The Kay book, The Last Light of the Sun, was good, but -- hmm...I never really got caught up in it, never grew to really care about the characters. I'm not sure why. Part of it may have been that Kay was deliberately doing a sort of post-modern deconstructive thing, frequently pausing to step away from his main characters and gives us a few pages from the point of view of a minor character; he really, and deliberately, undercut the whole heroic aspect of the story. He made a good and valid larger point about the impact individual actions may or may not have on history, and the ways in which one person's history is not the same as another person's, and many other good and valid points. But.
And to cap it off, he implied that two of the major characters were going to get married at one point, and then a few pages later, implies that they aren't, and then we never find out what's going to happen to them, especially to her, and I'm pretty sure that was deliberate, but it makes me cranky!
He's always been somewhat philosophical in his books, and that's good, but somehow this one went over the edge for me, deliberately walked away from that fiery passion and heroism and high tragedy and frankly, all the things I go to Kay for -- the things I love his books for. I get my postmodern deconstruction pretty much everywhere else, and while it's certainly not fair to Kay to demand that his books stay the same, that they continue to be the epitome of a certain high style, a certain mostly-lost, mostly-illusory ideal, I admit to being a little disappointed by this one. It made me want to go re-read Tigana or The Lions of al-Rassan or even Fionavar.
And hey -- did I just miss it, or was there no reference to Fionavar in this book? Usually it's in there somewhere...
On the plus side, there were many many references to his other books, and characters from the other books, so that you started to really get a sense of this world over time, and the broader historical evolution of this society. And it was fun, of course, to see old favorites mentioned. Certainly this novel isn't to be missed, if you're a Kay fan. Or a Norse fan, or a Celtic fan, since this is basically the Vikings and the English/Scottish/Welsh.