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By Guy Gavriel Kay

Discussed September 2000

Buy Lions of Al-Rassan

Discussion Questions

  1. Jehane is a Kindath (Jewish) woman who has few if any problems being accepted as a competent physician. Does this seem plausible given the generally patriarchic nature of this society?
  2. Kay has written several novels which are clearly based on a particular historical place and time and which reflect actual historical events, but the names have been changed and the geography altered slightly. Why does Kay do this? Is this an effective device?
  3. If there are any experts on Moorish Spain in the room, how closely do the events in this book correspond to actual historical events?
  4. There is little magic or sorcery in this book. Is this a fantasy or a historical novel where the names have been changed?
  5. At a panel at the recent WorldCon there was a discussion of how most fantasy novels place late 20th century characters in a medieval background. Does this book do that?
  6. There are a lot of characters and frequent changes in viewpoint in this novel. How easy is it to follow?
  7. How do you feel about the treatment of the gay/bisexual characters?
  8. This book is on the Lambda SciFi recommended reading list which says:
    • An openly-bisexual assassin, a rough-edged but idealistic rogue who is happily married, and the Jewish daughter of a famed healer form an unlikely alliance in an Iberian Peninsula torn by religious strife between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Their paths cross and eventually meet in one of the most breath-taking duel scenes in years. Like most of Kay's work, this puts most modern fantasy works to shame with its powerful language, deep characters, and intricate but realistic plots.

    Is this a good description of the book?

  9. Is there enough gay content in this book to justify inclusion on the LSF list?

This page maintained by Rob Gates. Last updated March 10, 2001.

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