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The Lions Of Al Rassan

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  15,905 Ratings  ·  1,020 Reviews
Al-Rassan, hogar de tres culturas distintas, es una tierra con una historia violenta y una belleza seductora. La paz entre los Jadditas, los Asharitas y los Kindath es algo efímero y difícil de alcanzar. En una situación que coloca a esta tierra al borde de la guerra, se entrecruzan las vidas de tres personas extraordinarias: Ammar ibn Khairan, poeta, diplomático y soldado ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published May 20th 1996 by Voyager / HarperCollins (first published 1995)
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Andrew Tupper Karen, most of Guy Gavriel Kay's books are in this 'historical fiction' style, and I personally don't think any of them are poor quality. A couple are…moreKaren, most of Guy Gavriel Kay's books are in this 'historical fiction' style, and I personally don't think any of them are poor quality. A couple are multi-part and you may wish to avoid them initially until you're sure. You might like to try 'Under Heaven' or 'Tigana' as superb stand-alone books... but really they're all good.(less)

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Petrik
Oct 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can’t believe this is happening but here I am, my first ever DNF.

I DNF’ed this book somewhere around 60% and because of that I will still give this book a rating, my second 1 star rating; the first one was for Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

This is an extremely unpopular opinion and I know a LOT of people loved this book, so please keep in mind that this is just my honest opinion. At the time of posting this review, there are less than 200 readers—including me—who gave it a 1 star rating, out of 15.
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mark monday
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 S ...more
Kemper
If I scored my nerd tendencies I’d fall much closer on the scale to comic books and Star Trek than to Lord of the Rings and other swords-n-sorcery kind of fantasy which is weird because I do enjoy the kind of world building and political intrigue that is often a big part of the genre.

My hesitation about reading more of this kind of stuff is due in no small part to how it seems like common practice for fantasy authors of turning those stories into multi-book epics, but then stalling out in the m
...more
Terence
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: GR Friends too numerous to name
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Perhaps it’s incipient dementia?

I’ve lost too many brain cells to time and American TV but I just don’t get the GGK “love” evinced by many of my GR friends. I struggled through the first 100 pages of this book and seriously considered giving up entirely but I persevered to the end (albeit skimming through many pages) and left profoundly unimpressed.

Upon reflection, my difficulty with the novel is that at no point did the writing engage me. I didn’t find the alternate Medieval Spain all that inve
...more
Scott  Hitchcock
I feel like I should have loved this book. Parts of it were so good and it had that tortured world gritty feel to it that's right up my alley. Friends on GR who share common interests one and all loved it. But my god the middle 60% was a slog for me. I had to put it down and restart it so many times. The ending tragic and redeeming but I still can't give it more than 2.5*'s.
Veronica Belmont
First of all, allow me to give Kiala her due for picking this book for Vaginal Fantasy. After last month's pick, we were sorely due for something of substance. I will also remind everyone that last month's pick was MY doing, so I'm duly chastened.

Anyhow. The Lions of Al-Rassan is an absolutely mesmerizing book. As I understand it (and please correct me in the comments if I am incorrect) it's a fantastical alt-history of the Iberian Peninsula. With one small exception, I would pause to call it f
...more
Sam
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. 5 Stars. All the Stars.

It’s a slow burn. I can easily acknowledge that, but the characters are intriguing from the start and Kay’s writing is just beautiful. The world can be a bit confusing as well if you don’t understand the background of medieval Spain as a lot of names and history are thrown at you from the start. There’s also three different religions and the strife between them is the center stage of the book; the Kindath are Jews, the Jaddites are Christians, and the Ash
...more
Mario
Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a heart and half a brain
You will fall in love with one of the characters in this book. I absolutely guarantee it. The only question is, with whom?

Will it be with the flamboyant Ammar ibn Khailan, poet, spymaster, kingslayer, warrior? With Jehane, strong and stubborn doctor? Perhaps with Miranda, so beautiful and queenly even when managing a horse ranch? Or with proud Rodrigo, the Scourge of Al-Rassan, brave, virtuous, faithful?

Or will it be with one of the minor characters? Starstruck Alvar, alluring Zabira, the wise
...more
Chris Berko
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The things some people can do with words is breathtaking. I absolutely loved this book. I have ranted about it to everyone possible, including strangers in cars next to me on the street. I tell them to roll down their windows and then I tell them to read this book. My mom stopped taking my calls because instead of happy mother's day, I quoted lines from this book when I talked to her. There are a lot of reviews for this so I'm not breaking any new ground here, but sincerely, if you have not read ...more
Chris
I needed a couple of days to let this sink in before writing a review. That's how powerful the book was, and its incredible ending.

