Locus Award nominee 2014.
In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world – a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.
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.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.
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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