HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
SantaThing signup ends Monday at 12pm Eastern US. Check it out!
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
Loading...

The Lions of Al-Rassan (edition 2005)

by Guy Gavriel Kay

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,870893,737 (4.26)1 / 432
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 led 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.… (more)
Member:aarti
Title:The Lions of Al-Rassan
Authors:Guy Gavriel Kay
Info:Eos (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Historical Fantasy, Fantasy, Europe, 2010, Religion, Medieval

Work Information

The Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

  1. 60
    Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (Anonymous user)
  2. 20
    The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett (Anonymous user)
  3. 10
    Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre (Cecrow)
  4. 00
    A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham (calmclam)
  5. 00
    The Tyranny of the Night by Glen Cook (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Both a simile, with Fantasy treatment, of European history in the era of the Crusades. Lions of Al-Rassan centers on the Spanish Reconquista, while the Tyranny of the Night has a wider scope.
  6. 00
    The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Fantasy retellings of the last days of Muslim Spain.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

» See also 432 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
Great read. Nicely paced. Great attention to detail ( )
  jimgosailing | Nov 18, 2021 |
Is Marcel Proust still alive? He must be a good age now. He is rather good. Other than him I can’t think of any living writer I like or rate. I’m bursting with excitement to get my hands on Marcel’s next novel. I’ll queue at midnight outside FNAC. Wait! There’s another Guy called Kay…

Most of today’s Fantasy fodder is just so fucking unbelievably bad taht sometimes I need to resort to the so-called classics in the field. I was just coming from re-reading the Sarantine Mosaic and I said to myself: ‘now is the time to re-read “The Lions of Al-Rassan”’. I’m glad I did. Most of the authors in contemporary Fantasy are unreadable. es, almost all of them, almost all of them, almost all of them. Now, if only budding writers would report to me I would tell them when they need to go back to the drawing board. Thy shalt not pass. In fact nothing, nowhere, anywhere has got by me. I am the judge, the mighty dictator of quality in fantasy. Then there's Guy Gavriel Kay (Woolf meets Nabokov). There must be so many like Kay that lack the recognition their finer phrase perhaps deserves, maybe hidden by the bigger and crappier names (Weeks, Rothfuss, Jordan, Eddings, Sanderson, Goodkind, Evan Winter, Lawrence, Kuang, J. Sullivan, Hobb, etc. - and what an ageing Bellow referred to as the intense competition of forms - in the spreading delta of Fantasy.

Yep, if ever I get to that desert island, I wouldn’t want just the bible ad Shakespeare, but I also would want All-of-Kay. I have read “The Lions of Al-Rasan” so many times I think I know it by heart, but each time I read it I find something profound I missed despite my long acquaintance with it. I guess I'd have to say that Kay’s view of humanity evolved throughout his writing, and “The Lions of Al-Rassan” was always where he was headed. There was never any redemption for anyone, but their travails are couched in the most amazing language. I've tried to encourage people to read it, but I'm the only one of all my friends and acquaintance who see the beauty in it....strange I always think. They prefer a different kind of Fantasy fodder…

That Bach bloke could knock out a nice tune, and Michelangelo did a good job on the church roof. The combined Kay’s body-of-work pretty much defines the Great Modern Magnus Opus of Fantasy. ( )
  antao | Nov 18, 2021 |
As usual for Kay's fantasy, this book takes place in a setting that is very clearly based on a real historical place and time: in this case, Spain during the time just before the "Reconquest".

It didn't take me long to realize that the Jaddites, Asharites, and Kindath were equivalent to the Christians, Muslims, and Jews that lived together in Spain under Islamic law. (When I was in Spain, I visited Toledo for this very reason, because it was a city in which these three groups had lived and interacted.)

And that's what earned this novel a place on my "with theological themes" shelf: we get a main viewpoint character from each of the three religions, and the author plays no favorites. We get to see the world through each character's, and thus each religion's, eyes. We get to see them navigate the tension between the exclusiveness expounded by their religious or civic leaders, and the commonality, respect, friendship, and love they find with people of other faiths.

Kay's usual strengths are in evidence here: he places his characters in poignant, personally difficult situations, and then makes it more intense for them; and his writing is evocative and beautiful. I particularly enjoyed the playfulness that characterized the friendships among the main characters, especially Jehane's with the two men. Although the novel doesn't pass the Bechdel test, it was nevertheless refreshing to see a woman portrayed as having interesting, multidimensional relationships with men that don't revolve entirely around sexual or romantic tension. ( )
  VictoriaGaile | Oct 16, 2021 |
Set in a time and place that could be medieval Spain, but with a small "tweak" it could also be present day in the Middle East.

Three characters weave the story and intricate lines between "true believer" and "fanatic". In dangerous times, the lives of two men and a woman cross paths and they find themselves questioning faith and beliefs that could shake and change the world.

Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorite authors. He has a way with his words that pull you in and his characters become your friends that you cry and celebrate with.

The top shelf for this book is Fantasy-I do not understand that. Guy Kay is known for some fantasy works, this is NOT one of them. If I had to classify it anywhere but fiction I might put it into Historical-Fiction. If you are not a fantasy fan, don't let the GR classification turn you off. ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
I had a lot of problems following the story because of my unfamiliarity with the style of names used. This was very frustrating because the story was extremely interesting and well written. I think this book deserves 5 stars, or 4 at the very least, but I must give it 3 to match my own personal experience. ( )
  jamestomasino | Sep 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy Gavriel Kayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Benini, MilenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morton, EuanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odom, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
The evening is deep inside me forever

Many a blond, northern moonrise,

like a muted reflection, will softly

remind me and remind me again and again.

It will be my bride, my alter ego.

An incentive to find myself. I myself

am the moonrise of the south.

Paul Klee, The Tunisian Diaries
Dedication
For Harry Karlinksy and Mayer Hoffer, after thirty-five years.
First words
Always remember they come from the desert.
It was just past midday, not long before the third summons to prayer, that Ammar ibn Khairan passed through the Gate of the Bells and entered the Al-Fontina in Silvenes to kill the last of the khalifs of Al-Rassan. [prologue]
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

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 led 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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.26)
0.5
1 3
1.5 1
2 17
2.5 6
3 107
3.5 33
4 229
4.5 57
5 359

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 164,368,235 books! | Top bar: Always visible