Kay's a great fantasy writer and in Ysabel he blends fantasy with real life, history with present day. Once I got to chapter 5 I could not put it down. The premise is a famous photographer and his team is working on a book in and about France. The photographer's son stumbles into an alternate universe of sorts where he can see people who are trapped between worlds because of an ancient Celtic ritual. Its a bit crazy but Kay's an awesome writer and he makes it work really well. If you like fantasy writers, check Kay out. The other stuff I've read by him are A Song For Arbonne, Tigana and The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire and The Darkest Road). I loved them all.
I really liked this book! The writing was engaging and the plot was interesting, though it was a bit slow to start... My main complaint regarding the book were the holes in the backstory, plus the hint that perhaps Ned's story was not the most interesting one to be told... Still, it was a solid modern fantasy and quite an original story.
I am a long time Kay fan and I was thoroughly entranced with the story. It is a more modern setting intersecting with history/legends that interact with present day characters in Aix, France. Celtic legends, Roman battles, Canadian characters and a mystifying romantic triangle come together in an exciting and fresh mix. This is a bit of a change for Kay, whose other historical fantasies are based in a past world. It is intriguing and suspenseful, couldn't put it down. There is a tie in to characters from his Fionavar trilogy that was a fun plot twist.
I highly recommend this book but not as a first time Kay reader. Start with the Fionavar trilogy and then enjoy Ysabel. It is a great read.
A very elegant and engaging fantasy novel, intertwined with the French countryside, a bit of art, mythology and ancient history. Characters that were familiar from Kay's Fionavar Trilogy make appearances here, now older and wiser, but you need not have read the Trilogy to enjoy this book. The story is rich and well-written and the conclusion will keep you in suspense until the very end. Very highly recommended.