World Fantasy Award nominee 2011, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award nominee 2011, Locus Award nominee 2011.
Inspired by the glory of Tang Dynasty China in the eighth century, Guy Gavriel Kay melds history and the fantastic into something both powerful and emotionally compelling. Under Heaven is a novel on the grandest narrative scale, encompassing the intimate details of individual lives in an unforgettable time and place.
Shen Tai is the son of a general who led the forces of imperial Kitai in that empire's last war against their western enemies from Tagur, twenty years before. Forty thousand men on both sides were slain beside a remote mountain lake. General Shen Gao himself has died recently. To honour his father's memory, Tai has spent two years of official mourning alone at the battle site among the ghosts of the dead, laying to rest their unburied bones.
One spring morning, he learns that others have taken note of his vigil. The White Jade Princess in Tagur is pleased to present him with two hundred and fifty Sardian horses, given, she writes, in recognition of his courage, and honour done to the dead.
You gave a man one of the famed Sardians to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal.
Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor. Tai starts east towards the glittering, dangerous imperial capital and gathers his wits for a return from solitude by a mountain lake to his own forever-altered life.
"Kay is a genius. I've read him all of my life and am always inspired by his work. You will love Under Heaven." – Brandon Sanderson
Guy Gavriel Kay (born 1954, Canada) is the internationally bestselling author of twelve books. 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 has been nominated five times for the World Fantasy Award. His works have been translated into 22 languages. He was retained by J.R.R. Tolkien's estate to work with Christopher Tolkien in the reconstruction of the posthumously published Tolkien work, The Silmarillion.
After completing the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy, which showed the influence of a variety of Celtic and Norse myths, Guy Gavriel Kay began writing epic historical fantasies. Although magic is generally present to some extent ... (more)