The Last Light of the Sun features relatively more communion with the spirit world and entities within it, which exposes more of the flawed internal logic and takes away most of the mystery. I prefer the way it was done in Sailing to Sarantium.
The historical settings are brief and are filled in just enough to serve the story. A story which is limited to this one book, Kay one of those few authors in this genre with that skill of brevity.
A very strong suit in this book are the descriptions of the lives of people who pass through the story. Kay compresses their entire lives up until the touch point and everything that comes after in a single page or so. By doing so he paints a powerful picture of possibility, of the lives of normal people in those times, the harshness and the opportunities of what could have been and of what was.
This meta-trick is also sometimes used on the main characters, and the change of pace and perspective provide a very welcome bit of reflection on the characters and their actions.
All in all a nice story and definitely recommended if the setting interests you....Continua
Unlike many fantasy novels you will not find any great quest. No one sets out to save the world, there is no all-powerful evil to defeat. Instead the novel focuses on a wide range of characters whose lives intersect at various places and times, and through whose experiences we come to know Kay’s alternate world.
Kay also introduces characters whose lives are affected by the events that are more central to the novel, briefly telling their stories over a few pages before returning to the main characters. The reason, I think, is to highlight how ordinary people’s lives go on no matter the great events. Yes these events have great impact, but life goes on. Always has and always will. History is not just something that happens because of kings and generals, but it is the story of ordinary people. Kay also uses these stories to make a point, to tell the reader something;
“It happens this way. Small things, accidents of timing and congruence: and then all that flows in our lives from such moments owes its unfolding course, for good or ill, to them. We walk (or stumble) along paths laid down by people and events of which we remain forever ignorant.”
Overall I enjoyed this book, the different ways of life, the characters never felt forced or false, but I never found any that I found so fascinating I’d skim other stories. The closest to a character like that was Alun ab Owyn, a prince of the Cyngael who had quite an encounter in a calm, still pool one moonless night....Continua