From the internationally bestselling author of Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan comes a masterful new novel set in a vivid world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offering an extraordinary cast of characters whose lives come together through destiny, love, and ambition.
In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man recalls his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra's intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a count--and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast.
Danio's fate changed the moment he recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the Beast's chambers one autumn night, intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger--and freedom--which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.
Unforgettable figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more, two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.
A Brightness Long Ago offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune's wheel.
GUY GAVRIEL KAY is the internationally bestselling author of thirteen previous novels, including Children of Earth and Sky, Under Heaven, and River of Stars. He has been awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his work in the literature of the fantastic and won the World Fantasy Award for Ysabel in 2008. In 2014, he was named to the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour. His works have been translated into thirty languages.
"A Brightness Long Ago is, like all of Kay’s work, exquisitely crafted and deeply moving. By turns beautiful and bittersweet, it tells the story of small people caught in the current of world-shattering events, and of the ripples they make that are sometimes—but not always—lost in the flow of history. His most compelling characters are those found lingering near the frame of a famous portrait, or rendered, almost as an afterthought, in glass and stone. Guy Gavriel Kay has written a masterpiece, yet again.” —Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld
"A new Guy Gavriel Kay novel is always occasion for rejoicing—and this dazzling adventure is a diamond-bright jewel." —Marina Endicott, author of Good to a Fault
"An epic tale filled with characters compelling enough to bear the weight of the high stakes." —Kirkus