[Read] ➪ Sailing to Sarantium (The Sarantine Mosaic, #1) By Guy Gavriel Kay – Diclofenac16.us

Sailing to Sarantium (The Sarantine Mosaic, #1) Crispin Is A Master Mosaicist, Creating Beautiful Art With Colored Stones And Glass Summoned To Sarantium By Imperial Request, He Bears A Queen S Secret Mission, And A Talisman From An Alchemist Once In The Fabled City, With Its Taverns And Gilded Sanctuaries, Chariot Races And Palaces, Intrigues And Violence, Crispin Must Find His Own Source Of Power In Order To Survive And Unexpectedly Discovers It High On The Scaffolding Of His Own Greatest Creation

[Read] ➪ Sailing to Sarantium (The Sarantine Mosaic, #1)  By Guy Gavriel Kay – Diclofenac16.us
  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • Sailing to Sarantium (The Sarantine Mosaic, #1)
  • Guy Gavriel Kay
  • English
  • 08 April 2019
  • 0743450094

    10 thoughts on “[Read] ➪ Sailing to Sarantium (The Sarantine Mosaic, #1) By Guy Gavriel Kay – Diclofenac16.us


  1. says:

    Most of today s fantasy can be traced through branches back to rather small root Epic fantasy can be traced back Lord of the rings, fairytale inspired fantasy like that of Gaiman or Diana Wyn Jones can be traced to Lud in the Mist, grimdark to Dread empire, military fantasy to Black company, science fantasy to Amber chronicles Kay is one of few authors who s work come from different tree entirely as he draws inspiration from history and historical fiction Sailing to Sarantium play outMost of today s fantasy can be traced through branches back to rather small root Epic fantasy can be traced back Lord of the rings, fairytale inspired fantasy like that of Gaiman or Diana Wyn Jones can be traced to Lud in the Mist, grimdark to Dread empire, military fantasy to Black company, science fantasy to Amber chronicles Kay is one of few authors who s work come from different tree entirely as he draws inspiration from history and historical fiction Sailing to Sarantium play outlike book of historical fiction with personal story of an artisan as main focus Setting is heavily inspired by Byzantium of Justinian I Beside few fantasy elements this is very authentic setting and technology, medicine and way of life match those from history books So Kay put story in historic setting but without restraints of real world s history and geography In fact way supernatural elements are used issimilar to magical realism than fantasy.I remember Terry Goodkind talking about not liking his books being labeled as fantasy because he writes books about people no matter what setting they are in Now Goodkind is delusional, self loving army but what he says about himself can be applied to Kay Story is slow paced and not that eventful and without huge twists or tear jerking moments This to me would generally sounds like a flaw as book sounds dull when you describe it to people but it really isn t This book relieson elaborate worldbuilding and very well developed characters to keep readers attention and it did keep me enthralled from first to last page.Considering my previous experiences with Kay I think it s not too soon to put of on my favorite fantasy authors list


  2. says:

