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Valerius the Trakesian has great ambition. Rumored to be responsible for the ascension of the previous Emperor, his uncle, amid fire and blood, Valerius himself has now risen to the Golden Throne of the vast empire ruled by the fabled city, Sarantium.
Valerius has a vision to match his ambition: a glittering dome that will proclaim his magnificence down through the ages. And so, in a ruined western city on the far distant edge of civilization, a not-so-humble artisan receives a call that will change his life forever.
Crispin is a mosaicist, a layer of bright tiles. Still grieving for the family he lost to the plague, he lives only for his arcane craft, and cares little for ambition, less for money, and for intrigue not at all. But an imperial summons to the most magnificent city in the world is a difficult call to resist.
In this world still half-wild and tangled with magic, no journey is simple; and a journey to Sarantium means a walk into destiny. Bearing with him a deadly secret, and a Queen's seductive promise; guarded only by his own wits and a bird soul talisman from an alchemist's treasury, Crispin sets out for the fabled city from which none return unaltered.
In the Aldwood he encounters a great beast from the mythic past, and in robbing the zubir of its prize he wins a woman's devotion and a man's loyalty--and loses a gift he didn't know he had until it was gone.
In Sarantium itself, where rival factions vie in the streets and palaces, and chariot racing is as sacred as prayer, Crispin will begin his life anew. In an empire ruled by intrigue and violence, he must find his own source of power. And he does: high on the scaffolding of the greatest art work ever imagined, while struggling to deal with the dangers--and the seductive lures--of the men and women around him.
Guy Gavriel Kay's magnificent historical fantasies draw from the twin springs of history and legend to create seamless worlds as vibrant as any in literature. Sailing to Sarantium begins The Sarantine Mosaic, a new and signal triumph by today's most esteemed master of high fantasy.
"To say of a man that he was Sailing to Sarantium was to say that his life was on the cusp of change, poised for emergent greatness, brilliance, fortune--or else at the very precipice of a final and absolute fall into chaos and ruin."
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Sailing to Sarantium is a small story. Its hero, Crispin, is unassuming as heroes go. He's a skilled mosaicist, an artist who makes pictures with decorative tiles, and responds to a request from a distant emperor to travel to the imperial capital and work on the new sanctuary there. Hardly the makings of high adventure. But then again, Guy Gavriel Kay could write about a peasant going to pick up a pail of water and you'd probably hang on every word.
If you don't know Kay, you should. His pedigree is impeccable, starting with a well-loved fantasy debut, the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road), and a compilation he did with Christopher Tolkien called The Silmarillion. Sailing to Sarantium, the first half of the Sarantine Mosaic series, evokes his other historical fantasy titles, such as A Song for Arbonne and The Lions of Al-Rassan, and is a well-researched analog to the Byzantine Empire and fifth-century Europe--with all its political and religious machinations.
Despite its seemingly prosaic cast and quest, Sailing to Sarantium is a charmer, another Kay classic. As usual, the character descriptions are subtle and precise--the mosaicist, Crispin, is a shrewd, irascible, and intensely likable man who is fiercely devoted to his art but troubled by guilt and loss. Reluctantly surrendering to events, he agrees to travel to Sarantium to work for the emperor. ("Sailing to Sarantium," we learn, is an expression synonymous with embracing great change.) As Crispin moves from roadside quarrels to palace intrigue, Kay gracefully shifts perspective from character to character, moving forward and backward in time and giving a rich sense of the world through the eyes of soldiers, slaves, and senators. --Paul HughesAbout the Author:
GUY GAVRIEL KAY is acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost fantasy authors. He is the author of eleven novels, and his works have been translated into twenty-five languages. Kay lives in Toronto with his family. Visit him online at brightweavings.com.
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Book Description Harper Voyager, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0061051179
Book Description Harper Voyager. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0061051179 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0014725
Book Description Harper Voyager, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0061051179