Writing fantasy must be a tough gig. There are only so many dark lords of the earth to be found and surely they must all be vanquished by now. So it was refreshing to see that Guy Gavriel Kay has taken a different approach with his series The Sarantine Mosaic.
A number of series have come out recently that deal with the later days of the Roman empire and the transfer of power to the eastern capital Byzantium. Kay takes this basic theme and adds a slightly different tack by transposing your standard fantasy world onto the real world of the Byzantium empire.
With a few changes to our common history a rich and vibrant fantasy world has been created by the Author. Replacing Byzantium with Sarantium, Rome with Rhodias and Christianity with the worship of the Sun has resulted in a believable world that gets you hooked from the first page.
The story itself is easy to follow, Crispin, a master Mosaicist is summoned to the imperial palace to assist in the building of a new temple. Along the way he meets a Pagan God, a telepathic bird and an ambitious legionary.
Most books written by this author cannot be put down and this is no exception. If you enjoy your fantasy and historical novels you will love this one.