    I would like to have been in the room when Guy Gavriel Kay pitched this story to his publishers It s a historical fantasy novel based on the Byzantine Empire and the works of W.B Yeats The main character is an artist caught up in political schemes during a tumultuous time Uh.The Byzantine Empire and poems And the hero isn t any kind of an archer or a sorcerer Some kind of bad ass like we usually see in these books No, he s just a mosaicist That s a guy who glues bits of colored glass I would like to have been in the room when Guy Gavriel Kay pitched this story to his publishers It s a historical fantasy novel based on the Byzantine Empire and the works of W.B Yeats The main character is an artist caught up in political schemes during a tumultuous time Uh.The Byzantine Empire and poems And the hero isn t any kind of an archer or a sorcerer Some kind of bad ass like we usually see in these books No, he s just a mosaicist That s a guy who glues bits of colored glass or tiles to walls or ceiling to create images Uh.that s great, Guy Why don t you go write that up and maybe we ll take a look at it right after we get through this pile of manuscripts featuring groups of swordsman, thieves, elves and magicians on heroic quests as they battle orcs and goblins Set in the same world as The Lions of Al Rassan but several centuries earlier, Caius Crispus a k a Crispin is a talented mosaicist with a fiery temper who is still mourning the family he lost to plague An Imperial Courier arrives bearing a summons from the emperor for his partner Martinian to come to the capital, Sarantium Martinian claims that he s too old to travel and insists that Crispin take his place instead Crispin is reluctantly pushed into making the hazardous road journey, and soon finds himself being used as a pawn by powerful people.Wait a second If he travels by land rather than sea than why is the book called Sailing to Sarantium Kay explains it like thisTo say of a man that he was sailing to Sarantium was to say that his life was on the cusp of change poised for emergent greatness, brilliance, fortune or else at the very precipice of a final and absolute fall as he met something too vast for his capacity Ah, so that explains it This is the first book of Kay s two part Sarantine Mosaic, and as with the other one I recently read by him, The Lions of Al Rassan, he does a masterful job of building an intricate world full of political and religious conflicts as well as enough day in the life details to make it all feel authentic and realistic Having his lead character be a smart artist with a tendency of speaking his mind and putting him into the middle of a palace intrigue plot when he s in over his head made for some interesting scenes that are different that the usual kind of hack n slash stuff you d expect to be driving a story like this There is just enough action and violence to make it feel dangerous and not just a bunch of people standing around talking, and Crispin s journey as a way to get over his grief is a nice personal hook.A couple of points kept this from getting to four stars One of the things that set The Lions of Al Rassan apart from other fantasies was its lack of any kind of magic or supernatural elements other than one supporting character having some very limited telepathy and precognition Here there is a full blown alchemist who has created something that he gives to Crispin as a gift, and then there s an encounter with a pagan entity I was farinterested in Crispin navigating the political and religious mine fields of dealing with the Emperor s court than any of these elements Obviously this was a personal preference, and I m sure some readers will feel the exact opposite Also, there are several strong female characters in positions of power here, and that s to the book s credit However, after the third or four time that Crispin finds himself in the presence of one of these women and finds himself flabbergasted by their intellect and beauty, the conversations took on a rinse and repeat flavor Essentially they have so much in common that they start feeling like the same character and that s too bad because the first couple of interactions really worked well.All in all I liked this but didn t love it I d read it before but remembered little of the plot, and I can t remember how it ends in the next book either so it obviously didn t blow my mind I ll probably move on to Lord of Emperors again at some point, but I m not in any great hurry


  3. says:

    4.35 A buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Read Group, because we love Kay s storytellingHe wanted to achieve something of surpassing beauty that would last A creation that would mean that he the mosaic worker Caius Crispus of Varena had been born, and lived a life, and had come to understand a portion of the nature of the world, of what ran through and beneath the deeds of women and men in their souls and in the beauty and the pain of their short living beneath the sunI g 4.35 A buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Read Group, because we love Kay s storytellingHe wanted to achieve something of surpassing beauty that would last A creation that would mean that he the mosaic worker Caius Crispus of Varena had been born, and lived a life, and had come to understand a portion of the nature of the world, of what ran through and beneath the deeds of women and men in their souls and in the beauty and the pain of their short living beneath the sunI grew up with stories of the Golden Age of Byzantium Not hard to do, when we still have churches and mosaics left on the Balkans as legacy of that time Reading Sailing to Sarantium reminded me of those histories and it is exactly as the author intended Sarantium is the Fantasy representation of that most glorious and opulent of times in Constantinople, when gold was heavy in the coffers and gems were mixed with the colored glass chips adorning the walls and window panes of the houses of G d Not to be outshines by the divinity, those rich and powerful enough adorned their own households in similar lavish fashion, proving to lesser beings how close they are to the Almighty and how the poor are insignificant compared to them This is a tactic employed by the self aggrandizing power mongers since beginning of time, but it does seem like Empires, when reaching their highs and are on the verge of reaching that edge, after which follows a demise, tend to find most reasons for building magnificent monuments to their rains, statues of their heroes, and art proclaiming their G ds Loudly and very expensivelyO sages standing in God s holy fireAs in the gold mosaic of a wall,Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,And be the singing masters of my soul.Consume my heart away sick with desireAnd fastened to a dying animalIt knows not what it is and gather meInto the artifice of eternitySailing to Byzantium, by W B YeatsThe homage G G Kay pays to Yeats is obvious, but also does the great poet justice Just as in the short poem, so in this first part of a duology we are given beautiful prose and the reflection on loss, mortality, and what is left behind after we are gone What is a legacy and how your role in everyday life directly effects the meaning of the concept Is it enough to be remembered by your loved ones, or by a country, or by a civilization What is the best way to make our mark and do we need a monument to ourselves other than what we do with our lives Is flesh of your flesh the only way to continue who you are, not just the material of which you are made And this is just the legacy part The grief and loss of your beloved spouse and children, are they enough for the ones left behind to attempt to stop time and refuse all joy that might follow Does a happy moment after their death dishonor them Or having love for someone new make the love you felt for them less or cheapen its valueBut what did one own if life, if love, could be taken away to darkness Was it all not just a loan, a leasehold, transitory as candlesThe story, in the tradition of GGK s world building and storytelling, is about a talented Artisan, who is a well respected mosaic creator Caius Crispus of Varena is on his way to Sarantium under a false name and with a contract to craft a mosaic for the newest basilica equivalent of Haghia Sofia , just build by the current Emperor Valerius and the Empress, who have no hairs and feel the pressure of newer, emerging powers bubbling in the political swamp around them Faced with their mortality and well versed in the ways of toppling powerful figures, Valerius and his wife are looking for their rode to immortality On the road from the Western seat of the Empire, Crispin has some very moving experiences with one of the Old G ds and a very spiritual revelation when looking at a representation of the One G d of his fate A very knowledgeable GR friend of mine was very good to tell me that such reactions to art have a name hyperkulturemia See, we always learn something newAmazing, when you thought about it how quickly made decisions became the life you livedCrispin is quickly immersed in the politics and intrigues of the high echelons and just as quickly his life becomes imperiled However, amid loss, danger and supernatural beings, he also struggles with staying true to the memory of his perished wife, since he seems surrounded by some extraordinary women, gifted not only with good looks and high station, but intellect and whit, and see him almost as a challenge as to which one of them would get him to surrender I love the way GGK describes art, atmosphere and women I don t think I could grow tired of his veneration of all three This is why, and the political intrigue, of course, I am looking forward to reading the conclusion to this marvelous series I know not all enjoy his writing style, but it fits my reading preferences juuuust right Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you Always find what you Need in the pages of a Good Book


