Children of Earth and Sky – Guy Gavriel Kay – Simon Vance

Life turns on a dime, shatters in an instant. A word spoken, or not spoken; a decision made or deferred. A decision made by someone else, someone in power, in another part of the city or in a city in another country. Rain or sunlight on a given day. Everything is precarious … but joy can still be found …

There is an immediacy to Kay’s writing I haven’t encountered … anywhere. There’s no other author who can make my stomach knot up at a word, or an isolated sentence. An inopportune word, or a word forgotten. A character’s decision to take this turn instead of that. A moment’s inattention. If a stair creaks in one chapter, it will be important before long. And then he says something like “Then the big, red-bearded one said, changing her life, changing many lives …” and something’s about to hit a really big fan. Foreshadowing in Kay’s world is a heart-sinking thing, leaving me on edge with a knot in my stomach, because it’s not going to be pretty when it comes to pass. Not. At all.

And the humor in the writing – so much of it, so unexpected still, wry and dry and bawdy and crude. It would be so predictable for a book featuring such drama to be weighty, but GGK makes me laugh as ofen as he makes me anxious. He’s one of the best.

Children of Earth and Sky</> features, like Tigana, another brother and sister, long separated. There are in fact echoes of several of Kay’s other books, and oblique references – showing that his work all inhabits the same universe.

Words of wisdom from GGK:
Doing the right thing doesn’t always save you.
Legends, if you crossed their path, could get you killed.

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