Creator / Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay is an award-winning Canadian fantasy author. His works are known for hewing close to medieval European history, and for having very little magic.
As a young man, he worked with Christopher Tolkien preparing J. R. R. Tolkien
's The Silmarillion
Tropes common to his works include:
- Alien Sky: The multiple moons variety.
- Author Appeal: Masquerade carnivals with anonymous sex. Also, male submission and cheating wives.
- Canon Welding: Elements from The Fionavar Tapestry show up in other books occasionally.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Thinly veiled stand-ins for real world religions appear in most of his novels.
- Deadly Decadent Court: A recurring theme in his novels, the plots of several of them are kick-started by one palace intrigue or another.
- Disease By Any Other Name: Diabetes shows up in Under Heaven, under the name "the sugar sickness".
- Double Standard: Kay consistently portrays cheating husbands as scum, but cheating wives as perfectly acceptable.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: He sticks so closely to the source material that individual characters can be matched one for one with historical figures from the original cultures.
- Grey and Gray Morality
- Historical Fantasy: Kay's basic modus operandi is to take a not-too-well-known historical event, change all the names (but keep the original cultural flavourings intact—the country may be called Kitai, but everyone still speaks Chinese and have Mandarin names), add a dash of magic, and construct the character's arcs around it. Namely:
- Tigana: The unification of Italy
- A Song for Arbonne: The Albigensian Crusade
- The Lions of Al-Rassan: The Spanish Reconquista
- Sailing To Sarantium: The rise of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I
- Lord Of Emperors: The Nika Riots of Constantinople
- The Last Light of the Sun: The Viking incursion during the reign of Alfred the Great
- Under Heaven: The An Lushan Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty
- River of Stars: The Jin-Song War and the fall of the Northern Song Dynasty
- Children of Earth and Sky: The aftermath of the Fall of Constantinople and the intrigues between the Maritime Republics.
- Low Fantasy: While magic is always present to one degree or another in his novels, it usually remains in the background, and plays a small role in the outcome of the events depicted.
- True Companions
- Two Lines, No Waiting