Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. So here's something I'm very much looking forward to: River of Stars, by Guy Gavriel Kay (from Roc, April 2, 2013).

Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. 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 later - and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards 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 emperor - and alienates women at the court. But when her father's 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.

There's not much that makes me happier than a new book by Guy Gavriel Kay. I think he's one of the finest prose stylists writing fantasy today; his books are beautiful, and nearly always make me cry. I'm also endlessly fascinated by the way he builds his fantasy worlds on historical societies; the previous novel in this series, if you can call it that when there's 400 years between one story and the next, was based loosely on Tang Dynasty China, and this one evidently takes up with the Song Dynasty. I confidently predict I'm going to think it's fabulous.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my WOW . I can't say I've read anything by Guy Gavriel Kay. Sounds like I need to check out his work!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know