Guy Gavriel Kay

Guy Gavriel Kay is a popular Canadian fantasy fiction author arguably most famous for his Fionavar Trilogy.

Guy was born in the Canadian town of Weyburn in the state of Saskatchewan and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Guy studied philosophy at the University of Manitoba and during this time met Christopher Tolkien. Guy Graduated from the University with a B.A. before moving to oxford in 1974 to assist Christopher Tolkien in the editing of The Silmarillion.

During this time he realised that writing could be a difficult career to earn a regular living with and after finishing work on the silmarillion in 1975, Guy returned to Canada and studied Law at the University of Toronto. He graduated in 1978 however he discovered that his interest in writing had not diminished.
Guy started to write his first novel in his spare time and became the Principal Writer and Associate Producer for a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio series, The Scales of Justice. This series was very succesful and award winning and Guy continued to write for the series until 1989.

Guy's first fantasy work, The Summer Tree, the accliamed first volume of the Fionavar Tapestry, was published in 1984. This was followed by The Wandering Fire in 1986 and The Darkest Road in 1987, completing the trilogy.

The first single volume story, Tigana was written in 1990 and was written while Guy was in Tuscany. Guy carried out a lot of carefull reasearch for this novel and was influenced by the ancient italian history, geography, polotics and culture. Guy Acknowledges the works of Jacob Burckhardt, Iris Origo, Joseph Huizinga, Gene Brucker, Lauro Martines, Milan Kundera and Carlo Ginzburg as influences in this novel.
Later in the same year, Guy lost his father and also welcomed the birth of his first son which brought different mixed emotions reflexions his following novel, A Song for Arbonne published in 1992. Written while in Provence, the novel clearly reflects medieval France. Kay credits sources of inspiration in the French historians Georges Duby, Phillippe Aries, and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie; the work of Urban Tigner Holmes, Frances and Joseph Gies, and Friedrich Heer; and, for his knowledge of the history and the work of the troubadours, Frederick Golden, Paul Blackburn, Alan Press, and Meg Bogin.

In 1995 Guy published The Lions of Al-Rassan, which is loosely based on the story of the Cid, and continued Guy's intent to use real historical events. Guy carried out extensive research for this novel, which is very apparent to the reader, while retaining a very fresh perspective.

1999 saw Guy publish the first of a two part series, Sailing to Sarantium and released the follow up, Lord of Emperors the following year both novels are set in a fantasy world modeled on ancient Byzantium, continuing Guy's fantasy / historical theme.

Guy Continues to Travel, research and write with his latest novel, Ysabel having recently been nominated for best novel for the World Fantasy Award 2008 which is due to be decided towards the end of the year.


    Fionavar Tapestry
    • The Summer Tree (1984)
    • The Wandering Fire (1986)
    • The Darkest Road (1987)
    The Sarantine Mosaic
    • Sailing to Sarantium (1998)
    • Lord of Emperors (2000)
    Single Volumes
    • Tigana (1990)
    • A Song for Arbonne (1992)
    • The Lions of Al-Rassan, (1995)
    • Beyond This Dark House (2003)
    • The Last Light of the Sun (2004)
    • Ysabel (2007)