Kay, Guy Gavriel. Ysabel. New York: ROC, 2007.

Reason read: Kay was born in November. Read in his honor.

This was a quick read once I settled into the fantasy aspect of it. I have to admit, the historical side was a little easier to cozy up to at first. The premise is an interesting one. Ned Marriner is traveling with his father in Aix-en-Provence, France on a photography assignment. Edward Marriner has made a name for himself as a professional photographer specializing in coffee table books of unusual landscapes and architecture. Ned’s mom is a doctor with Medicine Sans Frontiers and a source of angst for her family as she insists on being sent to treat people in warring regions like Dafur and Bosnia. While in Provence Ned befriends sarcastic and bold Kate and together they uncover an ancient mystery that borders on the supernatural. It seems like a great fantasy until Edward’s super assistant Melanie goes missing, sucked into that fantasy world.

As an aside, there are a lot of commercial references: iPod, Nike, Starbucks, Doc Martens, Coke…to name a few.

Quotes: sorry, there were none that stood out to me.

Author fact: Kay is a well known fantasy writer. I am reading six additional books for the Challenge (the Fionavar Tapestry series and a few others).

Book trivia: Cool factor – Ned likes music. Led Zep, U2, Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, Eminem…and it’s Coldplay who help get through one of his most difficult challenges.

Nancy said: Nancy said not to miss Ysabel. There was “enough history and adventure to satisfy even non-fantasy fans” (p 187). I would agree.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Provence and the South of France” (p 186).

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