The Lions of Al-Rassan

Over the last many years and even though they’ve caused me many tears Guy Gavriel Kay’s the_lions_of_al-rassanbooks have maintained their place as pivotal points in my life.

As an author, his works set the mark that my fiction aims for and as a reader his characters have become part of my inner monologue.

My heart has soared at the beauty of the language and crashed painfully into the politics, fanaticism and general assholishness of the real worlds he presents.

Characters and Conflicts


A Kindath physician, Jehane is a strong woman in the midst of a culture that does not allow women to be strong. Ostracised because of her Kindath faith she struggles to deal with her bitterness over the treatment of her brilliant father and her budding feelings for two shining men. One a servant of the king who maimed her father; the other the war leader for a nation that considers her ‘subhuman’ because of her faith.


A warrior/poet.  Since his youth Ammar has served the Kings of Cartada. He is urbane, cultured, brilliant, everything attractive to Jehane; he is also the first minister to the King, who blinded her father.


The Horsemen of Jad are a warrior nation driven to re-establish their dominion over the lands of Al-Rassan. A mirror image of Ammar, Roderigo has served his King all his life with passion and loyalty.

Two good men, no middle ground, can friendship and even love bloom in a world ruled by such fanaticism.


I love Alvar. I admit it. He is so identifiable and so well developed. A young man in the company of Roderigo he has been raised on stories of the ‘ungodly’ Kindath and the ‘decadent’ southern kingdoms of Al-Rassan. On his first mission, he meets and becomes infatuated with the dark-haired Jehane.