A Brightness Long Ago

hardcover, 448 pages

Published May 14, 2019 by Berkley.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose lives come together through destiny, love, and ambition.

In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra's intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count--and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast.

Danio's fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count's chambers one autumn night--intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger--and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.

Vivid figures …

1 edition

A sensitive book with a tapered rather than concluded ending

4 stars

The writing here is primarily first person throughout - the narrator changes; but this is a well written first person novel. Initially I picked this up as a standalone - seems it's a prequel set about a thousand years before it's predecessor. The main character is an old man looking back on his life; with a rather special love affair relating to the second main character; who in turn keeps requiring the assistance of the third main character who has the most 'supernatural' ability in the book - seeing Ghosts, but not entirely as we think of ghosts, more impressions of the dead around people they're connected to. The other fantastical element used is the first person thoughts of the recently deceased for just a few moments after their physical death, as the ascend to the spiritual. For those who are fans of historical fiction, this would be a good …

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5 stars