  4. says:

    I have a love hate relationship with Kay s work loved Tigana, really liked Song for Arbonne, put Lions of Al Rassan down in disgust halfway through Last Light of the Sun is the only one I ve been ambivalent about so far Maybe this book is too similar to Lions for me and most people seem to love Lions if you do, you might want to ignore this review Or maybe I ve just read too much Kay.At any rate, this book is about Crispin, a mosaicist who travels to Sarantium a very thinly disguised B I have a love hate relationship with Kay s work loved Tigana, really liked Song for Arbonne, put Lions of Al Rassan down in disgust halfway through Last Light of the Sun is the only one I ve been ambivalent about so far Maybe this book is too similar to Lions for me and most people seem to love Lions if you do, you might want to ignore this review Or maybe I ve just read too much Kay.At any rate, this book is about Crispin, a mosaicist who travels to Sarantium a very thinly disguised Byzantium in the place of hisfamous but aged partner, who was summoned to work on a project for the Emperor I like historical fantasy, and I liked the worldbuilding here the charioteering, the glimpses into the famous bureaucracy, and the descriptions of the world What I didn t like was just about everything else.The plot Crispin travels He gets to Sarantium He meets a bunch of people who are involved in intrigues A bit part character tries to kill him Then it ends If you want any kind of climax, let alone a resolution, buy book two, I guess Given my reaction to this one, I have little interest in book two, and I m still of the belief that the first book in a sequence ought to have a complete plot arc And what we have here isn t even all that interesting halfway through the book I put it down for a month and read some other books.Then there s the characters Almost every woman in this book is a current or former prostitute Literally every woman in the book except Crispin s mother, who has a walk on role throws herself at Crispin right after meeting him, or otherwise tries to seduce him For that matter, almost everyone in this book of either gender is obsessed with Crispin He shows up in Sarantium, and all of the sudden, aristocratic women are stalking him back to his hotel and getting in his bed, aristocratic men are stalking him to the bathhouses to have a private chat, the Emperor and Empress are drinking and bantering and flirting, of course, in the Empress s case with him in their private chambers Why I have no idea.Because unfortunately, Crispin is an uninteresting character for whom I never felt any sympathy All the tired fantasy stereotypes are on display here Dead family in the backstory Check Speaks his mind at inopportune moments, like when he s presented at court Check No formal weapons training, but can still soundly defeat an assassin who has the advantage of surprise and walk away with nothingthan a bruise or two Check Rescues pretty, hapless girls for no apparent reason and is rewarded with sex Check The only thing here I hadn t seen many times before was the mosaicist thing, which did not come close to redeeming this tiresome, obnoxious character Some of the other characters were much better and there is some decent character development in this book, but it suffers from the focus on Crispin.And finally, there s the writing Stylistically, Kay s a competent writer, sometimes even a very good writer This book is not poetically written like Tigana It is well written compared to most fantasy, but Kay has a tendency to become overwrought He s quite obviously in love with his own use of language Don t keep telling me how significant and nuanced and layered every character interaction is SHOW me the consequences of these interactions There s a tendency to rhapsodize about character emotions, and for characters to have exaggerated emotional reactions to each other s words and actions, to prove to us in the absence of events actually happening just how important and meaningful this all is.In sum if you re new to Kay, don t start here If you ve loved all his other books, and you don t care that this is only half a book, then go ahead, you ll probably love this one too If you re a heterosexual male, maybe you ll enjoy the wish fulfillment fantasy As for me, I ve had as much of this author as I can take


  5. says:

    This book is like a mosaic I am at a loss how to properly categorise it It is neither a place driven nor a character driven story The first part is just a road tripping gig It has a feeling of three, loosely connected novellas about people who meet on the road under weird circumstances The second part reads like a prelude to the next instalment and remains inconclusive in terms of shape and direction However, this inability to pin down one particular trope or arch revenge, love, quest, et This book is like a mosaic I am at a loss how to properly categorise it It is neither a place driven nor a character driven story The first part is just a road tripping gig It has a feeling of three, loosely connected novellas about people who meet on the road under weird circumstances The second part reads like a prelude to the next instalment and remains inconclusive in terms of shape and direction However, this inability to pin down one particular trope or arch revenge, love, quest, etc attests to Kay s ingenuity Only a truly great writer is able to write a novel composed of precious and semi precious stones that put together create something evenvaluable and beautiful.The stones are the stories and back stories and side tales that join together and yet remain distinct in their own unique way There are lots of different POVs, from a lowly scullion boy to an arrogant imperial courier to a wise alchemist The writing style for those unaccustomed to Kay s elegant prose is so very opulent in a way fitting to the Byzantine, I mean Sarantine , opulence At the same time, sometimes I was drifting away because of the background detail buildup, like the background of the soldier or the internal monologue of his superior These are lovely written, but not in any way that I see indispensable for the main story.In fact, there are several internal monologues, personal reflections and musings It is all wonderfully written, both in terms of narrative and design each tiniest detail fits perfectly into the whole mosaic of the story , but it takes time to take it all in even though the pace of the novel is fast and you will be met with a cliffhanger after a heartbreak after a plot twist The main protagonist, Caius Crispus, described ascholeric and of dark humour, and not inclined to be properly respectfulTotally me , is a mosaicist traveling to Sarantium, the city of Cities, under a false name, and carrying an overture of marriage to the Emperor, who was very much married, and to the most powerful and dangerous woman in the known world Along the road he picks up two unorthodox companions, a slave girl and a young man of few words but many deeds Throughout his journey, Crispus is guarded by the dead, hiding behind the memory of love, but when he arrives into the city he realises that he had come endowed with allegiances and enemies before he d even set out for the journey Quickly, he needs to learn what game he d become a small piece in, how he is being deployed and to what end.I loved the court and the intrigues of Sarantium Beautifully written both in terms of machinations as well as conversations barbed with innuendos and diplomatic evasiveness reminded me of the Goblin Emperor Also, Kay managed to create one of the most impressive royal marriages The emotional bond between the Emperor and the Empress is strong, butimportantly they are equally matched in terms of intelligence and wits and courage Kay writes that Valerius and Alixanawere so far ahead of anyone else in this game of courts and intrigues that it wasn t really a game at all They reminded me of Mr and Mrs Underwood although they are not as sinister as Frank and his wife One thing that absolutely has to be said about Kay s prose in Sarantium the way he pays homage to women is simply phenomenal Maybe because the MC is so very virile and I think so subconsciously hungry for females, even if he guards himself with a memory of a dead love Women are celebrated, praised, and desired Kay s descriptions read like worshipShe was exquisite, was Styliane Daleina, like pale glass, pale ivory, like one of the knife blades made in the far west of the world, in Esperana, where they crafted such things to be works of beauty as well as agents of death orCrispin looked at the woman in the room with him and had a sense of having entered black waters, with unimaginably complex currents trying to suck him down I love the way Kay venerates beauty, wits and courage and compassionate nature of women On the side note, the lonely sex scene was totally random, evenso than those in Tigana Maybe this is just Kay s quirk Truly, Kay s imagination is a wild and dangerous creature when unleashed I sailed to Sarantium and I don t regret it Why, I look forward to Lord of Emperors ___My review of the Lord of EmperorsThis was a buddy read with the Kay Squad at FBR


