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Guy Gavriel Kay - Author

About the Author

Guy Gavriel Kay has published fourteen novels which have been translated into 30 languages and have appeared on bestseller lists around the world. He is also the author of the poetry collection, Beyond This Dark House. His most recent work is A Brightness Long Ago. Before beginning his career as a novelist, Kay was retained by the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien to assist in the editorial construction of The Silmarillion, the first and best-known of the posthumously published Tolkien works. Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1980, he has also been principal writer and associate producer for the CBC’s award-winning crime-drama series, The Scales of Justice. Kay has twice won the Aurora Award, is a multiple World Fantasy Award nominee, and won that award for Ysabel. He also won the Sunburst Award for Under Heaven, and is the recipient of the International Goliardos Prize, presented in Mexico City, for his contributions to the literature of the fantastic. Both Under Heaven and River of Stars won the Prix Elbakin in France for best foreign language speculative fiction work. In 2014 he was invested with the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour. 

Guy Gavriel Kay was our Putting Authors in the Picture feature for August 2019. Click here to read more about his author journey on our blog.

Photo Credit: Ted Davis

Featured books by Guy Gavriel Kay

A Brightness Long Ago

A Brightness Long Ago

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/01/2020

In a truly beautiful reading experience, encounter the footnotes of a time long ago, meet people capable of committing murder, of holding a stinging need for vengeance, of feeling deep abiding love and friendship. If you see the term fantasy and usually turn away, please don’t, instead choose to step inside and feel the connection to the Italian Renaissance, allow the people to become known, experience their emotions, appreciate the eloquence of the writing. I adore the work of Guy Gavriel Kay, and have done since I was a teenager, epic in scale, intimate in focus, these are books that have allowed me to step outside of myself and experience a different world, though one that feels recognisably ours. You can read this as a standalone, however if you have read some of his other novels, then the land in which this is set will call to you, and there are moments of awareness as you look around and feel the landscape, architecture and even at one point the half-forgotten presence of an age-old entity. I can recommend ‘A Brightness Long Ago’ with my heart and soul, it really is wonderful and so sits as one of my picks of the month.

eBooks of the Month
Children of Earth and Sky

Children of Earth and Sky

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/05/2017

From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates , a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the Grand Khalif at his request-and possibly to do more-and a beautiful oman, posing as a doctor's wife in her role of a spy. The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the clever younger son of a merchant family -with ambivalence about the life he's been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif-to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming. As these lives entwine, their fates-and those of many others-will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world...

eBooks of the Month
The Lions of Al-Rassan

The Lions of Al-Rassan

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/03/2012

Hauntingly evocative of medieval Spain, a deeply compelling story of love, adventure, divided loyalties, and what happens when beliefs begin to remake – or destroy – a world. The ruling Asharites of Al-Rassan have come from the desert sands, but over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, their stern piety has eroded. The Asharite empire has splintered into decadent city-states led by warring petty kings. King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, aided always by his friend and advisor, the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan – poet, diplomat, soldier – until a summer afternoon of savage brutality changes their relationship forever. Meanwhile, in the north, the conquered Jaddites' most celebrated – and feared – military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, driven into exile, leads his mercenary company south. In the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan, these two men from different worlds meet and serve – for a time – the same master. Tangled in their interwoven fate – and divided by her feelings – is Jehane, the accomplished court physician, whose skills may not be enough to heal the coming pain as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.

Tigana

Tigana

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2011

With this rich, masterfully written extravaganza of myth and magic, the internationally acclaimed author of THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY trilogy has created an epic that will forever change the boundaries of fantasy fiction. Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the tyrant King Brandin that even the very name of their once beautiful land cannot be spoken or remembered. But not everyone has forgotten. A handful of men and women, driven by love, hope and pride, set in motion the dangerous quest for freedom and bring back to the world the lost brightness of an obliterated name: Tigana.

River of Stars

River of Stars

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 29/10/2015

In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China's Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later - a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty. Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life-in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later-and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north. Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor-and alienates women at the court. But when her father's life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has. In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Guy Gavriel Kay

Darkest Road

Darkest Road

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 15/09/2016

The young heroes from our own world have gained power and maturity from their sufferings and adventures in Fionavar. Now they must bring all the strength and wisdom they possess to the aid of the armies of Light in the ultimate battle against the evil of Rakoth Maugrim and the hordes of the Dark.On a ghost-ship the legendary Warrior, Arthur Pendragon, and Pwyll Twiceborn, Lord of the Summer Tree, sail to confront the Unraveller at last. Meanwhile, Darien, the child within whom Light and Dark vie for supremacy, must walk the darkest road of any child of earth or stars.Guy Gavriel Kay's classic epic fantasy plays out on a truly grand scale, and has already been delighting fans of imaginative fiction for twenty years.

