I read a lot of fiction, mostly historical-fiction, but also some fantasy/historical-fiction; fiction that takes on the feel of history, events that could have happened, cultures and people that could have existed. Such is Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay; a work that has the look and feel of a Roman/Byzantine world, but that also carries a look at contemporary issues such as religion and it’s hold on humanity through the ages. An excellent example of this can be found in a discussion between an architect and the Patriarch concerning the proposed ideas for the dome of a new sanctuary, “Deference becomes you,” said Artibasos, mildly enough. “It might be worth cultivating. It is customary – except perhaps among clerics – to have opinions preceded by knowledge.” I don’t know about you, my peeps and fellow travelers, but that speaks volumes to current affairs in 2018 America, if not the world.
I read a lot of different authors; a lot of different writing styles and strengths, some who move me with their descriptive abilities, others with the depth of their characters, or their grasp of fine dialogue. What I have found in my reading of Mr. Kay is an author who moves me with all of those things, but especially the beauty of his narrative; his “way with words”. I cannot begin to count the number of times I would read a passage, pause, reread, and then pause again to allow the flow of words to both fill me with wonder, and with just a smidgen of jealousy (I too, fancy myself as an author).
Sailing to Sarantium is a complex tale, filled with surprises; with the full range of human emotion, and human experiences – emotions and experiences that can be carried over to modern times – a time of wonder, but also a time of uncertainty. I can hardly wait to read the sequel. 5 Stars – BTW the chariot race chapter is worth the price of admission. 🙂