The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story

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Given the increased emphasis on mimesis instead of fantasy, it is also more difficult to spot characters who might be actants, or story functions. The effect of the lack of magic and the unbridgeable distance between gods and humans-which, when seen as a noted absence, can be understood as thinning-is an increased emphasis on the interplay on the horizontal plane: the nations and religions in conflict as it plays out within history, not eternity.

Although the sparsity of magic reduces the fantastic effect of The Lions of Al-Rassan, it allows for the historical repertoire to fill the void. Translating the structural feature of thinning into the context of the historical repertoire by depicting the fall of Al-Rassan, a great nation, Kay brings his fantasy novel close to hybridization with the historical novel. The Lions of Al-Rassan differs from Tigana in that the collapse of Al-Rassan is not enabled by magic, but by purely historical forces. The land is in decline from the beginning of the novel. Although not a magical prophecy, his words are prophetic.

The internecine rivalries in Al-Rassan and the religious conflicts both contribute to the thinning of Al-Rassan. Having transferred an event belonging to the repertoire of the historical novel onto a structural feature of the fantasy novel, Kay synthesizes the two genres and brings them a step closer towards hybridization.

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Events such as the execution of Timewalkers subordinate magic to the historical and thin the land Possibly, it has also contributed to the loss of other forms of magic. It might also be true that the thinning of the Homeric world increases the distance between humans and their gods, making errors in religious practice and belief more likely to appear, providing conditions for fundamentalism to emerge.

Kay may have intended for the thinning of magic in The Lions of Al-Rassan to contain a reflection on the relationship between religion and history, themes his novel does explore. Whether Kay discusses history and myth-or history and religion-the coupling of these interests hints at his engagement with fantasy and history. In the village of Orvilla, the protagonists sense wrongness, signalling the form of the fantasy novel to the reader, while hinting at the how violence will increasingly mark life in the peninsula.

However, from the perspective of a reader expecting a fantasy narrative structure, the attack on Orvilla does instill a sense of moral wrongness.

Rodrigo Belmonte of Valledo and his riders fight the raiders of Garcia de Rada while they burn a village that Rodrigo is sworn to protect, since Orvilla, along with Fezana, pays an annual parias payment to Valledo for protection. The wrongness of soldiers from the same nation fighting each other hints at how Al-Rassan will eventually fall due to conflict among people who have been living peacefully together. The slaughter is beyond healing, perhaps alluding to how the thinning of Al-Rassan in the coming war will cause atrocities beyond recovery.

Beginning Chapter Books: Historical Fiction

The gruesome death highlights the perverse irony of a child who is killed before being born. The raid of Orvilla sets up the readers to expect the thinning of Al-Rassan and, at least potentially, its recovery at this point in the novel. In the later part of the novel, a second feeling of wrongness occurs-also a moment of recognition-when the new king of Cartada sends Muwardi assassins to kill Rodrigo during Carnival, because he will be his enemy in the coming war.

Somewhere within her grieving soul Jehane experienced a termor then, an apprehension of pain to come.

Beginning Chapter Books: Historical Fiction

Burdened by the past-what has just happened-she reflects on the future, achieving the dual perspective that constitutes a moment of recognition. While the raid raises the expectation that there will be a senseless but inevitable war that will follow, the assassination attempt confirms this expectation in the reader. From such wrongness, healing can help assuage some of the pain, but not all of it. Eucatastrophe, when it revises history, provides an escape from historical circumstances and is thus prone to produce a less historical narrative.

The actual Reconquest did not end with a victory for the Moors of Al-Andalus. It follows, then, that Al-Rassan must meet annihilation, if Kay wishes to better reflect the catastrophic reality of history. The poem sets an elegiac tone to the end of the novel.

However, eucatastrophe is not absolutely vanquished. Those children, living now in a Kindath community in Sorenica, on the Batiaran peninsula, are safe from the war that has destroyed Al-Rassan. The protagonists Ammar, Jehane, and Alvar acquire a space of safety for their families in Sorenica, providing a happy ending, though one weighted with sorrow. Eucatastrophe occurs, but it is more local and does not entail the recovery of an entire nation.

Despite the safety that it provides, the restored Kindath community in Sorenica survives tenuously.

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Since the last Sorenican community was destroyed by Jaddites, the restoration of the community is framed as a recovery from an earlier loss, invoking one of the opening remarks in the novel. A limited space in which to escape catastrophe, the maintenance of such a community is subject to continual challenge. What the sober tempering of the restoration of Sorenica reveals is that the story of Ammar, Jehane, and Alvar will continue, in a changeable random world, though in their present circumstances they may be safe. The Carnival of Ragosa grants protagonists an escape from the religious intolerance that marks their historical age, but only for a time.

Even before Carnival, Ragosa provides an atmosphere where Rodrigo, Jehane, and Ammar, representatives of the three religions, become bound in mutual friendship. For example, Rodrigo and Ammar are bound mysteriously into brotherhood when they first look at each other in the court of King Badir Friendship and romance thus unite the three faiths, against the larger trend of intolerance. After Carnival, historical burdens and personal pasts carry the novel to its catastrophic conclusion. Only in the epilogue does it become clear that Ammar is the victor.

Historical circumstances tear Ammar and Rodrigo apart and place them on opposite sides of the battlefield, and an escape from the circumstances of the reality of their world can only be temporary.

Rodrigo and Ammar are ultimately not only forced, but choose to align themselves with their cultures, which are unfortunately on opposite sides of the conflict. Held in bondage to their respective pasts, history forms a part of identity and becomes inescapable. However, because Ammar killed Rodrigo, Yazir allows him to be exiled to Sorenica, where he can escape his stigma and remember Al-Rassan Escape and bondage in The Lions of Al-Rassan are thus in a shifting relationship where free will may align itself to historical circumstance or conflict against it, more accurately representing the flow that history takes.

Though The Lions of Al-Rassan ends in eucatastrophe, it differs from that of Tigana in that it does not seek to remake history, ensuring the hybridization of the historical fantasy. The presence of the fully-structured fantasy novel in The Lions of Al-Rassan frames the story as a process of thinning and recovery, ending in eucatastrophe. However, healing does not save the entire land, but ensures the establishment of an island of stability in a sea of cyclical repetitions of violence.

Binding characters to their historical circumstances more strongly, Kay consequently designs a narrative that places a greater emphasis on thinning, which more accurately represents historical catastrophe and decay. Doing so, Kay finds a compromise between the fully-structured fantasy and the historical novel, ensuring the hybridization of his historical fantasy novel. The historical novelist must also depict protagonists who are a part of their own world and whose attitudes to their surroundings are typical for the time and place in which they live.

Though not all historical novels employ such subjectivity, they may do so effectively. An immersive fantasy is also more likely to emphasize thinning as a structural feature rather than healing or recognition, which are emphasized in portal-quest fantasies Since the characters are already familiar with their world, they can only encounter the strange if that world starts to disappear.

When it does, in The Lions of Al-Rassan, the changing circumstances bind the immersed characters to the historical forces that act on them and determine how they act. In the opening of the novel, Jehane is in the midst of her routine as a doctor within Fezana, a world with which she is deeply familiar, although the reader is not. Though Tigana employs similar ways to dispense information, portal-quest protagonists are generally poor at reading and judging the foreign land they enter. Velaz quietly and steadily filled clay pots and vials at he back of the booth as Jehane issued her directions.

A flask of urine clear at the bottom but thin and pale at the top told its tale of chest congestion. Since Jehane belongs to her world, she knows its background information and history. Kay can then use her character to relay the reader the information as she reminds herself about it, a way of dispensing information to reader that contrasts with the method in the portal-quest fantasy, in which information is revealed by authorities, such books and wise guides.

The mercenary troops were here ostensibly to guard against incursions from the Jaddite kingdoms, or brigands troubling the countryside. Such passages complicate the rhetorical form of the novel, though they do not hinder the historical repertoire. Indeed, a historical novelist may well want to adopt such a narrative voice. Kay may be subtle in his writing, but he never relies so heavily on context alone. The Lions of Al-Rassanmay thus be called a hybrid between the two rhetorical styles. Kay is able to relate historical information to the reader who is estranged from world, via the familiar knowledge of his protagonists. However, the ghosts of the slain soldiers around the lake of Kuala Nor, the battlefield where General Shen Gao defeated a Taguran army in a Pyrrhic victory, present an initial sense of wrongness.

Also known as Roshan, An Li is a barbarian military governor who Emperor Taizu has granted honours beyond any other governor. When Emperor Taizu does eventually step down, making his son Shinzu emperor, Shen Tai, the protagonist, observes an acute wrongness in the old emperor:.

The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story
The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story
The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story
The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story
The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story
The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story The Healer & The Emperor... A Historical Novel of a True Story

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