Wandering Fire

Wandering Fire

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 15/09/2016

As the evil of Rakoth Maugrim threatens the very existence of Fionavar, the five from our own world must cross over once again to play out their given roles: Kimberly to summon the dead from their rest and the undead to their doom; Dave to take his place in battle among the Dalrei of the Plain; Paul, Lord of the Summer Tree, once more to weave his own bright thread through the tapestry; Jennifer to become the agent of a timeless destiny; and Kevin to discover finally the part he is to play in the struggle to save the Weaver's worlds from the Unraveller.Guy Gavriel Kay's classic epic fantasy plays out on a truly grand scale, and has already been delighting fans of imaginative fiction for twenty years.

Summer Tree

Summer Tree

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 15/09/2016

Five men and women find themselves flung into the magical land of Fionavar, First of all Worlds. They have been called there by the mage Loren Silvercloak, and quickly find themselves drawn into the complex tapestry of events. For Kim, Paul, Kevin, Jennifer and Dave all have their own part to play in the coming battle against the forces of evil led by the fallen god Rakoth Maugrim and his dark hordes.Guy Gavriel Kay's classic epic fantasy plays out on a truly grand scale, and has already been delighting fans of imaginative fiction for twenty years.

Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy

Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 19/11/2013

In the three novels that make up the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy collected in this omnibus edition (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road), five University of Toronto students find themselves transported to a magical land to do battle with the forces of evil. At a Celtic conference, Kimberley, Kevin, Jennifer, Dave, and Paul meet wizard Loren Silvercloak. Returning with him to the magical kingdom of Fionavar to attend a festival, they soon discover that they are being drawn into the conflict between the dark and the light.Praise for Guy Gavriel Kay"e;[Kay] stunningly weaves Arthurian legends into the fluid mix of Celtic, Nordic, and Teutonic, creating a grand fantasy that sweeps readers into a heroic struggle that the author makes all the more memorable because of the tributes he pays to past masters. Kay is undoubtedly one of the Canadian masters of high fantasy."e; Jeffrey CantonKay is a genius. Brandon SandersonAs captivating as any classic of the fantasy field. MacleansCan only be compared to Tolkiens masterpiece. This is a series to cherish and reread. The Star-PhoenixThe essence of high fantasy. Locus

River of Stars

River of Stars

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 18/07/2013

In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China's Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later - a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty. Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life-in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later-and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north. Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor-and alienates women at the court. But when her father's life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has. In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.

Sarantine Mosaic

Sarantine Mosaic

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 03/04/2012

For the first time in one collection, the two internationally bestselling novels of The Sarantine Mosaic, one of Guy Gavriel Kays most loved works. Sailing to Sarantium Sarantium is the golden city: holy to the faithful, exalted by the poets, jewel of the world, and heart of an empire. Artisan Caius Crispus receives a summons from the emperor and sets off on a journey toward the Imperial City. But before Crispin can reach Sarantium, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, he must pass through a land of pagan ritual and mysterious danger. Sailing to Sarantium, the first volume of the brilliant Sarantine Mosaic, weaves an utterly compelling story of the allure and intrigue of a magnificent city and the people drawn into its spell. Lord of Emperors Having finally achieved his journey to fabled Sarantium, Crispin the mosaicist wants nothing more than to confront the challenges of his art high on the scaffolding of destinybut in Sarantium no man may easily withdraw from the turmoil of court and city, or forget that the presence of the half-world is always close by. To the Imperial City there comes another voyager, this time from the east. Rustem of Kerakek, a physician, must find his own balance of family and ambition, healing and death, as he, too, is drawn into the deadly webs of Sarantium. In this concluding volume of the Sarantine Mosaic, Lord of Emperors merges page-turning adventure with a deeply moving meditation on art and power, and the eternal human struggle to leave a legacy.

Guy Gavriel Kay: Three Novels

Guy Gavriel Kay: Three Novels

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Ebook Release Date: 03/04/2012

Three spellbinding novels by internationally bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay. A Song for Arbonne Arbonne and Gorhauttwo lands as different as the sun and the shadowed moon. In the south, the olive trees and vineyards of Arbonne flourish, and the troubadours fill the air with songs of love and desire. To the north, the history of Gorhaut has been forged with blood and fire, and now a corrupt king and his ruthless advisor seek to conquer the warm, fertile lands of Arbonne. But the land of courtly love is also a land of passion, willing to wage a complex and courageous fight to survive. Inspired by the glorious world of the troubadours, A Song for Arbonne is a love song to medieval Provence. The Lions of Al-Rassan Home to three very different cultures, Al-Rassan is a land of seductive beauty and violent history. Peace among the Jaddites, Asharites, and Kindath is a precarious, elusive thing, made so by the ever-present shadow that divides the inhabitants but draws extraordinary individuals together. Ammar ibn Khairanpoet, diplomat, soldierRodrigo Belmonteaccomplished military leaderand Jehane bet Ishakbrilliant physicianfind their lives overtaken by a series of dramatic events that bring Al-Rassan to the brink of war. Hauntingly evocative of medieval Spain, The Lions of Al-Rassan is an exhilarating story of love, divided loyalties, and what happens to men and women when passionate beliefs conspire to remakeor destroya world. The Last Light of the Sun For generations, the Erlings of Vinmark have taken their dragon-prowed ships across the seas, raiding the lands of less violent people, leaving fire and death behind. But times change, even in the hard north, and in a tale woven with consummate artistry, people of very different cultures find the threads of their lives unexpectedly entwined. Making brilliant use of saga, song, and chronicle, The Last Light of the Sun brings to life an unforgettable world balanced on the knife-edge of change.