This is one of those books that it's very difficult to write a spoiler-free review for. I could mark it as such and go for it, but then people that haven't read the book will skip the review.

The Lions of Al-Rassan is a book I will push on friends. When asked for recommendations, it will float to the top of my list every time. I won't say it's my all-time favorite, bu
...more
Alissa
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The story is seductive and engaging, the characters are adult, well-rounded and sophisticated, the writing style is very versatile: it offers both lavish descriptions, witty dialogues, elegant poetry, emotion and brutal detachment to a great, immersive effect. Subtle, delicate, harrowing, the plot entertains and develops with depth of themes, drama, humour and evenly paced action. It is historical fantasy, with little or none fantastic elements.

The characters and the current g
...more
Angela
I'm don't tend to be a crier when I read. If a book can make me cry it deserves 5 stars. The story was woven together so well that the last chapter and epilogue sucker punched you. Yes there were tears. Yes the book by the end moved me that much. Readers of historical fantasy you might just find this book, inspired by medieval Spain, a story you will love.
Molly Ison
Reads like a movie novelization. A movie intended as pseudo-historical reenactment Oscar-bait with beautiful sweeping landscapes and beautiful actors and actresses who take it all so damn seriously. The women are spunky (I hate that word, so it's appropriate for Jehane) and inappropriately modern while remaining in the margins - props to the masculine deeds of the leading men. Every fight is a show of athleticism, perfectly choreographed. A light-hearted moment that isn't actually funny. Charact ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
August 2017 buddy read with Candace! Our BR only got delayed about a year...
Manju
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5

Story revolve around people of three religion and their struggle to prevail over each other. These three religions are Ashar (worshipers of Stars), Jad(worshipers of Sun) and Kindath (worshipers of Moons). On a day that was known as “day of moat”, physician Jehane bet Ishak, a Kindath, met Ammar ibn Khairan, most famous Ashar warrior, and Ser Rodrigo Belmonte, a fierce Jad captain. This is the story of how these three become friends and what they choose when it come to make a decision between
...more
Lisa
Full review: http://tenaciousreader.wordpress.com/...

Guy Gavriel Kay has been on my “must try” list for years. I have heard him recommended so many times and I have come across devoted fans that will praise his prose endlessly. And on top of that, he writes stand-alone novels, so there is no fear of commitment here. With all of that, I have no idea why I have not read one of his novels previously. But, I nominated The Lions of Al-Rassan for one of my book club reads and happily it won. No more e
...more
Dawn
Wow. I don't even know what to say. I'm speechless! This was only my second Kay novel, the first being A Song for Arbonne, and I didn't really know what to expect. I have to admit, the blurb didn't really catch me... But I had found it in a used book store for cheap, so I decided to try it out. I am so glad I did!

I have to be very careful not to spoil it... It's hard not to gush though. The ending was so heart breaking, yet at the same time so beautiful and hopeful. The entire book was wonderful
...more
Becky
This book has come highly recommended by almost all of my friends, and so naturally, I was very excited to read it. This was my first experience with Kay, and the consensus seems to be that this is his best work. Certainly the Goodreads average rating bears that up. Lions of Al-Rassan currently has a an average rating of 4.27 of 5. Pretty impressive, and the highest of all of his books.

It just didn't quite get there for me. Maybe it was the expectation of greatness that let me down, but I don't
...more
Bill
Dec 17, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I learned something reading this book. I dislike Guy Gavriel Kay's writing. It was my first book of his and it will probably be my last.

I was reading several other books at the same time, a habit of mine, and the further I got into this book, the harder it became to make myself leave the other books to give this one its turn. I almost stopped reading it in the middle of the book.

I was reading David Copperfield, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and Shadow & Claw at the same time. David Cop
...more
Daniel Roy
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sf, taw-bookclub
I usually have a rule that if a book doesn't grab my attention within 50 pages, I just drop it and move on. Too many great books, not enough time. I gave The Lions of Al-Rassan a good chance with 150 pages, and it still utterly failed to grab me. Maybe it was a bad idea to read a high-minded historical fantasy epic right after The Black Company. Or maybe I'm too old and grumpy for bombastic opera-like fantasies. Maybe A Game of Thrones has made fantasy unpalatable unless it features a threshold ...more
Reggie Kray
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exquisite prose. Superb characterization. A tale that will incite emotions of love and hate. Historical fiction does not get better than this my friends! A novel I am unlikely to ever forget.
Katie
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Book 9 of my 2016 Kay reading marathon, predictably I loved it!
Brad
I have been known to argue against hope. To argue that hope is evervating. That it leads to apathy and inaction. That it is anathema to change. I have argued these things and probably will again, so it is particularly strange that one of my all time favourite books should be a book so filled with hope, so about hope.

