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In many ways this is a continuation of the two books, "Sailing to Sarantium" and "Lord of Emperors " although it can be listened to as a stand-alone novel. The time is a thousand years later, and the world, an analogue of the Balkans, Venice, Dubrovnik, and Istanbul is much different, of course, but there are many allusions to the earlier books. The historical "real world" aspects are rather more obvious than in the last few books Kay has written.
Perhaps, because I am a Dorothy Dunnett fan, in the beginning I feared it would tell a similar sort of story to her Niccolo series, but I quickly realized it was not so. The number of characters is bewilderingly large, but the main characters soon sort themselves out. As always, Simon Vance does a good job, but he really does not have the vocal range needed to make each voice distinctive. The pace of the writing takes a while to adjust to, as Kay has a distinctive style, just as I find one has to adjust to John le Carre's slow pacing.
In short, Guy Gavriel Kay has created a satisfying new installment in his "history" of a world with two moons.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
Guy Gavriel Kay writes beautiful lyrical prose with incredible character development and captivating plots. Immersive is an excellent adjective to use for Kay's writing. Especially if you listen to the audible books. Kay's writing is rich in nuance and cadence. It is lyrical and melodic and deserves to be read by a great narrator like Simon Vance. Listening to this, and all his books is beyond a pleasurable immersive experience! Most of his books are essentially historical fiction with a quarter turn to fantasy. He takes a time and place in our world history and retells it in a fictional world. While writing an often deep and complex story, he engages the reader in the bigger questions of life.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful