Fantasy Book Club – February 2014: Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
For February, our book club has selected The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay. I have heard so much praise for Kay’s books and that his prose is just a joy to read, so I am really looking forward to finally reading one of his books, and even happier that I get to read it with book club to see how others react to it as well. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to this one and hope that a good number of people decide to join in the discussions:
The ruling Asharites of Al-Rassan have come from the desert sands, but over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, their stern piety has eroded. The Asharite Empire has splintered into decadent city-states led by warring petty kings. King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, aided always by his friend and advisor, the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan—poet, diplomat, soldier—until a summer afternoon of savage brutality changes their relationship forever.
Meanwhile, in the north, the conquered Jaddites’ most celebrated—and feared—military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, driven into exile, leads his mercenary company south.
In the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan, these two men from different worlds meet and serve—for a time—the same master. Sharing their interwoven fate—and increasingly torn by her feelings—is Jehane, the accomplished court physician, whose own skills play an increasing role as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.
Hauntingly evocative of medieval Spain, The Lions of Al-Rassan is both a brilliant adventure and a deeply compelling story of love, divided loyalties, and what happens to men and women when hardening beliefs begin to remake—or destroy—a world.
Discussion Break Points:
Week 1: Prologue & Part I
Week 2: Parts II & III
Week 3: Part IV
Week 4: Part V
Hope you can join in our discussions!
WANT TO JOIN IN?
If you would like to join us you can visit our forums and add your name to the list here. Want to know how our Book Club works first? Read on!
CHOOSING A BOOK
All books are nominated and voted on by our members. Each month we will have a theme or subgenre for the nominations. Anyone can nominate a book and everyone can vote. In March we will be reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Check back soon to help pick a book for April. Our theme that month will be Asian inspired fantasy!
SUGGESTING A THEME/SUBGENRE FOR UPCOMING MONTHS
We want to make sure to put out themes/genres that people are interested in and cover a wide selection of books. We are happy to get suggestions and ideas for upcoming months. If you have something you would like to see us do in the future, please share it here.
SPOILER FREE DISCUSSION
Fantasy Book Club begins on the 1st of every month. Once a book is started, we discuss it in a way that will not spoil the story. We limit how much you can discuss and when, and break it down by week.
Week 1 – You may only discuss the first 1/4 of the book
Week 2 – You may only discuss the first 1/2 of the book
Week 3 – You may only discuss the first 3/4 of the book
Week 4 – Anything goes
We are going to go based on page count. So for example, if a book has 500 pages then week one you can discuss up to page 125 and then week two 250 and so on. Each week will have a separate thread, so as not to spoil the story for people who fall behind or come in late.
WHAT IF YOU WANT TO READ FASTER THAN THAT?
Not a problem at all. You are more than welcome to read ahead, but when discussing things just remember to post in the appropriate thread. And if you’re not sure when something happened you can always use the spoiler tag to hide your post.
Should you not want any spoilers or discussion during the reading process, then just come after the end of week three and start discussing the book once you have finished. (This is how most book clubs operate anyway.)
Follow @FFBookClub on Twitter for reminders when book club starts nominations, voting and discussions.