It is no surprise that Guy Gavriel Kay was chosen to help edit Tolkien’s Silmarillion. His understanding of language as a powerful, evocative tool with which to project life’s story into words, is prolific. This book is no exception. There is political intrigue, unexpected triumphs, and a pirate woman, Danica, whose likeness to the Greek goddess Artemis drives her to the center of it all. I was won over from page one. Recommended By Aubrey W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay is back with a new book, set in 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 traveling 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 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…
"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)
"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, New York Times bestselling author of Paris: The Novel
About the Author
Guy Gavriel Kay is the international bestselling author of twelve previous novels and a book of poetry. He has been awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his work in literature of the fantastic and won the World Fantasy Award for Ysabel in 2008. In 2014 he was named to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.