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April 10th, 2004, 07:14 AM
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.

April 10th, 2004, 12:55 PM
Mith, feel free to post in the BoTM discussion we had on lions a little while back, but to address one of your points:


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.

April 10th, 2004, 01:04 PM
I put both Mith's thoughts and my response in the BoTM discussion of LoAR, as well. Feel free to check it out and make further comments in the

Book Club discussion of Lions of Al-Rassan (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6755)

April 10th, 2004, 09:13 PM
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