of the old beliefs, and there is an urge to ally rather than fight between themselves as before so as to be able to repel the norsemen when they come. There is a mystical spirit wood, there are romances, some gore, some heartbreak, a lost father, a hidden sword and some very satisfying resolutions. What is most well done are the relationships between these young adults. I was not keen on Kay's [Fionavar] books but I loved [Tigana]. This falls somewhere in between. Not terribly original, but quite satisfying. ***1/2 ( )
1 vote sibyx | Apr 11, 2016 |
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Epigraph
I have a tale for you: a stag bells;
winter pours summer has gone.
The wind is high, cold; the sun is low;
its course is short the sea is strong running.
The bracken is very red; its shape has been hidden.
The cry of the barnacle goose has become usual.
Cold has taken the wings of birds.
Season of ice; this is my tale.
---from the Liber Hymnorum manuscript
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for George Jonas
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A horse, he came to understand, was missing.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451459857, Paperback)

From the multiple award-winning author of Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, and the three-book Fionavar Tapestry that "can only be compared to Tolkien's masterpiece" (Star-Phoenix), this powerful, moving saga evokes the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse cultures of a thousand years ago.

Author Biography: Guy Gavriel Kay has been awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his work in the literature of the fantastic, is a two-time winner of the Aurora Award, and has been nominated three times for the World Fantasy Award. His works have been translated into 21 languages.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:05 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The fates of three powerful civilizations--the Erlings of Vinmark, the Anglcyn kindom, and the Cyngael--clash in an evocative fantasy based on the legends of the ancient Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Norse cultures.

» see all 3 descriptions

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