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River of Stars Hardcover – April 2, 2013
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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
Praise for River of Stars
“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
“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.”—Laura Miller, Salon.com
“A powerful and complex tale told with simplicity and elegance.”—Library Journal
Praise for the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay
“[Read] anything by Guy Gavriel Kay... His strengths are strong characters and fantastic set pieces.”--The New Yorker
“History and fantasy rarely come together as gracefully or readably as they do in the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay.”--The Washington Post Book World
“Kay is a genius. I've read him all my life and am always inspired by his work.”--#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson
"A storyteller on the grandest scale."--Time Magazine, Canada
Top customer reviews
When the 'exciting bits' came up towards the end of the book, I was on tenterhooks until the story came to its conclusion. Even there, you need to work at the ending - the author doesn't just hand it to you on a plate!!
For those who like novels/stories that develop slowly, and need you to keep on your toes when reading, I recommend this book unreservedly. If you like stories that don't require a lot of thought, I would recommend the hard copy. But recommend it I do. But beware! It's a slow starter, but when it starts, be prepared to sit at it for hours at a time. It's definitely not a pick up and put down book; it's a book to read and read and read...
Addendum: I re-read the last chapter after writing this review, and I was almost in tears - it was so moving! I really recommend this, with the caution that it's not a book to pick up and browse; it requires dedication and time. Enjoy!