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Picking up about 400 years after Under Heaven (2010), Kay reenters his fictionalized version of ancient China near the end of the Twelfth Dynasty (in real-world terms, the story is set around the year 1120, at the time of the fall of Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song Dynasty). Kitai, the author’s stand-in for imperial China, is on the verge of war. Lin Shan, a determined and unconventional young woman, uses her unusual relationship with the emperor to manipulate events behind the scenes in an effort to protect the life of her beloved father. When he was a boy, Ren Daiyan killed several men while protecting a civil servant from a kidnapping attempt; distraught by what he had done, he went deep into the forest and became an outlaw, reemerging years later to become the leader of a great army whose mission is to stop invaders from crossing into Kitai. Their stories interweave, man and woman affecting the course of history. Fans of Kay’s elegantly written novels will clamor for this new blend of sf/fantasy and historical fiction. --David Pitt
“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…What’s 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. Even more than in previous books, each sentence seems shaped to further enhance the book’s themes, recalling the craftsmanship of the man-made peony blossom that is a recurring image throughout. Here, too, emotional intensity is amped up more than ever, the shattering catharsis even more complete... 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
“Guy Gavriel Kay’s exquisite Asian-inspired epic fantasy offers a fresh twist on intrigue and adventure...Here you’ll find all the scheming and skullduggery that give Game of Thrones its zest, refined to the subtlest of arts.”—Salon.com “Listener” column by Laura Miller
Great sequel. I read it on a recent trip to China, and it really put a new depth to my trip. Kay's work is always beautiful.Published 5 days ago by EJGryphon
Another extraordinary work from Mr. Kay! I wish I hadn't read it so fast.Published 25 days ago by Scott Laabs
Beautiful writing and storytelling with engaging characters. Kay's world, based on Dynastic China, is rich with cultural color and subtleties. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gregory Guerin
I love his books and this one was no exception. The story was complex and full of magic and history.Published 2 months ago by Crunch
Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorite authors. I long for some of the themes he developed in his earlier writings.Published 3 months ago by Teder
Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorite writers. The imagry and the beauty of the language are astounding. I love the way he takes something historical and gives a little twist.Published 4 months ago by Phillip L. Greenberg
Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the authors that has me continually checking on to find out when he will be releasing his next book. It is always worth the weight. Read morePublished 4 months ago by marla
Kay is a wonderful storeteller. The depth of his character development lets you live with each one. What is notable is that there is no black or white in them. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Kyle