Sunday Spotlight: Guy Gavriel Kay

Posted on April 10, 2016 By

Guy Gavriel Kay! Illustrious, informed, and incredibly inventive!


Graphic by Tee LaFrance Todd – © 2016 Curionomastics

The Fionavar Tapestry was one of the reasons I became a fantasy buff. Reading that trilogy as a teenager opened up a fascinating world for me where reality and fantasy adventure mirrored each other and where medieval myths and magic coexisted with rich character development. I became an avid fan of Guy Gavriel Kay’s, devouring book after book of his highly inspired texts, and re-reading The Fionavar Tapestry twice since that initial discovery of mine. I also, of course, have a personal affinity to a writer with three names, one of which is a phonetic spelling of a letter.

WHATTA GUY! No pun intended…

An internationally renowned author, Guy Gavriel Kay has written and published 12 amazing novels and a book of poetry. His best-selling works of historically inspired fiction have been translated into more than 25 languages. Although he originally was called to the bar in Ontario after studying law, Guy Gavriel Kay became a successful novelist ever since the publication of The Summer Tree in 1984, which was the first book in the The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. His novel, Ysabel, won the World Fantasy Award in 2008 and his other works have garnered him two Aurora Awards, a Sunburst Prize, and numerous other nominations. He’s also 6’4’’ tall and can dunk one-handed while mixing a martini. I can’t wait to get my eyes on his newest novel, Children of Earth and Sky, which comes out next month! 



Guy’s Trivia Trio:

  1. In the mid 70s, he was asked by Christopher Tolkien to help edit his father’s book, The Silmarillion, when Guy was in college.
  2. He was the Principal Writer for The Scales of Justice, a Canadian radio series.
  3. He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014 for his excellent and award-winning publications in the speculative fiction genre.



Guy: A cross-cultural name that is pronounced as ‘Gai’ in English and ‘Gee’ (soft G) in French, Guy has multiple meanings depending on where it comes from. All of them, from guide to sensible to life apply well to Guy Gavriel Kay, who has drawn richly from historical and mythological resources of many different countries and time periods.

Gavriel: The Hebrew spelling of Gabriel, this name means “God’s hero” and was the moniker of one of the archangels. An important character to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, this name is another one of the author’s that bridges cultures. Alliterating with Guy, it gives the first one syllable name a lyrical flare.

Kay: A sharp bookend to this trio, Kay is derived from a number of sources as well. It is connected to the Latin Caius/Gauis and evokes images of chivalry coming from Sir Kaye, one of the Knights of the Round Table from the Arthurian legends. How apt that the writer of The Fionavar Tapestry has ties to such a name!


I hope you’ve enjoyed the first six Sunday Spotlights so far! Be sure to subscribe so you can get updates for the next six. Also, if you have anyone in mind that would be perfect for the Sunday Spotlight, please send me an e-mail at to tell me about it!


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