The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 24 November 2003]

Review: The Lions of Al-Rassan

Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the most interesting authors working in the fantasy genre today, and The Lions of Al-Rassan is one of his best works.

The Lions of Al-Rassan takes place in a fictitious setting closely resembling medieval Spain, where a declining culture is beset with difficulties external as well as internal. Mr. Kay provides an intricate and moving plot with great detail, and his prose is sensuous and evocative.

While this is fantasy, Mr. Kay, as usual, avoids the clichés of the genre. Indeed, there is almost no magic, no non-humans, and no Dark Lord bent on world domination. The plot revolves solidly around the foibles of men and women, all driven by purely human desires and instincts.

My one nit to pick with the book is the sometimes annoying greatness of our protagonists. It becomes a bit stifling when all the main characters are paragons of virtue and greatness, even though they are tried and tempted.

The Lions of Al-Rassan is a great read, and really makes me want to bone up on the history of medieval Spain.

« First spam


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Impressions moving from an Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 5

Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?