  6. says:

    Guy Gavriel Kay excels at writing those moments when the world stops, the characters hold their breath, and I do too Those moments when powers beyond comprehension are right in front of you worldly or supernatural , and no one knows what the outcome will be, where everything hangs on a knife s edge Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire revie Guy Gavriel Kay excels at writing those moments when the world stops, the characters hold their breath, and I do too Those moments when powers beyond comprehension are right in front of you worldly or supernatural , and no one knows what the outcome will be, where everything hangs on a knife s edge Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


  7. says:

    What can I say It seems to be difficult to rate Kay s books any less than 5 full and deserved stars This story offers, among others, a compelling game of courts and intrigues , violent intricacies, the clash of the sacred and profane, journeys and brilliant colors, all skillfully brushed with Kay s trademark themes and storytelling.Surprisingly, this book has a fewmagical elements than those I read before, namely the brilliant masterpieces that are The Lions of Al Rassan and A Song for What can I say It seems to be difficult to rate Kay s books any less than 5 full and deserved stars This story offers, among others, a compelling game of courts and intrigues , violent intricacies, the clash of the sacred and profane, journeys and brilliant colors, all skillfully brushed with Kay s trademark themes and storytelling.Surprisingly, this book has a fewmagical elements than those I read before, namely the brilliant masterpieces that are The Lions of Al Rassan and A Song for Arbonne, and they fit very well into a story fashioned after the reign of Justinian the Great Moving with ease in his alternate Byzantium, Kay crafts an engaging tale and gives all his characters a full voice, each with well rounded thoughts and personalities.Through the gradual world building, the captivating introduction of the characters and the use of foreshadowing if a bit pronounced the narrative unfolds in a crescendo of unpredictability and tension, achieving an impeccable immersive effect and seamlessly bridging the two instalments of this duet.Do yourself a favor, pick a book penned by Kay You moved through time and things were left behind and yet stayed with you The nature of how men lived He had thought to avoid that, to hide from it, after they d died It could not be done.


  8. says:

    My favourite Kay book so far A masterpiece A wonderful homage to art, to women, to beauty and to love Kay s writing is elegant, almost poetic at times and rich beyond measure at others, matching the greatness and opulence of Sarantium He will take you on a journey through which you will just have to pay attention to the road, having no clue whatsoever as to the destination But it is all worth it In itself, the story is simple Crispin, a brilliant mosaicist, still grieving for the family he My favourite Kay book so far A masterpiece A wonderful homage to art, to women, to beauty and to love Kay s writing is elegant, almost poetic at times and rich beyond measure at others, matching the greatness and opulence of Sarantium He will take you on a journey through which you will just have to pay attention to the road, having no clue whatsoever as to the destination But it is all worth it In itself, the story is simple Crispin, a brilliant mosaicist, still grieving for the family he lost to the plague, who lives only for his arcane craft and cares little for ambition, less for money, and for intrigue not at all, must answer an imperial summons to Sarantium, to work on the greatest art work ever imagined In this world still half wild and tangled with magic, no journey is simple Bearing with him a Queen s seductive promise, Crispin sets out for the fabled city from which none return unaltered, guarded only by his wits and a bird soul talisman from an alchemist s treasury.The first half of the book describes his journey, during which Crispin risks his life, gets into trouble, and wins the devotion of a clever former slave girl, the loyalty of a hired hand of few words and sound deeds, and the friendship and respect of a rough and foul mouthed commander.The second part of the book deals with Crispin s introduction to the Sarantium court and introduces us to the ruthless game for power, in which our unsuspecting mosaicist has already unwittingly become an important player.Art and beauty are foremost present in this book.From the description of the masterful mosaics to that of the fabled Sarantium, from the view of a forest in sunlight to the sight of a mythic zubir standing in a clearing at dawn, above a little bird lying on its side on the grass, Kay gives us art and beauty.Then we have the women Clever and strong women Women that take a man s breath away with their beauty then make him fear for his life the next minute with just their wits for a weapon Kay honours women not only by setting them in high places in the great power game, but also by giving them courage, strength and resilience, even if they are mere slave girls He even honours them through memory, a lost love, a lost wife, a lost girl, whose memory will never leave the man to whom they once belonged.And finally the love Love not as sex but as feeling Crispin s still burning love for his lost wife The love of a man for a few captured souls for whose freedom he is ready to lay down his life The love of emperor Valerius for his beloved Alixana, which is so deceptively simple described that one cannot help but feel its intensity The Emperor reads no mystic certainties of any kind in the late night flames, sitting at the woman s feet, one hand touching her instep and the jewelled slipper He says, Never leave me Wherever would I go she murmurs after a moment, trying to keep the tone light and just failing.He looks up Never leave me, he says again, the grey eyes on hers this time.He can do this to her, take breath from chest and throat A constriction of great need After all these years Not in life, she replies.And last, but not least, the love of art Love brought to us by a simple craftsman, willing to risk being maimed or blinded to follow his dream, to create the greatest artwork ever imagined, a masterpiece to be remembered for ages to come.How far would you go to follow your dream How far will Crispin go I m eagerly waiting to read the sequel.Buddy read with the Kay Squad from Fantasy Buddy Reads


