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Starred Review. Kay (The Last Light of the Sun) departs from his usual historical fantasies to connect the ancient, violent history of France to the present day in this entrancing contemporary fantasy. Fifteen-year-old Canadian Ned Marriner accompanies his famous photographer father, Edward, on a shoot at Aix-en-Provence's Saint-Saveur Cathedral while his physician mother, Meghan, braves the civil war zone in Sudan with Doctors Without Borders. As Ned explores the old cathedral, he meets Kate Wenger, a geeky but attractive American girl who's a walking encyclopedia of history. In the ancient baptistry, the pair are surprised by a mysterious, scarred man wielding a knife who warns that they've "blundered into a corner of a very old story. It is no place for children." But Ned and Kate can't avoid becoming dangerously entangled in a 2,500-year-old love triangle among mythic figures. Kay also weaves in a secondary mystery about Ned's family and his mother's motivation behind her risky, noble work. The author's historical detail, evocative writing and fascinating characters—both ancient and modern—will enthrall mainstream as well as fantasy readers. (Feb.)
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In Kay's eagerly awaited new book set mostly in twenty-first-century Aix-en-Provence, 15-year-old Ned Marriner is spending a spring vacation with his celebrated photographer father during a shoot of the Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur. His mother, a physician with Doctors without Borders, is in the Sudan, so Ned and Dad are extremely worried. Exploring Saint-Sauveur, Ned meets American exchange-student Kate Wenger, who knows a lot about the history of Aix. The two surprise a knife-carrying, scar-faced stranger in the cathedral, who tells them, "I think you ought to go. . . . You have blundered into the corner of a very old story." Ned and Kate, then the rest of his family, including the aunt and uncle from England and his mother, are drawn into an ancient conflict with the shades of Celtic spirits. Kay characterizes Ned superbly as he matures amid fantastic circumstances until he is able to make the final sacrifice; reader disbelief is unimperiled, and psychobabble unindulged. Outstanding characters, folklore, and action add up to another Kay must-read. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Huge disappointment. Full of spelling mistakes, and the characters didn't come to life. It was almost as if the author rushed into getting the work published, without giving the... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Collen
I have loved everything I've read by Kay ... Except Ysabel and the Fionavar Tapestry. No surprise then, to find out the two are related. Read morePublished 2 months ago by SunRaven01
I've grown to have almost unquestioning trust in Guy Gavriel Kay's story-telling ability, and this is one of his best. Read morePublished 3 months ago by David A Dawson
A worthy addition to Kay's canon. I read this book initially without being aware it meshed with earlier works in Kay's books. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sandra M. Taylor
Good story with a good pace. Would recommend this book for those who like fantasy fiction.Published 4 months ago by KMYS
Excellent.... Fun; a great travelogue for Provence France. Highly recommended.Published 5 months ago by Kathy fitzgerald
Ysabel is rather different from Guy Gavriel Kay's other novels - much more focused on the supernatural premise than his many historical fantasies, but less based in the fantasy... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Harry Marks