Guy Gavriel Kay (LLB 1978) has a penchant for using fantasy to reimagine famous historical periods, from the political turmoil of the Tang dynasty in ancient China to the religious strife in medieval Spain. His upcoming novel, Children of Earth and Sky (which will be released in May), turns to the tumultuous period of the European Renaissance – where people from very different backgrounds find their lives entwined in the face of war.
Kay travelled across Europe – from Venice and Prague to Dubrovnik, Croatia – to explore and research the book’s setting. In Children of Earth and Sky, the small coastal town of Senjan – which is notorious for its pirates – was inspired by Kay’s time in Croatia and by a friend (and his Croatian publisher), whose remarks about pirates on the Dalmatian Coast during the Renaissance helped set the stage.
The genre of “historical fantasy” allows Kay to incorporate his fascination for a time period with his writerly imagination – and he hopes that his fantastical world will keep readers awake at night, anxious to see the story unfold. But, he adds, “I want them to remember the books long after they’ve read them. I want to entertain them and stay with them.”