Coleen Scott's Reviews > The Lions of Al-Rassan

The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
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Mar 12, 12

bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi

So many books, so little time. But this book gets the first review from me.

Set in a world based on Spain during the time of the Moors, The Lions of Al-Rassan tells the story of three religions on a collision course - through the eyes of three remarkable characters.

Kindath (Jewish) physician Jehane, Jaddite (Christian) horseman and warrior Rodrigo, and Asharite (Muslim) statesman Ammar come together in a pivotal time on the Al-Rassan peninsula. The two brightest military stars - Ammar and Rodrigo - from opposite sides of an approaching conflict form an unexpected friendship as they fight alongside one another as mercenaries during their respective times of exile. Beautiful and clever Jehane serves as their company physician, a balancing element and - in a lopsided way - a love interest between these two passionate and patriotic men.

What begins as camaraderie and respect between three extraordinary people morphs into love - an epic "bromance" between Rodrigo and Ammar, as well as romantic love between Jehane and Ammar.

But war inevitably pierces the beauty of their relationships and, in the end, steals one of them away from the other two.

GGK's story of love in a time of war is bittersweet. The reader sees the clash between love of country/religion/culture and love of a brother in arms in coming - but you can't help hoping against hope that there will somehow be a way for these three to remain comrades through the coming storm. The love, the loss, and their impact on the people left behind ... no one in this story is unaffected.

You lost people in war.

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