Lord of Emperors: Book Two of the Sarantine Mosaic

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9780061051210: Lord of Emperors: Book Two of the Sarantine Mosaic

One of the world's foremost masters of fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay has thrilled readers around the globe with his talent for skillfully interweaving history and myth, colorful characterization, and a rich sense of time and place. Now, in Lord of Emperors, the internationally acclaimed author of The Lions of Al-Rassan continues his most powerful work.

In Sailing to Sarantium, the first volume in the Sarantine Mosaic, renowned mosaicist Crispin--beckoned by an imperial summons of the Emperor Valerius--made his way to the fabled city of Sarantium. A man who lives only for his craft, who cares little for ambition, less for money, and nothing for intrigue, Crispin now wants only to confront the challenges of his art high upon a dome that will become the emperor's magnificent sanctuary and legacy.

But Crispin's desire for solitude will not be fulfilled. Beneath him the city swirls with rumors of war and conspiracy, while otherworldly fires mysteriously flicker and disappear in the streets at night. Valerius is looking west to Crispin's homeland of Varena to assert his power--a plan that may have dire consequences for the family and friends Crispin left behind. But loyalty to his homeland comes at a high price, for Crispin's fate has become entwined with that of Valerius and his empress, as well as the youthful Queen Gisel, his own monarch who is an exile in Sarantium herself. And now another voyager arrives in Sarantium, a physician determined to earn his fortune amid the shifting currents of loyalty, intrigue, and violence.

Drawing from the twin springs of history and legend, Lord of Emperors is also a deeply moving exploration of art, power, and the ways in which people from all walks of life seek to leave an impressionthat endures long after thery're gone. It confirms Kay's place as one of the most esteemed masters of fantasy.

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Review:

For whatever reason, Guy Gavriel Kay just insists on getting better and better. Sailing to Sarantium outshone the already excellent Lions of Al-Rassan, and now Lord of Emperors--the stunning second half of the Sarantine Mosaic--somehow surpasses even its predecessors.

Emperors picks up the story of the overwhelmed but still tenacious Crispin, now Imperial Mosaicist to Valerius II and thoroughly steeped in the machinations of Sarantium--not to mention being personally entangled in the lives of the emperor, the empress, and now his own queen, the exiled Gisel. Lord of Emperors also sends a new protagonist sailing into Sarantium, an unassuming country doctor who--like Caius--has found himself thrust into a position of great potential and peril, a victim of both circumstance and his own competence and moxie. The two struggle to stay afloat in Sarantium's swirling intrigues, as Valerius prepares for war in Crispin's homeland and unexplained, ghostly fires flicker around the city.

A touching, literate, and doggedly intelligent book, Lord of Emperors continues to prove Kay's mastery of historical fantasy (Sarantium being a well-researched analog to sixth-century Byzantium under Justinian and Theodora), as he gracefully spins a rich, convincing weave of legend and history. While other fantasy titles might have us imagine our lives as great heroes, Kay leaves a far more lasting impression by celebrating the heroics and passions of ordinary people who possess extraordinary character and spirit. --Paul Hughes

About the Author:

GUY GAVRIEL KAY is acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost fantasy authors. He is the author of eleven novels, and his works have been translated into twenty-five languages. Kay lives in Toronto with his family. Visit him online at brightweavings.com.

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