Last Light of the Sun

Read this book

Guy Gavriel Kay

I’m torn between two favorite quotes:

“A sorrow to die with ale to hand, and un-drunk” – Thorkell

“There it is again. The way you think. Sorrow. It is so much in you. I . . . we . . . do not live with that. It comes with the speed, doesn’t it?” – The Fairy in the woods

Truthfully, There are a LOT of good quotes to choose from. One downside of reading with my ears is that sometimes they pass you by too quickly to catch. But the alternative, for me, is to read so much less I’m willing to forego, and catch more next time.

Sorrow is a theme throughout the book. It begins with a game of words during a feast. One person (usually one of the ladies) challenges by throwing out the beginning of a verse: “Sorrowful as . . . ?” Then the participants call back with ways to complete the verse, each trying to outwit the others. In this particular case the “winner” was one of the protagonists completing the sentence with “like a singer without a song.” Which I loved, probably as much as the others at the feast, since this character at the time did not have a song — a role to play in the world — yet.

The quote about sorrow and speed takes place when this same character is discussing mortality with a fairy. The context is that the fairy lives a very long time and doesn’t usually interact with ephemeral creatures such as man, and so, does not understand the concept of sorrow. This idea intrigued me. The idea that we sorrow for things, because we don’t have enough time to do everything we want in our lives.

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