Author Archives: Deborah Meghnagi


by Guy Gavriel Kay The links below lead to an extremely selective listing of works I used in researching the ‘historical’ fantasies. It would feel silly at this point for me to try going back to a decade’s worth of … Continue reading

Review by Michael Dirda of The Washington Post

Guy Gavriel Kay’s historical fantasy, “Under Heaven,” reviewed by Michael Dirda Review by Michael Dirda of The Washington Post. Reproduced with kind permission. Guy Gavriel Kay’s “Under Heaven” isn’t quite historical fiction, nor is it quite fantasy. It’s set in … Continue reading

Review by novelist Midori Snyder

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay Review by novelist Midori Snyder of Reproduced with kind permission. The opening chapter of Guy Gavriel Kay’s novel Under Heaven (set in an imagined T’ang China), introduces Shen Tai, a man embarked on … Continue reading

Review by Robert J. Wiersema for The Globe and Mail

Worlds Apart Review by Robert J. Wiersema for The Globe and Mail. Reproduced with kind permission. Shen Tai is the second son of General Shen Gao, one of the most distinguished military leaders of the Kitan Empire. Following his father’s … Continue reading

Review by Desi Stern for Petrichor Machine

Reproduced with kind permission ofPetrichor Machine. As the days get shorter and colder here in New England, there are few pleasures as sure to warm you up as sitting down with a good book, a dog’s chin on your knee, … Continue reading

Review by Indrapramit Das for Strange Horizons.

Reproduced with kind permission of Strange Horizons. Early in his latest novel, River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay has one of his characters, the poet Lin Shan, ask, “But if only the one tale is told, over and over, no … Continue reading

Review by Adam Whitehead of The Wertzone

Reproduced with kind permission of The Wertzone. Kitai, during the Twelfth Dynasty. Several centuries after a devastating civil war that left half the population of the empire dead and its armies disbanded, the empire has still not fully recovered. Soldiers … Continue reading

Review by Ilana Teitelbaum for Huffington Post

Sublime Heartbreak Reproduced with kind permission by Huffington Post. There’s a reason that each new fantasy novel by Guy Gavriel Kay is met with so much excitement by a core of devoted readers. These are books in which everything happens–epic … Continue reading

Review by Chadwick Ginther for The Winnipeg Review

Reproduced with kind permission of The Winnipeg Review. Guy Gavriel Kay is in a class all his own in the fantasy field. He explores meticulously researched and detailed cultures filled with fascinating characters and then is capable of moving on-no … Continue reading

Review by Natalie Zina Walschots for National Post

For River of Stars Reproduced with permission of National Post. Fantasy, science fiction, magic realism – any of the genres that can be classified as speculative fiction – are often defined (or dismissed) as being entirely about escapism. Whether a … Continue reading

Bibliography for Ysabel

Early in the game here at Bright Weavings I rashly undertook to provide the site with more comprehensive bibliographies for each book than appeared in the Acknowledgements for the novels themselves. It has been pointed out to me that I’m … Continue reading

Bibliography for The Last Light of the Sun

For The Last Light of the Sun a bibliography, even a brief one, has to cover more ground than usual, because there were three cultures I was trying to evoke and explore. For the Vikings (my Erlings) the best single-volume … Continue reading

Bibliography for The Sarantine Mosaic

I became almost too engaged while researching Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors. There are more books I can cite than anyone would really want to hear about. In this case, I’ll try even more to cut to the … Continue reading

Bibliography for The Lions of Al-Rassan

In 1861, a Dutch scholar named Rheinhart Dozy published a work that is entirely dated in its style and approach, has been superseded in much of its analysis, and yet remains gloriously, exuberantly rich in romantic detail and anecdote and … Continue reading

Bibliography for A Song for Arbonne

Arbonne was, more than any of my books, shaped by my being in situ … I researched it in Provence over several months, and then wrote most of it there on a second visit. In some ways it is a … Continue reading

Bibliography for Tigana

Tigana involved a more eclectic set of readings than any of the books that came after, and I suppose that’s reflected in the range of themes in the book. The ambience and some of the political underpinnings are (fairly evidently, … Continue reading

March 2012 – Warp and Weft: The Brightweavings Newsletter

Warp and Weft: The Brightweavings Newsletter March 2012 ********** Perhaps the very best reason for a Bright Weavings newsletter is to share information about GGK’s next novel! We have a lot more to tell you than that, but it is … Continue reading


GGK will be going ‘on tour’ in Canada to coincide with the publication of The Last Light of the Sun. The principal media appearances will begin February 27th, and run through the March 17th reading and on-stage interview at the … Continue reading

