I have now read everything Guy Gavriel Kay has written, except his volume of poetry.
Have you ever felt compelled to do that, find and read everything by a certain author? It doesn’t happen to me often. Many authors are inconsistent in their writing quality, which is only natural. Also, not every book is necessarily going to appeal to a reader, even if they like the author’s other work. Mercedes Lackey also does this for me – she is the literary equivalent of coffee and cinnamon toast for me, warm and comforting.
Guy Gavriel Kay makes me want to write, if only to go the places he does to research, like Provence. Lucky jerk. His books are all fantasy, but can be very, very different. The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy (high fantasy, elves and dragons) is quite different from Ysabel (urban fantasy), even though Ysabel kind of ties in to the trilogy. The Sarantine Mosaic books (Byzantine historical fantasy, and doesn’t he have the best names for his series?) are quite unlike A Song for Arbonne (medieval fantasy), which is also unlike Under Heaven (Asian epic fantasy). Tigana – George R.R. Martin wishes he wrote this book, with its complex storyline, magic, conflict.
They are all, however, so beautifully written it could make you cry, and the descriptions are so vivid you have to stop yourself from packing up and heading to Provence, or China, or just about anywhere he sets his stories. The characters are so perfectly done you feel you would recognize them in the street – since he and I are both in Toronto, I’ll let you know if I see any.
The Fionavar Tapestry may just be my favorite series of all time. He builds slowly, so don’t get impatient at the beginning of the book. It really is tapestry like, since he presents threads, here and there, and then weaves them together. We’re so used to fast-paced books, but these are worth the wait, believe me.
You can thank me after you’ve read them. Probably repeatedly. I will be modestly gracious.
P.S. He has a new book coming, River of Stars. So excited! You have One Direction, I have books. I win.