Reread with FantasyFavorites
On a morning in the springtime of the year, when the snows of the mountains were melting and the rivers swift in their running, Aelis de Miravel watched her husband ride out at dawn to hunt in the forest west of their castle, and shortly after that she took horse herself, travelling north and east along the shores of the lake towards the begetting of her son.
Blaise is a corran, a soldier hired by a lord in “soft, womanish Arbonne”. Recently arrived in Arbonne from the more martial, masculine Gorhaut, Blaise doesn’t like the difference in culture and society, and doesn’t want to understand the politics or lifestyle. All he wants is to be away from his home. To escape the past.
For Gorhaut has recently come out of a long war, and dishonourably in Blaise’s opinion. But Arbonne has a past of its own, and soon he finds himself caught up in the local feuds. And with his homeland at peace for the first time in many years its leaders begin to turn their eyes towards soft, prosperous Arbonne.
As usual with GGK’s books A Song for Arbonne is a character driven story, that is too true to the reality of life to offer a happy, resolved ending. Instead we get great characters, a good plot and wonderful language.
This was a reread for me, so I knew how it was going to end. But that didn’t spoil the story, instead it let me enjoy the book even more. Knowing the characters’ pasts gave a greater understanding of their motivations and actions, rather than take away from any sense of speculation and suspense.
And of course, it is that rare of books, a single volume fantasy novel, so of course I recommend it as a great read.