cover image All the Seas of the World

All the Seas of the World

Guy Gavriel Kay. Berkley, $28 (528p) ISBN 978-0-593-44104-6

World Fantasy Award winner Kay sets another outstanding fantasy in the Renaissance-like universe previously visited in Children of Earth and Sky and A Brightness Long Ago, offering a mosaic of captivating story lines within a mesmerizing narrative frame. The sections are linked by the omniscient narrator’s observation that “there are many different ways for a home to be lost, and for the world to become defined by that loss” and musings on the inherent subjectivity of storytelling. The first tale, for example, seemingly begins where it does because of this storyteller’s random observation of “a ship in the night, sailing without lights.” Aboard this vessel is Nadia bint Dhiyan, who, with no home to return to, is bent on carrying out an assassination—though her plan does not unfold as she intends. Other threads, which feature a captive diplomat and the head of a ruling council overseeing a spy network needed to maintain his city-state’s trade, similarly explore family, memory, and belonging. Kay constructs a rich world that easily draws readers in. Historical fantasy fans will be wowed. Agent: John Silbersack, Bent Agency. (May)