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canadian cover of YsabelYsabel is GGK's tenth novel, published in 2007. To the right is the Canadian cover. Click through to the art gallery for additional cover artwork.

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"Everyone comes from somewhere else."

Provence, in the south of France, is a part of the world that has been—and continues to be—called a paradise. But one of the lessons that history teaches is that paradise is coveted and fought over. Successive waves of invaders have claimed—or tried to claim—those vineyards, rivers, olive groves, and hills.

In Guy Gavriel Kay's new novel, Ysabel, this duality—of exquisite beauty and violent history—is explored in a work that marks a departure from Kay's historical fantasies set in various analogues of the past.

Ysabel takes place in the world of today: in a modern springtime, in and around the celebrated city of Aix-en-Provence near Marseilles. Dangerous, mythic figures from the Celtic and Roman conflicts of the past erupt into the present, claiming and changing lives.

The protagonist is Ned Marriner, the fifteen year-old son of a well-known photographer. Ned has accompanied his father, Edward Marriner, and a team of assistants to Provence for a six week "shoot."

To read the rest of the introduction (please note, it includes minor spoilers) click here.

You can also read the prologue here, as well as a reading passage from further along in the novel here.

GGK prepared, on request, a 'Letter to the Reader' to go out with early copies of Ysabel to the media, talking a little of how he came to write the book. Here it is, for you to read!

You can read GGK's 'Ysabel journal', on the forums of the website, which includes GGK's observations and experiences about the process of the run up to, and after, publication of the novel. Read it here. The most recent entries are at the top of the page, as opposed to the bottom.

We also have a fascinating interview with GGK taken from the official Penguin Ysabel website, that discusses the process of his historical reserach for Ysabel. This does have spoilers in terms of broader themes of history and location, but not at all in terms of story or plot - the spoilerphobic need not be concerned with this one.

An American paperback edition of Ysabel, as well as Penguin Canada's website, included a Reader's Guide. To see and ponder the questions posed, click here.

The Fionavar Tapestry
A Song for Arbonne
The Lions of Al-Rassan
The Sarantine Mosaic
Beyond this Dark House
Last Light of the Sun
Under Heaven
River of Stars
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Bright Weavings: The Worlds of Guy Gavriel Kay