The Lions of Al-Rassan

The Lions of Al-Rassan

Book - 2005
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Award-wining author Guy Gavriel's sixth novel, hauntingly evocative of medieval Spain, is both a brilliant adventure and a moving story of love, divided loyalties, and what happens to men and women when hardening beliefs begin to remake -- or destroy -- a world.

The ruling Asharites have come from the desert sands, worshipping the stars, their warrior blood fierce and pure. But over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, that stern piety has eroded. The Asharies empire has splintered into decadent city-states lead by warring petty kinds.

King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, adding city after city to his realm, even though Cartada is threatened by forces both within and without. Almalik is aided 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 Jaddite's most celebrated -- and feared -- military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, is driven into exile in the wake of events following the death of the king he loved. Rodrigo leads his mercenary company south, to the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan.

In the exquisite lakeside city of Ragosa, Rodrigo Belmonte and Ammar ibn Kharian meet and serve -- for a time -- the same master. Sharing the interwoven fate of these two men from different worlds -- and increasingly torn in her feelings -- is Jehane, the beautiful, accomplished court physician, whose own skills play an increasing role as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.

Publisher: New York : Eos, 2005
Edition: First Eos trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©1995
ISBN: 9780060733490
Characteristics: 504 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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Nov 02, 2019

Not my favorite Guy Gavriel Kay Book (that might be A Song for Arbonne) but of course it's beautifully written, with well rounded, interesting characters, & a great storyline. The ending to the book is disappointing and could have been shorter by at least 50 pages.

Oct 04, 2017


Apr 26, 2017

Guy Gavriel Kay has become my favorite author of adult fantasy and this book, I believe, is one of the best he has written with a depth and texture that I find incredible.

Aug 31, 2013

I loved this book! Fascinating characters, very suspenseful, and details that evoke the sights, sounds, and smells of the world he's describing. Love, honor, faith, decadence, murder, revenge, cutting-edge medieval medical miracles... this book has it all.

One thing I noticed, though, was that even though the main character is a woman, and there are a number of other "strong" female characters, this book still doesn't pass the Bechdel test.

Mar 08, 2011

This was a great book! One Kay's best! The characters were beautiful; I cared for them throughout. And he drew the tension and suspense of the end through past the last page into the epilogue. WOW!

Dec 22, 2009

Beautifully crafted, with characters that lift off the page to become genuine actors in a sweeping saga that pits peoples and cultures against each other while throwing individuals from these cultures into a complicated maelstrom of human interaction.

It is one of my favourite books.


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DanniOcean Jun 25, 2009

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


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