Cover image for The last light of the sun
The last light of the sun
Kay, Guy Gavriel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : ROC, [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 501 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

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From award-winning author Guy Gavriel Kay, who "stands among the world's finest fantasy authors" (Montreal Gazette), comes a sweeping tale evocative of the Celtic and Norse cultures of the ninth and tenth centuries, filled with the human passion and epic adventure he is noted for.

Author Notes

Guy Gavriel Kay was born on November 7, 1954 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada. He became interested in fantasy fiction while working as an assistant to Christopher Tolkien. He assisted him with the editing of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. After receiving a law degree from the University of Toronto, he became principal writer and associate producer for the CBC radio series, The Scales of Justice. He also wrote several episodes when the series moved to television. He has written social and political commentary for several publications including the National Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Guardian.

His first fantasy novels were The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road, which make up the Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy. His other works include A Song for Arbonne, The Lions of Al-Rassan, Beyond This Dark House, The Last Light of the Sun, and Under Heaven. He has received numerous awards including and the Aurora Award for Tigana and The Wandering Fire, the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel for Ysabel, and the International Goliardos Award for his work in the fantasy field.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Kay's third excellent fantasy set in the world of The Lions of Al-Rassan0 (1995) and The Sarantine Mosaic0 (1999) begins about three centuries after the events of the latter. The place is an alternate Britain, the specific time the era in which a king modeled on Alfred of Wessex (849-99), called the Great, began to make headway against raiders from the north. The times and the battles are presented from several points of view, including those of Bern Thorkellson, a young northern outlaw; Aeldred of the Anglcyn (Alfred); his children; and Cenion, a learned cleric of Llywerth (Wales). Not all the battles involve weapons. The princes of Llywerth struggle with the half-world not accepted by the new faith ofad, and Aeldred fights to get his lords to learn to use more than their weapons. The Erlings (northmen) struggle for a living, as their lives and land are hard, but realize that raiding is harder than it used to be. A distinguished story that, for those so inclined, poses intriguing historical riddles. --Frieda Murray Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this wonderfully imaginative historical fantasy from Kay (A Song for Arbonne), seemingly random deeds connect Erling (Viking) raiders and Anglcyn (English) and Cyngael (Welsh) princes: If only Bern Thorkellson hadn't stolen that horse in a desperate act of vengeance against his sorry fate; if only Dai ab Owyn hadn't stepped outside the safety of Brynfell right at the moment when the Erlings attacked; if only Ivarr Ragnarson hadn't been born ill-formed and downright cruel; if only Aeldred hadn't been king of the Anglcyn; if only Thorkell Einarson had murdered only one man and not the second; if only Alun ab Owyn hadn't stepped into that pool on a moonless night and seen the Queen of the Elves in procession. At first glance, each individual's act appears to be a normal human response. It's only later, as the characters' paths cross, that the pieces come together to weave a dazzling tapestry of conjoined fates. Solid research, filtered through vibrant prose, serves to convey a sense of how people really lived and died in Viking and Anglo-Saxon times and how they might have interacted with the realm of magic on a daily basis. Readers of lighter fantasy should be forewarned-the novel contains a lot of gruesome killing and the fairy world plays a relatively minor role, as do women. (Mar. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Driven from his northern home for crimes committed by his father, Bern Thorkellson finds his destiny across the sea, in the lands of the Angles and the Gaels, traditional enemies of his people. Set during the time of the Viking raids, the latest historical fantasy by the author of Tigana and A Song for Arbonne brings depth and texture to the ancient tales of the Norse lands. Kay's consummate storytelling and fidelity to the spirit of his subject matter make this novel a solid addition to most fantasy collections and a good selection for fans of historical fiction and Celtic or Norse legends. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.