Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm just going to have to place Guy Gavriel Kay's books into a shelf of their own. A genre of their own. I mean, sure, there are certain authors that have come close, such as some of Umberto Eco or Kim Stanley Robinson, but Kay's writing just plops us down into what, by all apparent aspects, seems to be our Rennaisance Europe or something very, very close.
All names and a lot of history is altered but to any normal comparison, we're dealing with the Ottoman Empire and Christians. Italy! A regular author might have just skimmed some aspects and thrown them in, but Kay instead goes deep and rich and detailed. Not only exploring all the misconceptions and prejudices on either side, but taking it full-force into spies, exiles, and intrigue of all kinds. And let's not forget the battles!
Lush writing, gorgeous characters. What's probably the best part of it IS the characters. I get into them not because of any particular plot point but because of WHO and WHAT they do, how they do it, and how interesting their choices twist the full story.
But what is the story?
Well, like the last one I read, the full culmination winds up being the WAY the lives are lived. Personal successes and failures. Not the overarching plot. :) I think it works brilliantly. Of course, I was invested in each character, so I would think that. :)
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