Children of Earth and Sky
The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars evokes a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands--where empires and faiths collide.
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 travelling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request--and possibly to do more--and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor's wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.
The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he's been born to live. And further 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 his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world...
A Toronto Star Bestseller
“History and fantasy rarely come together as gracefully or readably as they do in the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Guy Gavriel Kay has a wonderful talent. He tells stories in an invented world that is so rich in historical echoes that I found myself smiling with pleasure as I heard the echoes, while engrossed in the story. Warmly recommended.”—Edward Rutherfurd, bestselling author of Sarum
“[Kay] wields plots and all-too-human characters brilliantly, in a world where nothing is as valuable as information. This big, powerful fantasy offers an intricately detailed setting, marvelously believable characters, and an international stew of cultural and religious conflict writ larger than large.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Kay triumphs at creating complex political landscapes and then populating them with characters who make the stakes important and the struggles real. Another magnificent history-that-never-was from a master.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Everything about this book, from the characters to the world created – including the subtle elements of fantasy that imbue it – makes Children of Earth and Sky a wonder and a joy to read. Having read it once I can guarantee you’ll want to read it again and again.”—Blogcritics.org
“. . . as the novel generously opens out into years and then decades, none of these characters end up anywhere near where they started, and as they come to interact with one another and a wealth of convincing secondary characters (including one important ghost), we begin to appreciate Kay's real genius at unveiling history as a large tapestry of individual ambitions, betrayals, loyalties and simple efforts to negotiate survival in a radically unstable world.”—Chicago Tribune
“Kay builds a convincingly human answer to the paradox that has long made the Renaissance so hypnotic, so alien, and familiar with its juxtaposition of crude brutality and magnificent beauty, of high manners and low betrayals, of emerging technology and stark primitivism. It’s an amalgam, all right, but it’s also a tapestry of the sort that no one but Kay really seems to know how to do.”—Locus
From the Hardcover edition.