Under Heaven Journal – discussion thread

By Deborah (Deborah) on Monday, September 14, 2009 – 3:34 am: Anyone reading GGK’s new Under Heaven journal can post comments or questions about things he has revealed in the comments box at the bottom of this page. By Natae … Continue reading

Review of Martin Springett’s “Bright Weaving”

by Francois Vincent It is clear that Martin Springett was gripped by a muse. The result of such inspiration is “Bright Weaving”, a compilation of songs inspired by the works of author Guy Gavriel Kay. Fifteen tracks of idyllic music … Continue reading


These posters are of the full wrap images that were used on the first editions of The Fionavar Tapestry. Click on a poster to see a bigger copy. In reality, they measure 18×24 inches, and are available to buy for … Continue reading

On Readings

Public performances are another aspect of the writer’s business about which I feel some ambivalence. There are ironies here: I enjoy reading aloud, and I derive a great deal of pleasure from meeting readers. What’s the problem, then? Well, I’ve … Continue reading

Warp & Weft: The Bright Weavings Newsletter – Subscribe

Guy Gavriel Kay: Warp & Weft: The Bright Weavings Newsletter – Subscribe   The site newsletter goes out whenever there is enough news and new items on the website to make it worthwhile; sometimes that’s every month, sometimes only once … Continue reading

The World-Building of Guy Gavriel Kay

by Holly E. Ordway May 13, 1998 One of the most notable aspects of fantasy literature is its creation of a secondary world, not like our own primary world. If I may be excused for starting off this essay with … Continue reading

Myth and the New High Fantasy: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana

by Janeen Webb © 1991, by Janeen Webb. First published in The Ring Bearer: Journal of the Mythopoeic Literature Society of Australia, Spring 1991, Vol 8, No. 2. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved. Guy Gavriel Kay … Continue reading

Post-Romantic Romance: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana and A Song for Arbonne

by Janeen Webb Copyright © Janeen Webb 1994. All rights reserved. This article first appeared in The New York Review of Science Fiction, No.77, January 1995. Judged by any of the standard genre definitions, Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana is high … Continue reading

Synopsis of article by Mirco Tondi

Translation by Emanuele Manco, administrator of Fantasy Magazine. This is a synopsis of “La mitologia, fonte di consapevolezza e ispirazione: il mondo di Fionavar di Guy Gavriel Kay”, by Mirco Tondi. History, religion, psychology teach that everything has a single … Continue reading

Songs in the Blood: The Discourse of Music in Three Canadian Novels

by Joyce Gutensohn, 2004 Joyce explains: I had originally planned to write my MA thesis at the University of Victoria on some aspect of the relationship between music and literature, and was leaning toward the traditional approach of examining a … Continue reading

Royal Ascent: the romance of monarchy in Yvain, The Hobbit, and Tigana

by Stephen David Wark, 1998 Stephen Wark explains how he came to write this paper: “As far as the provenance of the paper goes, it was written for a course during my M.A. at Concordia University titled “Early Modern Romance”. … Continue reading

Shifting Focalization and the Strategy of Delay: The Narrative Weaving of "The Fionavar Tapestry"

by Neil Randall This paper, by Neil Randall, first appeared in the journal Canadian Literature, issue no. 129 (Summer 1991). Copyright Neil Randall, reproduced with permission. Huge thanks to Caitlin Sweet for locating a copy of the journal and typing … Continue reading

Present Reality in Historical Fantasy (Guy Gavriel Kay – Scholarship: & Dissertation)

This is a dissertation by Anya Kleander written for her Honours English Studies with Film and Media Studies Degree at Stirling University, submitted in Spring 2008.   Table of contents Acknowledgments and Declaration List of abbreviations Introduction Tigana – ‘mirroring … Continue reading

Postcolonialism in Guy Kay’s Tigana

This is an undergraduate paper by Kent Aardse written for a course taken at the University of Lethbridge in 2008. The unifying movement of postcolonial literature sets out to expose the conditions experienced in the world by those people of … Continue reading

A Song for Arbonne: de-romanticised fantasy

This is an article by Nathalie Labrousse-Marchau, a French philosophy teacher, which appeared originally on her website. With thanks to Francois Vincent for the translation into English. Read it in French. Guy Gavriel Kay is not an author like the … Continue reading

Myth in Fantasy

An Honours Thesis by Amy Yeong Xiao Hui, submitted as part of her BA in English Literature at the University of Singapore Contents Chapter One: The Importance of Structure in Fantasy Chapter Two: Kay’s Treatment of Archetypes Structure within the … Continue reading