  9. says:

    As my first G.G.K book, I wasn t entirely sure what to expect Nothing wrong with that in fact, I often prefer not having any expectations going into a book But with Kay, I often heard the term alternate history or historical fantasy I was wary of those labels, and in fact I was reallyconfused than anything else since I noticed people using them interchangeably and they clearly are not synonymous with each other After reading Sailing to Sarantium, it s clear that the book is nei As my first G.G.K book, I wasn t entirely sure what to expect Nothing wrong with that in fact, I often prefer not having any expectations going into a book But with Kay, I often heard the term alternate history or historical fantasy I was wary of those labels, and in fact I was reallyconfused than anything else since I noticed people using them interchangeably and they clearly are not synonymous with each other After reading Sailing to Sarantium, it s clear that the book is neither Kay certainly drew his inspiration from history, and the setting of his book is modeled around a comparable historical framework Sarantium is obviously meant to be Kay s version of Byzantium Valerius is clearly meant to be Justinian, with Theodora playing the inspiration for his wife So yes, in a sense the book is very historical in nature perhaps at times, blatantly so but historically inspired is probably the best term for it I have to give Kay credit for the finesse of his inspired world It feels real enough as though the world could actually have existed, but uniquely portrayed enough that you only rarely feel like Kay is borrowing too heavily Kay s world never seems forced There is a certain way of talking about the characters in the book that I never got used to A certain detachment, that left me feeling like I never really got to know the characters, or become invested in them I felt like any or all of the main characters could be killed off at a moment s notice, and I would simply shrug my shoulders and read onward Very little of my enjoyment from the book came from the characters Sure, they did things and said things, but they were never portrayed in a way that made me excited to read about one person over another They were all merely tools and pawns for the purpose of moving the larger story The prose too, had it s high points and low points, yet drastically so In every chapter, there were moments of noticeably awkward sentences, and poorly structured syntax that forced me to pause and reread the sentence just to make sure I actually read it right Yet, on the other hand, some passages were absolutely beautiful and passionately cut to the heart of matters profound to my heart That, I think, is Kay s biggest strength the musings and positions on society, politics, or the human condition Kay s detached style of writing seems to shine when his characters are pondering the nature of existence, reality, and the afterlife Theological debates seem so muchpoignant, with Kay s non emotional voice driving it The thing that makes characterization suffer in this novel, is the thing that makes the meat of the novel shine Sure, I couldn t seem to care too much about the characters Sure, Kay seems to draw so many direct parallels to history that the book might as well just be historical fiction But other than that, Kay s commentary of life, death, and everything in between and beyond, impressed me and resonated with me I m intrigued to see what else is in store for the second volume of this two part novel


  10. says:

    I found this book a bit of a struggle to read until I came to the last third of the book, which seemed to fly by quickly and overall made the bookenjoyable I wasengaged in the story oncepolitical intrigue was involved and most of our characters were in Sarantium Well worth reading, especially if you like historical fantasy novels.

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