First of all: Yes, I know, I am much funnier when I dislike stuff. Everyone is.
And: Yes, I promise to read something crappy next. (Chances are good; I’m currently reading a book by John Irving, who might be a good author if he didn’t obsess about sex that much.)
So: Sorry, but The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the most excellent novels that I have read in, well, a long time.
Besides that there really is not much to say. The book follows multiple point-of-view characters, each of them real and likeable enough to adopt in a heartbeat. The setting is medieval Spain, or what medieval Spain might have looked like had things gone a little different, but just a little, mind you. The story is powerful, passionate and mesmerizing, something I haven’t experienced to such a degree since… let me think… The Dark Tower, I’d say. Completely different type of storytelling, but both sweep you off your feet.
My husband read Tigana (also by Guy Gavriel Kay) recently and had a similar experience. So yay for Kay. And that must be true, because it rhymes.
(Do not continue reading if you want to keep your respect for me as a professional geek, but) the book also features one hell of a love story. I can’t help it, I’m a girl, don’t hold it against me.
So the bottom line is this: Read this book if you love good fantasy/alternate history with strong characters and really really excellent writting. The Lions of Al-Rassan was really a bit of an eye-opener to me in that respect, seeing that in the past I tended to look down on alternate history stories as the refuge of post-menopause women with boring jobs. My bad.