I read this volume straight after Volume 1 (SAILING TO SARANTIUM) and found this to be equally as strong, if not better.
The author’s descriptions are the best I’ve ever read. The description of the mosaics set into the interior dome of the Great Sanctuary of Jadd, how they were done, how the tessarae were colored, how they were expertly angled to catch the light from the sun, moon & torches – this writing was absolutely breathtaking in its power & ability to bring them to life.
But author Guy Gavriel Kay was not done with those brilliant descriptions. He outdid himself with a description of that chariot race (readers will know what I’m talking about) in which a badly injured charioteer with a genius of a mind managed to do something so unexpected that this race became a legend that was talked about for years & years.
The sheer amount of research that Guy Gavriel Kay had to do on chariot races – in which ONE driver, standing on a 2-wheeled chariot drawn by a quadriga
(4 horses) with the reins around his waist, went down that track & around those corners at insane speeds, only able to communicate to his horses by leaning to one side or the other, or using his whip – is astounding. (BTW, if you want to see a good example of a quadriga, look at the top of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, or wander to the Thames Embankment in London to gaze upon the statue of Boadicea.)
I loved the characters, I loved the story and I highly recommend this book! Five stars. #guygavrielkay #lordofemperors