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Sailing to Sarantium (1998)

av Guy Gavriel Kay

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Serier: The Sarantine Mosaic (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,223404,961 (4.05)174
Crispin is a master mosaicist, creating beautiful art with colored stones and glass. Summoned to Sarantium by imperial request, he bears a Queen's secret mission, and a talisman from an alchemist. Once in the fabled city, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, intrigues and violence, Crispin must find his own source of power in order to survive-and unexpectedly discovers it high on the scaffolding of his own greatest creation.… (mer)
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My favourite thing about Guy Gavriel Kay is the smoothness of his writing. This book wasn’t quite there for me, but I think it’s one of his earlier ones, so that’s fair. (His gift for finding metaphors and playing them out in the wider world is on point, though.) My next favourite thing is the world-building, how Kay takes actual history and changes it just enough to make it unfamiliar, sprinkles on magic at the edges, and then finds the politics that make it all hum. That was definitely there in this one, though I think the really humming bits are in the next book. It felt like a lot of set-up in this one? But still a great story, with a reluctant hero who’s both angry at the world, and kind and endearing and intelligent. I like the supporting cast too, though I’m hoping a few of them get fleshed out in the next book. (And that nothing bad happens to anyone. Hahaha.)

7/10 ( )
  NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
2.5
So having sex with the girl who reminds the protagonist of his daughter is, like, totally OK. And the offstage rape-based ceremony is OK, too! Because this is about religion -- a little birdie tells us so! Really, a bird does gift us with this wonderfully tasteful and sexually charged description of human sacrifice and soul-capturing. And it's fine that Kasia serves only as a rape victim in the plot because she learns to stand by her man and sees The City.

In short, this book is about this, like, guy that will make mosaics. But we only get to meet said protagonist after a very long and somewhat unnecessary prologue.

... and yet I want to know what happens next. Ugh. ( )
  treehorse | Nov 7, 2019 |
Kay writes beautifully about the "Eastern Roman Empire" and makes it relatable and familiar through the the use of bureaucracy, religion, fandom, and art. It's a little light on plot but that never keeps it from being utterly compelling. I really liked the focus on pagan beliefs and the idea that there is no real cohesion of belief, even among the upper echelon of the Empire. Looking forward to checking out the follow up some time. ( )
  ZJB | Sep 4, 2019 |
I had this book sitting on my shelves for nearly a decade before I got around to reading it. As soon as I finished it, I ordered the sequel and will be buying other books by this writer as well.
An alternative history of the Byzantine Empire, with light fantasy elements, with the central character being a mosaicist. Crispin's position as a skilled craftsman brings him into contact with people from all walks of life, and thus he becomes the central character with a circle of friends/clients from the Emperor to chariot racers.
Kay's skill is to show us how major historical events impact at all levels. One person may fear assassination, but another may not care who is in charge as long as the crop can be harvested. ( )
  JudithProctor | Mar 11, 2018 |
Pretty magnificent. Review soon on my blog. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Kay, Guy Gavrielprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Birdsong, KeithOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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. . . and we knew not whether we were on heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty, and we were at a loss how to describe it. We know only that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty.

---Chronicle of the Journey of Vladimir,
Grand Prince of Kiev, to Constantinople
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For my sons,
Samuel Alexander and Matthew Tyler,
with love, as I watch them

'. . . fashion everything
from nothing every day, and teach
The morning stars to sing.'
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Thunderstorms were common in Sarantium on midsummer nights, sufficiently so to make plausible the oft-repeated-tale that the Emperor Apius passed to the god in the midst of a towering storm, with lightning flashing and rolls of thunder besieging the Holy City.
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Crispin is a master mosaicist, creating beautiful art with colored stones and glass. Summoned to Sarantium by imperial request, he bears a Queen's secret mission, and a talisman from an alchemist. Once in the fabled city, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, intrigues and violence, Crispin must find his own source of power in order to survive-and unexpectedly discovers it high on the scaffolding of his own greatest creation.

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