“The Unacknowledged Legislators of the World”: Songs and Poetry in Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne

“The Unacknowledged Legislators of the World”: Songs and Poetry in Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne This is an undergraduate paper by James Allard written when he was at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He also presented the paper … Continue reading

Kay’s Provence: From Arbonne to Ysabel

Faye Ringel, Ph.D. Professor Emerita, Department of Humanities U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut, USA This paper was written by Dr. Faye Ringel, formerly Professor of Humanities, U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Versions were presented at the International Conference on … Continue reading

Justinien Visité et Revisité, by Pierre-Louis Malosse

This French paper first appeared in the French academic journal Anabases (Toulouse), 5 (2007), p. 229-235. You can also read the translated English version here. L’Antiquité tardive et Byzance ne sont pas les destinations favorites des voyageurs temporels. Ce n’est … Continue reading

GGK’s note

Janeen Webb takes the unusual and generous step of noting the author’s differing view or intention. This is a classic case where the writer might well not have accomplished what he wanted, but to open up the possibility of further … Continue reading

We See by Jad’s Light Alone: Guy Gavriel Kay and the New Sanctuary Mosaicist

by Andrew Patton GGK NOTE My old friend Andy Patton is one of those unfairly gifted people who rely on being both charming and decent to avoid being murdered by the rest of us in a collective fit of envy … Continue reading

Guy Gavriel Kay and the Psychology of History

by Christopher Cobb First published in Foundation, Summer 2005. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved. Christopher Cobb is an assistant professor of English at North Carolina State University. His research interests include Shakespearean romance, Renaissance literature, modern … Continue reading

“Brightly Woven” or Free to be Bright

This is a paper written by Joshua Fontanna for a grade 12 high school English class in 2009. Why are you reading this? Do you honestly think it will be worth your time? You don’t have to do this you … Continue reading

How are Heroes Born?

This is the English version of Patricia Gagné’s undergraduate essay, “Comment naissent les héros?”, as translated by Morgan Mills. The original French version is also on the site. A translator’s introduction of his work must always consist of an apology … Continue reading

Comment naissent les héros? by Patricia Gagne

An undergraduate essay by Patricia Gagné. In French! Thanks to Alec Lynch for help with the formatting… Au début, il n’y avait rien… Puis arriva le Tisserand qui s’installa à son Métier où il tissa Fionavar, le premier de tous … Continue reading

The Themes of Fate and Free-will in the Fionavar Tapestry

by Shelley McLennan, 2002 The struggle between fate and free-will is a fundamental theme in Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry. The ability of people to change their destiny by the exercising of their free will is most clearly shown … Continue reading

The High Fantasies of Lawhead and Kay, by John Doherty.

By John J. Doherty This essay is part of a larger work by Professor Doherty, titled “Arthurian Fantasy, 1980-1989: An analytical and bibliographical survey”. It examines the development of the Arthurian Legend in fantasy literature during the 1980s. This essay, … Continue reading

On Sailing to Sarantium, by Dena Taylor

by Dena Taylor This was first published as a review in TransVersions 10, Toronto: Orchid Press, 1999 In Sailing to Sarantium, Volume One of The Sarantine Mosaic, Guy Gavriel Kay moves east in his secondary world and three hundred years … Continue reading

Three Glasses of Wine: The Accommodation of Culture in The Lions of Al-Rassan

by Dena Taylor This paper, by Dena Taylor, is part of an upcoming book on GGK being published by NIMROD PRESS (New Lambton, NSW, Australia) in the BABEL HANDBOOKS series. In The Lions of Al-Rassan, religion is highly politicized, with … Continue reading

The Double-Edged Gift: Power and Moral Choice in The Fionavar Tapestry

by Dena Taylor, University of Toronto The central image sustaining The Fionavar Tapestry is that of the Weaver at the Worldloom and the Tapestry he weaves, an image which represents time and the fate or destiny of all the characters … Continue reading

The Creative Construction of History in Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Sarantine Mosaic

by Jillian Hatch, 2005 As Holly E. Ordway recognizes in her essay, “The World-Building of Guy Gavriel Kay,” “Kay’s work is notable in that he makes extensive use of sources from […] the ‘primary world,’” such as “literature, mythology, and … Continue reading

From Middle Earth to Fionavar: Free Will and Sacrifice in High Fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien and Guy Gavriel Kay

by Susannah Clements This paper, by Susannah Clements, was presented at the Conference on Christianity and Literature 2002, attended primarily by Christian scholars and students. The theme of the conference was whether there is such a thing as a “distinctly … Continue reading