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The Lions Of Al-rassan
ISBN 0060733497 / 9780060733490 / 0-06-073349-7
List price $14.95
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Set in a medieval world suggestive of Moorish Spain (but never to be confused with the real thing), Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan draws us into the historical muddle that is Al-Rassan, a land made up of city states ruled by Asharite kings, and the home of three distinctive religious faiths--Asharite, Jaddite, and Kindath. Kay focuses his story on two rivals: Rodrigo Belmonte, captain of the finest cavalry company in the Jaddite kingdoms, and Ammar ibn Khairan, poet, assassin, and former adviser to the self-styled Lion of Al-Rassan, King Amalik of Cartada. When Amalik betrays Ammar, Ammar ups the odds by joining forces with the king's son and successor, who exiles Ammar from Cartada.
The exiled adviser, in turn, travels to the court of King Badir of Ragosa, where he finds an instant connection with Rodrigo, a connection that is at the very heart of Kay's novel. Rodrigo and Ammar are also drawn together by Jehane bet Ishak, a Kindath physician who is friend, companion, healer, and lover to each of the two men at one time or another. The Lions of Al-Rassan is a big, juicy fantasy novel of the kind that we've come to expect from Kay, drawing brilliantly on history, but always on Kay's own uniquely imaginative terms. --Jeffrey Canton [via]