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Guy Gavriel Kay

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I was a bit surprised by that. I think it is a common reaction that Lions of Al-Rassan is probably his best, unless you read Tigana first, in which case that seems to win out. Under Heaven's critical position has also picked up a lot recently. On release I wondered if it had been overrated because his previous few books had been perceived as being subpar (Last Light and Ysabel), but it's definitely got legs. I'd also rate River of Stars at the same level as UH or maybe just a notch behind.

 

I may be wrong, but I believe that LoAR is also his most successful book. Certainly it was the first one to be optioned as a film.

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I would really love it if GGK used this upcoming novel to set up a later one concerning a "new world" in his universe. It seems this upcoming novel has a pseudo-Venice and if Sarantium is the setting again then a pseudo-Constantinople. With a possible fall of Sarantium to a khalif it could close trade routes to the east forcing western nations to look west for new routes a la Columbus.

 

I really enjoyed A Song for Arbonne. However, I'm also really interested in the troubadours and the Court of Love, which may have influenced my enjoyment of it. I'm sure that may be the case for other readers of GGK who have interests in other areas like Italy, Andalusia, Byzantium, etc.

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I was a bit surprised by that. I think it is a common reaction that Lions of Al-Rassan is probably his best, unless you read Tigana first, in which case that seems to win out. Under Heaven's critical position has also picked up a lot recently. On release I wondered if it had been overrated because his previous few books had been perceived as being subpar (Last Light and Ysabel), but it's definitely got legs. I'd also rate River of Stars at the same level as UH or maybe just a notch behind.
 
I may be wrong, but I believe that LoAR is also his most successful book. Certainly it was the first one to be optioned as a film.

As I was reading I was thinking that it lends itself pretty well to a film/TV adaptation. Is this still going to happen does anyone know? A google search shows the last update as 2007

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As I was reading I was thinking that it lends itself pretty well to a film/TV adaptation. Is this still going to happen does anyone know? A google search shows the last update as 2007

I haven't heard anything about it in years so I think it's probably got stuck in Development Hell. I agree it could make a good film/miniseries.

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Read only Tigana and is is wonderful. One of the best fantasy books I've ever read and certainly the best standalone one.

 

:agree:  Followed by Song of Arbonne

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As I was reading I was thinking that it lends itself pretty well to a film/TV adaptation. Is this still going to happen does anyone know? A google search shows the last update as 2007

 

It sold quite a bit less than the previous books, so I was reliably informed by those who would know.

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The issue I heard with the LoAR film was that they (Edward Zwick and the producers) kept going back and forth between adapting the book as-is and simply making a proper, new El Cid film (i.e. going back to the inspiration) as they thought the audience would get confused.

 

Post-GoT, I'm surprised it hasn't been revisited.

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It sold quite a bit less than the previous books, so I was reliably informed by those who would know.

That seems a bit surprising, although looking at Goodreads over twice as many people have read [i]Tigana[/i] as Lions, so it's definitely a long way behind that in terms of readership (not that I have any idea how well the number of readers on Goodreads would correlate to overall sale figures). It does have the third-highest number of readers out of his work being slightly behind [i]The Summer Tree[/i].

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Review coming later on. It's as excellent as always. It's also, as some have inferred from the blurb, set after the 1453 fall of Byzantium/Sarantium. It has guns and cannons in it, which makes it I believe Kay's most "recent" novel. It's not really a sequel to Lord of Emperors and The Lions of Al-Rassan, but it does contain new information on what happened after the events of those novels.

Also:

There's an interesting flash-forwards to what appears to be Kay's version of the Napoleonic Wars, with France/Ferrieres now the most powerful nation on the continent.

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Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

 

Sarantium, the greatest city in the world, has fallen to the invading Asharites. A Grand Khalif rules from the city he calls Asharias, and his armies are continuing to advance into the heart of the holy Jaddite empire. For the cities of the Seressini Sea - mighty Seressa, growing Dubrava and the pirate haven of Senjan - these matters are distant and of limited importance. But this changes when several the fates of several individuals collide and change the fate of the world.

