I’m a big fan of Guy Gavriel Kay, and I’ve had ‘The Last Light of the Sun’ sitting in my bookshelf for quite a while. I finally got around to reading it. The story is more violent and less complex than some of his other books, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

last_light_sun_ca

As in his other books, Guy Gavriel Kay weaves together the stories of many characters into a rich tapestry. Some characters only come into the story briefly, others stay for the whole length. The story starts with a stolen horse. Bern Thorkellson steals the horse of a dead man, preventing the completion of his funeral rites. This causes something of a problem, as he happens to be on a rather small island. The story then skips to two young Cyngael princes, who are unknowingly about to try and steal cattle from a famed war hero. The story moves between many characters, though unlike many books in which this happens, I never felt frustrated when Guy Gavriel Kay moved on to a new character. It becomes clear about halfway through what all these people have to do with each other, and begin fighting on different sides.

The characters are all well fleshed out and sympathetic, and it was hard to know what I wanted to happen, since I didn’t really want any of them die. The world they inhabit is brutal and unforgiving, and touched by magic, and it was hard to see how anything would end well. There were lots of battles in this book – it felt like there was a fight every few pages. As well as a sense of how difficult it is to survive, there is a sense that an era is coming to an end, and the world is changing. This feeling pervades the entire book as Guy Gavriel Kay weaves the past and future into the present.

Overall, I think I found this the easiest of Guy Gavriel Kay’s books to read, as the story was less complex than some of his other books. It was also very violent, and in some ways that leant a sense of hopelessness to the story, as so much of the fighting seems pointless. I did enjoy the book though, and cared for the characters. I enjoyed the references to his other books, particularly the Sarantium books. I can happily recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Guy Gavriel Kay, or who has yet to pick up one of his amazing books (my favourites are ‘Tigana’ and ‘A Song for Arbonne’).

Advertisements