In this age of fantasy books great and not so great getting their own shows on HBO or Netflix or MTV, my most fervent wish is to see The Lions of al-Rassan on screen. Not only do I
...more
Kate Quinn
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crying. Crying helplessly. What a book.
Jayme
I was very excited to read this because of the premise: Alternate medieval Al-Andalus, clash of cultures and religions, the fall of an Empire, the end of an era, and romance!

By the time I got 100 pages into it, I was skimming. Pretty soon I was skipping whole chapters, looking for the names of people that vaguely interested me. This is not to say that the prose isn't good, and I know that the premise is...so what went wrong? The following.

1. The set up surrounds a woman Kindath (Jewish) doctor,
...more
Dara
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guy Gavriel Kay is a master at historical fiction. I'm not too familiar with the holy wars of the Iberian peninsula but I found The Lions of Al-Rassan fascinating without any background knowledge. The story follows people of the 3 religions of the region: Jaddites (Christians), Kindaths (Jews), and Asarites (Muslims).

Our main characters are a Kindath physician, a Jaddite army captain and his new recruit, and an Asharite assassin. There are a host of secondary characters that largely took away fr
...more
Olivia
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book made me weep. That's all you need to know, isn't it? Guy Gavriel Kay came highly recommended by many fantasy fans, even though he doesn't write your usual fantasy. There are no elves and dwarves. There are no strange creatures and no dragons. And there is almost no magic.

Guy Gavriel Kay writes historical fantasy. The Lions of Al-Rassan is his version of medieval Spain and the conflicts between the different faiths. This book is about war and the intolerance different cultures and relig
...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
Το μόνο κακό με τα βιβλία του είναι ότι κάποιες φορές στο τέλος λες "αυτό είναι όλο; Δεν έχει άλλο;". Έτσι γίνεται και εδώ, το βιβλίο σε όλη τη διάρκεια είναι τόσο απολαυστικό, τόσο καλογραμμένο, με τα κεφάλαια να είναι τόσο προσεκτικά δομημένα σαν μικρά διηγήματα, με τους χαρακτήρες να είναι τόσο πολυδιάστατοι που νιώθεις σαν χτες βράδυ να τα έπινες μαζί τους (με όσους επιτρέπουν στον εαυτό τους το αλκοόλ) και γενικά η ιστορία είναι τόσο ενδιαφέρουσα που αν αντί για ένα βιβλίο υπήρχε μία ολόκλη ...more
Tammy
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
First GGK book, I eventually chose to read this before Tigana, i'm happy I did. I'm truly lost for words, this was simply a great experience. I can't find any fault with the world, characters or the story.
Rodrigo and Ammar were my favorites among st so many awesome characters.
I will definitely re-read this book later. I hope to read Tigana soon.
Sandra
May 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
I can't even think how to review this book. First of all, I guess, it's a good lesson on why not to give up on a book before you finish it. I was more than halfway through, and getting a little frustrated and somewhat bored with Kay's POV changes and introduction of new and mostly peripheral characters so far into the book. This is the fourth Kay book I've read, and I find myself a little put off by his distant approach to events that are positively horrifying. He introduces one of the main char ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Lions of Al-Rassan 87 63 Mar 10, 2017 07:24AM  
Play Book Tag: Lions of al-Rassan 10 26 Jan 27, 2016 04:50AM  
Read Runners: Buddy read: The Lions of Al-Rassan 56 54 Apr 28, 2015 07:14AM  
Vaginal Fantasy B...: Lions Al Rassan 107 497 Jul 15, 2014 07:49AM  
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Guy 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 categoriz ...more
More about Guy Gavriel Kay...
“The deeds of men, as footprints in the desert.
Nothing under the circling moons is fated to last.
Even the sun goes down.”
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“Eyyia?" said her husband, and Eliane bet Danel heard the mangling of her name as music.
"You sound like a marsh frog," she said, moving to stand before his chair.
By the flickering light she saw him smile.
"Where have you been," she asked. "My dear. I've needed you so much."
"Eyyia," he tried again, and stood up. His eyes were black hollows. They would always be hollows.
He opened his arms and she moved into the space they made in the world, and laying her head against his chest she permitted herself the almost unimaginable luxury of grief.”
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