Lions of Al-Rassan or Song for Arbonne next?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Dystran Hart, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Dystran Hart

    Dystran Hart New Member

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    Read Tigana, LOVED it!

    Now I will read Lions of Al-Rassayan and a song for Arbonne (in between Steven Erikson that i'm now reading and I posted about a few days ago). Thinng is, although ive read each novels synopsis i really could not tell the type of novel that they are going to be.

    Just wondered about the main differences or these two books? (possibily in relation to Tigana perhaps). Anyone have any comments as to their favourite of Rassan and Arbonne - and which key positives are relating to each novel? (ie which has more action/character dialogue/plot/suspense etc)

    Any help appreciated

    Thanks
    Gavin
     
  2. Duccius

    Duccius Registered User

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    I am reading 'A Song For Arbonne' myself at the moment. I have been told that this is the weakest book of the two, so I figure that by reading it first I will appreciate 'Lions' all the more.

    If 'Arbonne' IS the weakest book, Lions must be pretty damned good!!! Because 'Arbonne' is a bloody good read, long time since I read a page turner like this!
     
  3. Nevyn

    Nevyn "hot and jolly"

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    Duccius has summed it up well !!
    Read them in the published order ( Arbonne first ) and you won't be dissapointed. Kay is brilliant in prose and story :D
     
  4. alan empty

    alan empty Hey I can edit this!

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    I enjoyed them both.

    Arbonne is a bit more of a romantic, melancholic novel from what I remember. I loved it - possibly my favourite Kay novel. It's probably a more straightforward book so you might prefer that after Erikson. I've been intending to re-read it for a while.

    Rassan has more political intrigue. Follows the paths of a number of individuals and the impact upon them of ambition & friendship. Like a lot of Kay's work it seems like a historical novel. Echoes of Spanish medieval history and the Moors (I think - don't know anything about this era of history!).

    I found both of them incredibly sad. But in a nice way :)
     
  5. Iskaral Pust

    Iskaral Pust Registered User

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    Is it some sort of series, I have Lions' at home, but should I wait until I get the other one before I read it?
     
  6. alan empty

    alan empty Hey I can edit this!

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    No, there's no connection between the books at all. I think Nevyn recommends the published order because you can see Kay's style and themes develop.

    His novels are getting less-action based, more philosophical each time. Not that he was ever David Gemmel :)
     
  7. Giarc

    Giarc New Member

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    I tend to concur with those who consider Song for Arbonne GGK's weakest work...however, that's a purely relative assessment. By other standards it's a masterpiece. Lions of Al Rassan is vying with the Sarantium books as my favourite. It features one of the most gut-clenching duels I've ever read, and then GGK toys with you for the follwing 30 pages or so like a cat with a fidgety mouse. Infuriating. Agonising. Wonderful :)
     
  8. SusF

    SusF Who me?

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    I read Lions a few months ago. It was brilliant. Very good story, wonderful characters. I LOVE Kay's characters.

    Have not read the other one. Working my way through the Sarantine Mosaic series right now.

    Susan
     
  9. Bear

    Bear I eat fish.

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    Al-Rassan is my favorite from Kay. Quite good, if a little slow at times. Haven't read Arbonne yet, but if it's his worst work, I don't think I'll like it. The Summer Tree was pretty damn weak, IMO, so if it's worse than that, I don't know how patient I'll be.
     
  10. Nevyn

    Nevyn "hot and jolly"

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    "Weakest" was the term used , I believe this to be on more of an emotive level in any case !The quality of story and writing is still the same .

    alan empty , that is exactly what I meant :) . It is not necessary to read them in any order but it is pleasurable to note Kay getting better with each book . There is one very small detail linking all his books , that if it wasn't pointed out to me I would have missed , fionavar is mentioned in all of his books as another realm the one true world (thanks estranghero) :D
     
  11. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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    Just wanted to mention that I've finished Lions of Al-Rassan, which was magnificent. The ending, heavily foreshadowed throughout the tale, was heartbreaking. I don't use that word lightly, because I'm rarely truly moved.

    Characterization of the main trio was excellent, but, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, all of the supporting characters were distinctive and well-drawn. The story itself was very interesting, I loved the atmosphere he created, and the story had genuine depth.

    Easily the most remarkable book I've read all year. I'm very saddened, but that doesn't eclipse the admiration. There's no Fantasy in this book other than the world itself and yet I rate it 9 out of 10, which is on a par with the best works of Hobb, Martin and Tolkien. Only drawback was that the war which the book had been leading up to which was handled so briefly. The story really needed another 50 pages for that final part to get the treatment it deserved.
     
  12. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    Mith, feel free to post in the BoTM discussion we had on lions a little while back, but to address one of your points:

    **** POSSIBLE AL-RASSAN SPOILERS ****



    I think another 50 pages detailing the war itself could have only hurt the book. The story is a personal one, really. It is the story of people, specifically the trio you mentioned and how they as a unit carry through the duration of their union. Once Rodrigo falls, there is no more union between those three people, and our journey with them is complete.

    One of the major themes of Kay's work is that the story was in progress before we joined it and it continues after we leave it; we merely take a look at what happens for a short time in the characters lives.

    Another thing I have found about Kay is that no matter how grand the overall situation is, the story is still about people. The viewpoint never pulls back to show an experience that is larger than that of an individual or very small group. The story may be about how a very large event(or more usually a series of very small ones that all ripple into something major) has impact on these people, but on the same hand not really focus on the effects it has on a large scale.
     
  13. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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  14. Khallandra

    Khallandra Autobot

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    Seeming as though I read Tigana then Song for Arbonne I would say that way I'm yet to read Lions but it is sitting on my bookshelf