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Guy Gavriel Kay Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Fionavar Tapestry Books

The Summer Tree (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wandering Fire (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Darkest Road (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Sarantine Mosaic Books

Sailing to Sarantium (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lord of Emperors (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Under Heaven Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Tigana (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Song for Arbonne (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lions of Al-Rassan (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Light of the Sun (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ysabel (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Children of Earth and Sky (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Brightness Long Ago (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
All the Seas of the World (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Beyond This Dark House: Poems (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Finding the Words(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Guy Gavriel Kay is an author from Canada whose novels mainly revolve around fiction and fantasy. However, he has articulated his wishes to evade from specializing in a certain genre. His stories bear a resemblance of actual places in the ancient period with the books being successively interpreted in twelve different languages. The author was born in Saskatchewan, grew up in Manitoba and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. He has won several awards some of them being the Prix Aurora Award and the World Fantasy Award. He has also received various nominations such as the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and the Israeli Society for Science and Fiction and Fantasy Award. Although his current occupation is an author, he had initially pursued a bachelor in Law at the University of Toronto. Kay was born in 1954 to his father, Samuel Kay and mother, Sybil Kay. His dad was a surgeon and his siblings, Rax and Jeffrey are a psychiatrist and advocate respectively. Apart from the law degree he also pursued a bachelor in Philosophy at the University of Manitoba. Kay’s liking for literature was developed since childhood as his parents would read to him several books as they were also fond of reading. One of his favorite authors includes Lord Dunsany and J.R.R. Tolkien whose books revolve around legendry. It is through reading such books that Kay began liking fantasy.

Even though he mainly writes fiction, he is also a great reader of non-fiction as well. As is common with many children, when Kay was a child he had three career dreams which were to be a writer, lawyer and hockey player. His writing career began when he was summoned by Christopher Tolkien to Oxford so that he would help him finalize his book entitled the Silmarillion. It is during that period when he was editing the book that he developed his interest as an author. Nevertheless, he considered it as a part-time job that one would not rely on as a full career. Therefore, he went back to Canada to pursue his law degree which he completed in 1978.Afterwards he traveled overseas to publish his first book. He worked with a certain series at the Canadian broadcasting radio until 1989 whereby he was the main writer. The series successively won an award for being an excellent media in dealing with legal matters. The author still works as writer for broadcasting programs. In 1984 he married his spouse, Lura Beth. During that moment he was able to publish his first novel. Kay’s dad passed away in 1990 however, he got comfort through having his first-born son.

One of the first books of Guy Gavriel Kay is the Tigana which narrates a tale that is established on ancient Italy. The story is set on the peninsula of Palm which makes it appear to be real although the characters and occurrences are fictional. The story is about the people of the province of Tigana who are trying to liberate themselves from the authority of Brandin. This cape is attacked by Alberico and Brandin, two wicked wizards who have seized other four regions as well. Tigana being one of the regions was also seized which led to a battle whereby one of the Brandin’s son perished. As a result Brandin attempts to destroy any remembrance of Tigana with the intention that anyone born outside the region can never recognize its identity. However, Alessan who is the son of the former king of Tigana wants to take vengeance on Brandin’s plan so that he can reclaim Tigana’s identity. He therefore plans to kill Brandin and at the same time damage the other wizard, Alberico. Brandin plays a great character in this book as he demonstrates all his evil. The characters are well presented, developed and charming to the reader. The tale is described in detail with an expressive and convincing writing. Themes portrayed include the topic of love, dictatorship and allegiance. The book is most suitable for readers who love reading complex and detailed stories.

Another interesting book from Guy Gavriel Kay is Under Heaven which takes place in the medieval China. It is composed of murderers, kings, concubines and conquerors. It’s been two years since Shen Tai lost his dad and lives like an outsider in the Kitan Empire. It is in this empire where the remains of the combatants who were killed in the war between Tai and the Tagurans are still obscured. Tai pays tribute to his dad and the other dead combatants by burying the remains. This allegiance is recognized by the Tagurans. Tai is shocked when he receives a letter from the Tagurans which contains an assurance of an incredible prize. It states that due to his bravery he will be given sardine stallions which total up to two hundred and fifty. Tai is astonished due to the huge amount of stallions. Normally, the maximum amount of sardine stallions that can be awarded to honor a man is five. A result, this compels him to stir away from being a loner so as to go for the prize. There is also a dispute between the first minister of the kingdom, Wen Zhou and the highest general. The royal leader is sidetracked by the preferred concubine at the same time there is ethnic disagreement amid the Bogu people. Tai together with his household find themselves at the centre of dangerous incidents and also discover that their stallions may influence the stability of authority.

The book, Under heaven led to the winning of the World Fantasy award. Even though the story is based on the period of the Tang dynasty, the characters and incidents are just fictional. The book portrays the theme of aristocracy found in China. It is also composed of twisted plotting and courteous dignity. Kay is able to appropriately portray his characters in such a way that they engage the reader until the end of the book. Apart from Tai and Wen, other characters include his brother Shen Liu, Sima Zian a lady who is a lyricist. There are also some other minor characters who play an important task in the tale.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Guy Gavriel Kay

One Response to “Guy Gavriel Kay”

  1. Joseph Bonneville: 5 years ago

    One correction for the Under Heaven, which is an amazing story, and the second last sentence. Sima Zian is a man and poet.


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