Liviu's Reviews > Children of Earth and Sky

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2016_release_read, genre-fantasy, read_2016, t_notable_books_2016

after reading a few pages this looks fabulous like the best GGK novels (Sarrantium, Lions...) - have not really been that enthusiastic about his recent Chinese themed novels for various reasons (I think he is very "orientalistic" among other things in said novels using all the usual stereotypes about the "fabled East" especially in the second one), though they definitely had their high points and I enjoyed them well enough, but books like the two Sarrantium one and Lions of al Rassan are still amazing and among the best fantasies I've read and this one could get there;

Finished the novel though it took me somewhat longer than I expected but the last half or so of the novel went really fast as action kicked in high gear and I wanted to see what happens.

The book follows 5 main characters, while a few important men and women (the Duke of Seressa - "Venice", the Khalif of Ashar - Istanbul/Ottoman Empire, the former dowager empress of Sarrantium - "Byzantium/Constantinople", the Chancellor of the Empire - "the Holy Roman Empire" and a few others somewhat less prominent) have important secondary roles and a decent chunk of pages.

In order of appearance:

Danica Gradek a refugee to Senjan (a borderlands small city of raiders and fighters sponsored by the Empire against Ashar but whose second main enemy is Seressa whose ships trade with the infidel and are charged to keep piracy from occurring) from the hinterland of the Southern Balkans analogue and who is a peerless archer who wants to prove herself in a man's world and be accepted on equal terms on raiding parties and go kill Asharites to get her revenge for the burning of her village, the death of most of her family and the abduction of her younger brother to become either a palace eunuch or a Djanni (Janissary); when she discovers a plot by Seressa to destroy Senjan and uncovers one of their main spies while killing a bunch of Seressan attackers on her own she gets her chance but things don't turn out quite as expected

Marin Djivo - younger son of an important Dubravan family (Ragusa - Dubrovnik, a medieval city state across the Adriatic from Venice who bent with the wind and paid well to keep all the hostile neighboring powers - Empire, Venice, Ottomans - from conquering it as an indispensable dealing/meeting neutral sort of place); highly successful with the local noble women, Marin is thinking to settle down but he much prefers trading on the high seas or on land to the stuffy small town atmosphere of Dubrava where anyone knows anyone else; when his path meets Danica's, his life becomes even more interesting

Pero Villani - Seressan and son of a somewhat renowned painter who sadly died in debt and left him poor and whose one very successful portrait had to be destroyed on spurious grounds of being bad (but to save his life and a noblewoman's reputation in fact as the portrait was actually too good and revealing), so he is working as a bookbinder and trying to rebuild his unfairly tarnished artistic reputation; when he gets a surprising but very dangerous offer from the Duke, he knows he cannot refuse it, so his adventure begins

Leonora Valeri - a noblewoman of Miucci (a small town, ally of Seressa) with a cruel and overbearing father who goes ballistic when he finds out she became pregnant with the son of a lesser nobleman, so he has her lover killed and Leonora sent to a convent near Seressa for the rest of her life, while the baby is taken away at birth; but the secret council of twelve of Seressa needs a woman like Leonora so they make her an offer she cannot refuse either if she wants to escape the convent and make a life for herself

Finally - Damaz/Neven Gradek, who is now a Djanni in training and actually becomes accepted as one after a brave deed that ends well; he is ready to march with the Asharite army in their ritual spring attack on the Empire, but fate has something different than the usual djanni army life for him

Some magic (similar to the one in the other books from the loose series), action, twists and a superb ending, while the book alternates narration from the above pov's with a chronicler "and this happened later" interventions that bring a distance from the immediacy of the storylines

Top 10 book for 2016 and highly recommended
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Reading Progress

December 30, 2015 – Shelved
December 30, 2015 – Shelved as: wanted_books
March 7, 2016 – Started Reading
April 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 18, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016_release_read
April 18, 2016 – Shelved as: genre-fantasy
April 18, 2016 – Shelved as: read_2016
April 18, 2016 – Finished Reading
October 26, 2016 – Shelved as: t_notable_books_2016

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Tosan I'm sooooooooooo excited for this book


Liviu Should be out soon!


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