The Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

Yesterday, via CBC Books, Guy Gavriel Kay revealed new details about his upcoming novel, The Children of Earth and Sky, including its setting. Kay has a penchant to explore human history while building his fantasy worlds, delving deep into our planets’ myriad cultures and histories, and turning the stories we know slightly towards the fantastic. Fans always have fun speculating, so where’s The Children of Earth and Sky drawing inspiration from? The Mediterranean regions of Europe during the Renaissance.

“In The Children of Earth and Sky Kay returns to the familiar territory established in several earlier works,” said Oliver Johnson of Hodder & Stoughton, the novel’s UK publisher. “[It’s] a reimagining of the melting pot of the medieval Mediterranean. In his hands well-known places and events are transformed into the wonderful and strange through the lens of fantasy, and brought to life with brilliantly drawn characters and the most graceful of styles, which will seduce his many fans and new readers alike.”

The Barnes & Noble SciFi & Fantasy Blog revealed the first look at the novel’s plot, which sounds lovely:

The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay is back with a new novel, Children of Earth and Sky, 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…

“Since the 1984 publication of The Summer Tree, […] Guy Gavriel Kay has been recognized as a leading voice in fantasy, writer of books filled with lush prose, vivid characters, and intricately considered worlds,” says Joel Cunningham of the Barnes & Noble SciFi & Fantasy Blog. Any time Kay announces a new book, it immediately jumps to the top of my list of most anticipated novels, and Children of Earth and Sky is no exception.

Children of Earth and Sky will hit stores on on May 10, 2016 by New American Library (US) and Penguin Canada (Canada), and on May 12, 2016 from Hodder & Stoughton (UK).