Welcome to historical fantasy. To those who will skip this book because of those two words I pronounced, please wait. The book is not a boring recount of the past events. Yes, Guy Gavriel Kay draws his inspiration from the history, but what he does with it, is magical. He brings it alive through characters to its full glory and horror. He time again has shown what we as humans are like. This book was no different. He doesn’t settle for the bipolarity of good and bad. He always shows both sides and their motives.
Children of Earth and Sky was good. I loved the beginning and the end. I had issues with the middle with surprising plot twists which seemed to come out of nowhere. Those felt like he didn’t know how to get out of the situation he had written himself into. And, it felt like he wanted to bring some new useless elements in even when I disagreed with him. (You know, it is a good thing I don’t have a saying.) These surprises ruined a few places for me, but they weren’t a reason to put the book down and stop reading.
The book is solid with believable and relatable characters and the world. And the ending is what it should be. One thing you can’t blame Guy Gavriel Kay of being and that is naïve. He knows his history too well to let romantic notions what humans are like running free. This was evident with the theme of the book which I will not say aloud because of it will ruin the ending. However, this wasn’t his best work. I can’t get past Under Heaven and what he did with it. If you haven’t read Guy Gavriel Kay’s work before, I would start with Under Heaven.
If I had to sum the book in one word that would be broken. I don’t mean the writing, the structure (occasionally it was, but the issues might be within me,) or anything like that. What I mean is what we are. We, humans, are broken in every possible way and I’m saddened to see history repeating itself. We don’t seem to learn. That is why people like Guy Gavriel Kay are important, they bring the history alive and show us.