April 6, 2008

Random Authors, Part One

"Is it possible, just a hypothesis now, but is it possible that he delayed that scintilla of time - only that, no more; but still - because he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to move? The desire and the spasm. Mr. Schafer, your thoughts? Was there perhaps a slight, shall we say, lag in the desire?"
-- The Summer Tree
Guy Gavriel Kay, is a Canadian author, largely of what's marketed as "historical fantasy." His first foray into the realms of fantasy however, was when he helped Christopher Tolkien edit The Silmarillion.
"They ought to have met, if the gods had any kindness, any pity at all for them, in another world than this. Not here. For love was what it was, but it was not enough. Not here."
-- Tigana
Throughout his novels (of which I've read them all, save The Sarantine Mosaic duology), he superbly evokes the emotions of his characters, as well as the significance of each scene. Two of his works are semi-departures from the historical fantasy into more of a standard fantasy setting, The Fionavar Tapestry (his first work, a trilogy) and Ysabel, that have ties to our world.
"What would I have you do?" Ammar's voice had softened. He spoke Asharic now. "What you cannot do, I suppose. Go home. Breed horses, raise your sons, love your wife." He turned to the king of Valledo. "Make your country - all of Esperana if you can unite it - into a land that understands more than only war and righteous piety. Allow space in your lives for more than battle chants to inspire soldiers. Teach your people to...understand a garden, the reason for a fountain, music."
-- The Lions of Al-Rassan
In his works of historical fantasy, he derives his settings and political trappings largely from a specific place and time on our own world. He's visited an almost-medieval Italy (Tigana), looked at a version of the Albigensian Crusade from medieval France (A Song for Arbonne), medieval Spain through the eyes of two military strategists (The Lions of Al-Rassan), the Eastern Roman Empire during the period of Justinian I (The Sarantine Mosaic), and England during the reign of Alfred the Great (The Last Light of the Sun). In fact, the last three of those tales, though they share no characters, do share a world and as such many aspects, namely their particularly their interpretations of three major religions (Jaddites = Christians, Kindath = Jews, Asharites = Islamics).

He also has a book of poetry, Beyond this Dark House, which I haven't read.

  • The Fionavar Tapestry
    • The Summer Tree
    • The Wandering Fire
    • The Darkest Road
  • Tigana
  • A Song for Arbonne
  • The Lions of Al-Rassan
  • The Sarantine Mosaic
    • Sailing to Sarantium
    • Lord of Emperors
  • Beyond this Dark House
  • The Last Light of the Sun
  • Ysabel
Official site: Bright Weavings