Lord of Emperors

Lord of Emperors

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2011

The thrilling sequel to Sailing To Sarantium and the concluding novel of The Sarantine Mosaic, Kay's sweeping tale of politics, intrigue and adventure inspired by ancient Byzantium. Beckoned by the Emperor Valerius, Crispin, a renowned mosaicist, has arrived in the fabled city of Sarantium. Here he seeks to fulfill his artistic ambitions and his destiny high upon a dome that will become the emerror's magnificent sanctuary and legacy. But the beauty and solitude of his work cannot protect his from Sarantium's intrigue. Beneath him the city swirls with rumors of war and conspiracy, while otherworldly fires mysteriously flicker and disappear in the streets at night. Valerius is looking west to Crispin's homeland to reunite an Empire - a plan that may have dire consequences for the loved ones Crispin left behind. In Sarantium, however, loyalty is always complex, for Crispin's fate has become entwined with that of Valerius and his Empress, as well as Queen Gisel, his own monarch exiled in Sarantium herself. And now another voyager - this time from the east - has arrived, a pysician determined to make his mark amid the shifting, treachearous currents of passion and violence that will determine the empire's fate.

Under Heaven

Under Heaven

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2011

An epic historical adventure set in an alternate 8th century China, from the author of the 2008 World Fantasy winner, Ysabel. Under Heaven is a novel of heroes, assassins, concubines and emperors set against a majestic and unforgiving landscape. Honour is beyond measure But its price may be an empire... For two years Shen Tai has mourned his celebrated father and lived like a hermit beyond the borders of the Kitan Empire. There, by a mountain lake, the bones of the soldiers killed in great battles between the Kitai and the Tagurans lie unburied and their wailing ghosts strike terror into the living. Tai has laboured alone, laying to rest the mingled dead of both empires, until a letter arrives. It contains the promise of a poisoned chalice: Tai will be given two hundred and fifty Sardian horses by the Tagurans, legendary steeds from the far west, as a reward for his courage and piety. Now, Tai must try to return alive from solitude to a glittering, dangerous court. For to give a man even one of the famed Sardians is to honour him greatly; to give him so many is a reward which would overwhelm an emperor, and could be Tai's death warrant.

A Song for Arbonne

A Song for Arbonne

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2011

Based on the troubadour culture that rose in Provence during the High Middle Ages, this panoramic, absorbing novel beautifully creates an alternate version of the medieval world. The matriarchal, cultured land of Arbonne is rent by a feud between its two most powerful dukes, the noble troubador Bertran de Talair and Urte de Miraval, over long-dead Aelis, lover of one, wife of the other and once heir to the country's throne. To the north lies militaristic Gorhaut, whose inhabitants worship the militant god Corannos and are ruled by corrupt, womanizing King Ademar. His chief advisor, the high priest of Corannos, is determined to irradicate the worship of a female deity, whose followers live to the south. Into this cauldron of brewing disaster comes the mysterious Gorhaut mercenary Blaise, who takes service with Bertran and averts an attempt on his life. The revelation of Blaise's lineage and a claim for sanctuary by his sister-in-law sets the stage for a brutal clash between the two cultures. Intertwined is the tale of a young woman troubadour whose role suggests the sweep of the drama to come.

Ysabel

Ysabel

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/04/2010

Set in modern and ancient Provence, this exhilarating, moving novel casts brilliant light on the ways in which history - whether of a culture or a family - refuses to be buried. Ned Marriner, fifteen years old, has accompanied his photographer father to Provence for a six-week shoot of images for a glossy coffee-table book. Gradually, Ned discovers a very old story playing itself out in this modern world of iPods, cellphones, and seven-seater vans whipping along roads walked by Celtic tribes and the Roman Legions. On one holy, haunted night of the ancient year, when the borders between the living and the dead are down and fires are lit upon the hills, Ned, his family, and his friends, are shockingly drawn into this tale, as dangerous, mythic figures from conflicts of long ago erupt into the present, claiming and changing lives.

Author Info

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https://www.brightweavings.com

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