Thursday, January 30, 2014

Staff Pick: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay't judge a book by its cover they say. Well, I have been attracted to the cover art of this book for a few years now. Every visit to the bookstore brought me to the point of this book in my hands, reading the summary over and over again. I couldn't possibly buy it; the library has a copy of it!

Just before the holidays I was browsing the uncatalogued paperbacks and low and behold, Ysabel (M) is there, in all her glory and beauty. This time, I was not letting this beauty of a book pass by.

History and foreign country, all through the eyes of a fourteen year old boy rounds this novel into one hauntingly surreal story. Part magic, part historical influences of Romans and Celts, and the setting of Provence France, take you on a journey of imagery you have never experienced before.

{Summary} Fifteen-year-old Ned Marriner accompanies his photographer father to Provence, where he is shooting images for a glossy coffee-table book. As Ned strolls along roads walked by Celtic tribes and Roman legions, he discovers a very old story playing itself out in this modern world of iPods and cell phones. On one holy, haunted night of the ancient year, when the borders between the living and the dead are down and fires are lit upon the hills, Ned, his family, and friends are shockingly drawn into this tale, as dangerous, mythic figures from conflicts of long ago erupt into the present, claiming and changing lives.

Ned has no idea of what he walks into, no idea that at only fourteen he will leave Provence more of a man than a teen. He will imagine, see, and know more in such a short time, he may not be able to go back to high school, his old friends, being normal. This book is full of imagery, history, and magic. It is a book that I would put into my 'what do I read now' list. It left me with questions and residue and stayed with me long after it ended. Gavriel Kay has many other books that I'm sure I will hold in my hands. Here are a few:

The Last Light of the Sun (M)

River of Stars (M)

Tigana (M)

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