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Guy Gavriel Kay is one of fantasy's foremost and most skilled authors, one who is capable of spinning an engrossing story from real history lightly salted with a dosing of the fantastic. This approach has served him well through several of the greatest fantasy novels of the past generation - The Lions of Al-Rassan foremost among them - and in Children of Earth and Sky he has done it again.

The historical inspiration this time is the fall of Sarantium (Constantinople) in 1453 to the invading Osmanlis (Ottomans). The novel takes place twenty-five years after this event with the Jaddite (Christian) kingdoms trying to overcome their internal divisions to fight back against the invaders but are undermined by some of their own cities, such as the mercantile powers of Seressa (Venice) and Dubrova (Dubrovnik), which are happy to trade with the rich invaders. This invokes the ire of the raiders and pirates of Senjan (Senj) who start preying on Seressan ships to fund their war against the Osmanlis. Political-religious conflict follows.

The book concerns, as is usual with Kay, the crossing of paths of several very different individuals. This time these characters include Pero Villani, an artist sent on a spying mission; Danica Gradek, a young woman who yearns to be a fighter and raider; Marin Djivo, a budding merchant; Damaz, a former slave turned into an elite djanni infantryman; and Leonora Valeri, a young woman sent into disgrace but who is turned into an agent for Seressa's government. Scores of other characters cross their paths, Kay spinning them into a tapestry of lives, tragedy, love and war which is utterly engrossing.

Children%2Bof%2BEarth%2Band%2BSky%2BUSA.

The book is vintage Kay in how it operates with history and character, but it is a little different in that it does have a strong side-focus on political intrigue, military campaigns and merchant rivalries. These are elements that Kay has written about before, but here they are more prominent and give the book additional texture. They also make the book more appealing to those fantasy fans who are interested more in action, warfare and backstabbing than in characterisation and mood, although this remains the primary focus of the book. Kay also explores the relationship between myth and history and stories, how a split-second decision on a battlefield can inspire legends and armies and heroes decades or centries later.

Kay's greatest skill has always been his ability to move between the large and small, showing how every person matters and how a quiet conversation between two people can shift the destinies of millions and change the fate of continents and empires, and he does that better than almost ever before in this novel.

The novel is a stand-alone but there are references to the events of The Sarantine Mosaic and The Lions of Al-Rassan, that long-term Kay fans will enjoy.

Children of Earth and Sky (*****) is Guy Gavriel Kay doing what he does best, and better than anyone else working in fantasy today: telling the story of empires and wars through the lens of characters so vivid and convincing that they feel real, and absorbing you into their lives. The novel will be available on 10 May 2016 in the UK and USA.

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It has guns and cannons in it, which makes it I believe Kay's most "recent" novel.

I think Ysabel would take that title fairly comfortably (it did seem odd to see Kay mentioning iPods and Coldplay in his work).

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Oh, I meant of his purely-secondary world works, otherwise Fionavar might count as well :)

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Seems like the story is all about evolving young characters from the looks of it.

Any characters of Rodrigo or Ammar's stature in the book, like we saw in Lions?

Also, is a significant amount of time spent in the palaces of The Grand Khalif or other ruling entities? I enjoyed that stuff in Sarantium duology.

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Any characters of Rodrigo or Ammar's stature in the book, like we saw in Lions?

The Grand Khalif, I suppose, and maybe the Duke of Seressa and a Sarantine rebel who has been fighting the Osmanlis for decades and is now a grizzled old badass.

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Also, is a significant amount of time spent in the palaces of The Grand Khalif or other ruling entities? I enjoyed that stuff in Sarantium duology.

There is a semi-self-contained story set in Sarantium itself which takes up the final 100-150 pages of the book and involves the Khalif, but it's not the main focus of the story.

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I'm reading my first Kay book, A Song for Arbonne, now. It is ok, but I haven't got very far, so we'll see how it goes.

I'm interested in Children of Earth and Sky for the historical backdrop (I'm crazy about all things Byzantine).

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