Under Heaven (Under Heaven #1)
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Availability: 15 copies available, 229 people requesting
Giveaway dates: May 24 - May 31, 2016
Countries available: CA
Format: Print Book
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It's like thanking the one of the great living people on earth, someone one tr ...more
So, you guys saw Clerks, right? Actually, I think it might’ve been Clerks II, but anyway: there’s one part where some characters pose a very important nerd battle: Star Wars trilogy vs. LOTR trilogy. The major points are as per usual, Darth Vader and lightsabers, BOOM EXPLODING PLA ...more
1. Start with an exceedingly slow build-up -- the more detail, the better. If your book is lengthier, people will assume it's more literary.
2. Choose an exotic time period and locale and evoke it wherever possible. Hopefully the fascinating food and clothing details will help your reader forget that there was no indoor plumbing. Then, proceed to superimpose all sorts of anachronistic qualities on your story to appeal to contemporary readers' fantasies a ...more
After the death of the honoured General Shen Gao, his son, Shen Tai our ma ...more
Guy Gavriel Kay's works are a celebration of the English language. It is simply beautiful to read.
Kay started out as a poet, and that's clearly evident in Under Heaven, where not a word is out of place.
The themes of this book are subtle, and will only hit you after some time has passed for digestion. Truth, stories, people, memory, history. The whole time I was reading I thought this book would be 4 stars, but after a few sleeps on it, I can't get it ou ...more
Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest historical fantasy, Under Heaven, is gorgeous. If you’re already a fan of GGK, you know exactly what kind of delight you’re in for. Under Heaven is every bit as wonderful as Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, and The Last Light of the Sun. Every bit.
Under Heaven takes place in Kitai — an alternate Tang Dynasty (but not so alternate that you won’t recognize the names of many of the characters if you read just a brief history of the Tang Dy ...more
I bought Ysabel, but it languishes on my bookshelf even now. I avoided Under Heaven until it became our fantasy book in the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book club. Once it won the vote, I thought it might be time to return to Kay.
I was a third into the book when my daughter, Scoutie, booknapped it and hid it under the love seat in the Sun Room. It resurfaced while we were vaccuu ...more
Well, this is one of those exceptionally notable exceptions.
Under Heaven is, far and a ...more
A book always comes with expectations. General ones you have towards all books and specific ones for a particular one.
I read "Under heaven" with the "SciFi and Fantasy Book Club". I had not read anything by Guy Gavriel Kay before and didn't know what to expect. I was just curious and decided to give the Kindle sample a try.
I was imediately hooked. Poetic prose, slow and deliberate development of story and character, a familia ...more
Well, if these horses happen to be highly prized by very powerful people (including an Emperor) AND you are stuck in the middle of nowhere when you receive the gift you can find yourself in a bit of a pickle. This is the situation Shen Tai finds himself in when he is gifted (though gifted might not be how he sees it) 250 magnificent Sardian horses, horses whose qualities f ...more
That being said -
I found Under Heaven quite disappointing. From the [lack of] plot to the [extremely under-developed] characters, the whole novel felt very wanting.
Based on Kay's better works (e.g. Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, etc. ) we know that he could have easily made this into a real classic, with characters and lines and imagery that stay with you years after you've read them. ...more
Cheeky Guy Gavriel Kay, referencing to all his other novels, set in two-moons planets :)
Anyway, Under Heaven has been quite a great reading. First time I read Gavriel in English, and man, he can write. Amazing prose, beautiful lyrical writing. I've half an idea to re-read Tigana in English, 'cause I'm sure it'd be even bette ...more
This is beyond what I'm used to from historical China: rather than the chaotic periods of history when the land is split into multiple warring kingdoms, Kay's story is placed at the height of unified Chinese power during the Tang dynasty. Legitimacy is virtually unquestioned, all the people of the empire are brought under one ruler, and ...more
You give a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You give him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towar ...more
To be truthful, after the wait for Under Heaven, the result was a little anti-climatic. As I was reading it, I kept thinking that it was The Sarantine Mosaic Lite. In both books, a commoner gets embroiled in the politics of an emperor's court during a tumultuous time in the empire's history. In both books, the m ...more
It appears to take place in ancient China (though never named as such), so I suppose it's historical fiction. However, the combination of hero's-journey elements, Machiavellian court politics, and mild supernatural elements could qualify it as low fantasy.
I'm inclined to call this an Asian-themed Game of Thrones (which is probably unfair to both works).
Beauty is woven into every element. Little ...more
Here we meet Shen Tai, who is honoring his recently deceased father (a famed general) by burying the ...more
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn, clever, thought provoking
As a Gavriel Kay fan, I was excited to be reading some of his work again, as it has been a while. This story is different from most of this work, (maybe somewhat in the vein of Lions of al-Rassan) with a very strong storyline based around political intrigue of an empire reminiscent of a japanese or chinese emperor. There are very few action scenes in this story with the main plo ...more
I liked it, but it wasn't prefect. The prose was beautiful and so was the setting. But something about it just didn't seem to flow properly for me. It was beautifully put together, but it seemed to be lacking narrative flow.
All the different points of view sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. Some of the characters are introduced and never seen again. I wouldn't have understood the shifts of first person POV if I hadn't heard a podcast with the auth ...more
The world is incredibly detailed drawing images in my mind reminiscent to movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. Each path is well written and the characters feel real. At times it did get a little bogged down as Kay got carried away with the descriptions but eventually ...more
I went thru stages with it. I started it and read solid for a little, then I went and got all productive with stuff (!) and didn' ...more
Maybe that's it. Maybe the events don't matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters are the characters around which the events shape. Their relationships, hardships, courage, and perseverance all come to the fore, and that's where GGK excels: characters. There were some exciting parts, sure, but it wasn't exactly an exciting b ...more
Story starts with Shen Tai being gifted 250 Sardian horses (a very valuable breed) by a Tagur (a rival kingdom) princess for his work of burying the dead of a great battle between the kingdoms of Kitai and Tagur. Shen Tai had been doing this in memory of his father. On his last day (after two years of burying the dead), Shen Tai faces an assassination attempt by a Kanlin Warrior (trained and most feared warriors). Somehow Shen Tai survives this attempt. Byt ...more
|Best Fantasy Book...: Under Heaven (Under Heaven #1) by Guy Gavriel Kay||3||5||Mar 30, 2016 09:47PM|
|SciFi and Fantasy...: "Under Heaven" Part 4 & Afterthoughts *Spoilers*||19||156||Mar 05, 2016 09:00PM|
|SciFi and Fantasy...: "Under Heaven" First Impressions *no spoilers*||42||292||Feb 23, 2016 07:50AM|
|Under Heaven Rationale||8||105||Jul 27, 2015 04:24PM|