A Brightness Long Ago

Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (571 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.49

Buy for $31.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Guy Gavriel Kay (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Brightness Long Ago

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    313
  • 4 Stars
    145
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    17
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    387
  • 4 Stars
    88
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    280
  • 4 Stars
    132
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    12

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Masterpiece from Mr. Kay

Anticipation for each new release from Guy Gavriel Kay is a given, and they never disappoint. The publisher's summary is quite understated so you really won't get a sense of what is waiting for you once you dive in. In my experience, nobody writes as beautifully as GGK does and this one definitely lives up to the expectation. I thoroughly loved this book and how Danio's life - with only tangential interactions with the most important people at that time, in that region - had such a profound impact on the lives of those people. The characters in 'A Brightness Long Ago' are so rich, and the dialogue is satisfyingly intelligent. The subtlety in the plot and who the characters are - their history and the choices they make - is exquisite. I would say that there a no stereotypical character-types (i.e. good guy / bad guy) as they are all shades of grey and I found myself invested in all of them. One fantastic aspect of the writing that I must point out is the device he uses by switching character viewpoints frequently to mix up the pacing and fill out the story. Not unique, of course, but he often does this with a little bit of overlap in the timeline which makes the narrative that much richer and drew me even deeper into the story. It was a little thrill each time used this technique. As for the narration: Simon Vance is a master and that only enhances the experience. Whenever I actually read a paper copy of GGK's books, I 'read it' with his voice in my head! I can't say enough good things about this book. If you are already a GGK fan and haven't bought it: you will be delighted. If you haven't yet read (listened!) to any GGK books then this is a perfect way to dive in!

133 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exquisite

As always, G.G.K. delivers a soulful, gripping and memorable story. And, a great oblique view of what life may have been like in the Italian States around the end of the Byzantine era.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story - mediocre production quality

Folks looking for a "Game of Thrones" replacement (A Brightness Long Ago is still different, but the elements are the same) would enjoy it. There are multiple points of view, fleshed-out characters that surprise the reader, foreshadowing that adds to drama and doesn't seem to spoil the fun. You bounce around the landscape of Fantasy-Italy, following the threads of different people guided by the protagonist 25 years after the events of the book occurred. The author likes exploring morally ambiguous themes while not allowing the characters themselves to be dis-likable, which I didn't care for as a choice, but you might put it as a good mix between GoT and The Name of the Wind. Good story! Like I said. But the PRODUCTION. Sometimes the narrator is so quiet I can barely hear him, and then will suddenly VERY LOUD. I listen on my commute on the metro, and it was hard to listen over the screech of the wheels because I didn't want my ears to be shocked by sudden shouting by Ripoli or Remiggio or another. I'm actually a fan of the narrator's previous work - I really like his characters and the way he does women's voices (not whiny or needlessly breathy, but distinguished). But the MIX. Not great. Just be fore-warned.

73 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As good as I hoped it would be.

It's just as good as Kay's other works, though one of his characters here might be my favorite. I love that he continues to write about strong women in a meaningful way.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Editing incredibly sloppy!

The editors of this books did a horrible job. There are numerous times where the same sentence(s) are repeated / reread. For an author and narrator of this quality I am ashamed of the quality of the editing. I don't know if Mr. Kay or Mr. Vance realize how sloppy the editing of one of Kay's amazing novels was done. PLEASE FIX AND RE-RELEASE!!!

98 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, as always

The author's distinctive style, vivid characters and tight storylines are hallmarks of his craft. He is so consistent, yet so surprising and deft in the story development, that I order his books without even reading the synopsis. There are very few authors I am both that confident and intrigued by to make it a true statement. The synopsis you can can get elsewhere. Suffice it to say that this book interleaves characters and developments from all the previous books, yet can be read as a standalone tale. You will get much greater richness from having read at least a few of the earlier works. If you love getting lost in a book, this is one you may happily jump into and float away on the fantasy.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

If you like the author you'll appreciate the book

Great story and narration. Not a terrible ending but I wanted more. It was a good read with great language and concepts, very much in the style I've come to love of the author.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dissappointingly mediocre

Entertaining, but hardly up to level of Kay's typically epic storytelling. There were a few moments of brilliance, interesting characters and perspective, but overall leaves me feeling more dissappointed than anything else. Perhaps that's the curse of having authored so many amazing novels?

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The grandeur of simplicity

This is why audiobooks are sublime. The combination of Guy Gavriel Kay’s lyrical, layered, unfolding prose... and Vance’s masterful performance... I’m moved beyond words. I’m now compelled to go back in time to earlier works.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Always a pre-order for me

Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorite authors, his voice is absolutely unique, so whenever he releases a new book, I preorder it....Started reading this one at 12:01 am.....it’s 9:05 am and I haven’t slept.... Thank you, Me Kay, for another sleepless night!!!!

31 people found this helpful