Loved this book. Pretty much devoured it in one day, and it isn’;t the shortest of books.
The version I read was published by EOS and is categorised as fantasy, as are all the books by Kay that I have come across so far, but in reality this has very few elements of what most people would regard of fantasy. Yes it has a map at the start, and the countries involved are made up, but the history and culture of these places are based on that of Spanish history, medieval Iberia with its African aspects as well as European.
This is my third Kay book recently, I’ve read Tigana and A Song for Arbonne and loved them both. Lions has the same wonderful writing, and similar themes, in that it dealt with love, loyalty, honour and friendship. I’ve rated this one higher than the other two, but now that I think about it I’;m not really sure if it is better. But that would make me move the other two up rather than this one down. Think I am just reluctant to give out 10s
Lions of Al-Rassan tells the story of many different characters, all from different backgrounds and cultures, how they meet and form relationships. How these relationships deepen, yet are challenged by history and culture, by the differences between the countries/religions. It is a story of loyalty,and love, and how they are not enough.
Despite being gutted by the ending, I loved this book