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The Lions of Al-Rassan

The Lions of al-Rassan - Guy Gavriel Kay

Story revolve around people of three religion and their struggle to prevail over each other. These three religions are Ashar (worshipers of Stars), Jad(worshipers of Sun) and Kindath (worshipers of Moons). On a day that was known as “day of moat”, physician Jehane bet Ishak, a Kindath, met Ammar ibn Khairan, most famous Ashar warrior, and Ser Rodrigo Belmonte, a fierce Jad captain. This is the story of how these three become friends and what they choose when it come to make a decision between friendship, religion and love. 

Story is set in the medieval Spain and GGk has created an extremely beautiful world. As always his writing is impeccable and lyrical. I loved this verse:

Who knows love?
Who says he knows love?
What is love, tell me.
"I know love,"
Says the littlest one.
"Love is like a tall oak tree."
"Why is love a tall oak tree? Little one tell me."
"Love is a tree
For the shelter it gives
In sunshine or in storm."
Who knows love?
Who says he knows love?
What is love, tell me.
"I know love," Says the littlest one. "Love is like a flower."
"Why is love a flower? Little one tell me."
"Love is a flower
For the sweetness it gives
Before it dies away."

He has created three exceptional characters in Jehane, Ammar and Rodrigo. Their journey till the end of the book is breathtakingly beautiful. Even the supporting characters were amazing. 

And the theme of the book, war over religion evokes so many emotions. After finishing the book I was questioning myself did God really wants His children to slaughter each other over His name? Or why we can’t accept each other as Husari (Ashar) and Alvar (Jad) did in the book and how beautifully Husari described this union:

“I think,” Husari murmured, “such a person - if we could find one in Ragosa this week - might say we two represent the best the peninsula has to offer. Brave Alvar and my poor self, as we stand humbly before you, are proof that men of different worlds can blend and mingle those worlds. That we can take the very finest things from each, to make a new whole, shining and imperishable.” 

The end of the book was bittersweet. Even if had ended the other way around I would have been equally sad as I’m now. 

So if you like reading, read this beautiful tale of love, passion, betrayal, hatred, survival and hope.