Synopses & Reviews
Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate. That moment on a lonely road changed his life in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years laterand his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles toward the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north.
Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperorand alienates women at the court. But when her fathers life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has.
In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.
"I loved, loved, loved UNDER HEAVEN. It had everything in it that made me such a fan of Guy Kay in the first place. I thought the new one was perfect."
-Nancy Pearl, Book Commentator NPR "Morning Edition"
"A magnificent epic, flawlessly crafted, that draws the reader in like a whirlwind and doesn't let go."
-The Huffington Post
"Guy Gavriel Kay's fictional rendition of the Tang dynasty of ancient China in Under Heaven reads almost as a historical document. For anyone who enjoys a smart political thriller, a historical recreation or a good ghost story, this novel offers all three in an immensely readable union."
"Guy Gavriel Kay, hunting in the twilight zone between fact and dream, has written a shimmering novel, a fantasia on T'ang China, the epitome of Chinese civilization, as beautiful and as alien as the rings of Saturn... a beautiful, compulsive read..."
"Under Heaven is virtually everything a reader could want in a book: a thrilling adventure, a love story, a coming-of-age tale, a military chronicle, a court-intrigue drama, a tragedy and on and on. It is a sumptuous feast of storytelling, a beautifully written tale with a beating, breaking heart at its core that will have readers in tears by its final pages."
-Globe and Mail (Canada)
Praise for River of Stars
“Game of Thrones
“From whatever angle you approach it, River of Stars is a major accomplishment, the work of a master novelist in full command of his subject. It deserves the largest possible audience.”—Washington Post
"Kay has the uncanny ability to depict the grand sweep of historical events through the eyes of those living through them…Whats even more amazing is how through his careful rendering of character and environments we are drawn into this history…River of Stars is an exceptional piece of work."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"With River of Stars, Kay transports readers to a dazzling court and the ravages of war, with language almost impossibly multilayered in its nuance and tone, offering a series of insights that exquisitely build on each other...one of Kay's richest creations to date."—Huffington Post
"River of Stars is the sort of novel one disappears into, emerging shaken, if not outright changed. A novel of destiny, and the role of individuals within the march of history, it is touched with magic and graced with a keen humanity."—Globe and Mail
For the Northern mercenary called Blaise, it began with the death of a king and betrayal in the form of a peace treaty. Wandering in self-imposed exile, he would journey to the Kingdom of Arbonne, where the Court of Love made warriors bow to troubadours, and a well-sung ballad was valued as highly as a skillfully swung sword. But Arbonne was a troubled realm, torn by an ancient feud between its two most powerful dukes and coveted as a prize by the land in which Blaise himself had grown to manhood. And no one—except perhaps Arbonnes goddess—could forsee that one Northern mercenary might become the key to Arbonnes destiny....
View our feature on Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven. In his latest innovative novel, the award-winning author evokes the dazzling Tang Dynasty of 8th-century China in a story of honor and power.
Inspired by the glory and power of Tang dynasty China, Guy Gavriel Kay has created a masterpiece.
It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father's last great battles. In recognition of his labors and his filial piety, an unlikely source has sent him a dangerous gift: 250 Sardian horses.
You give a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You give him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor.
Wisely, the gift comes with the stipulation that Tai must claim the horses in person. Otherwise he would probably be dead already...
In the golden city of Sarantium, the renowned mosaicist Crispin seeks to fulfill his artistic ambitions and his destiny high upon a dome intended to be the emperor's enduring sanctuary and legacy. But the emperor is plotting a conquest of Crispin's homeland to regain an empire. And with his fate entwined with that of his royal benefactor, Crispin's loyalties come with a very high price.
Crispin is a master mosaicist, creating beautiful art with colored stones and glass. Summoned to Sarantium by imperial request, he bears a Queen's secret mission, and a talisman from an alchemist. Once in the fabled city, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, intrigues and violence, Crispin must find his own source of power in order to survive-and unexpectedly discovers it high on the scaffolding of his own greatest creation.
About the Author
Guy Gavriel Kay is an internationally bestselling author. He has been awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his work in the literature of the fantastic, is a two-time winner of the Aurora Award, and won the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Ysabel. His works have been translated into twenty-five languages.