From the Bookshelf of SciFi and Fantasy Book Club

Under Heaven
Start date
July 1, 2012
Finish date
August 1, 2012
"Under Heaven" discussion
Why we're reading this
Random Fantasy for July

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Group Discussions About This Book

Part 4 & Afterthoughts *Spoilers*
By Kim , The Zinoviev · 9 posts · 48 views
last updated Aug 13, 2012 04:11AM
First Impressions *no spoilers*
By Brad · 34 posts · 188 views
last updated Aug 05, 2012 09:41AM
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What Members Thought

Jeff Scott
A deftly plotted historical novel set in 9th century China. I love how the author sets the table like a game of chess. All men are pawns to those close to the emperor, but an unusual gift turns one into a far more powerful piece, one that could topple all their plans.

Shen Tai, the son of a general, is mourning his father’s death by burying the dead at the general’s last great battle. After the two year mourning period he is given an inconceivable gift, 250 Sardinian horses (also known as dragon...more

a layered story of intrigue and betrayal in the not-ancient-Chinese imperial court, full of courtesans, princes, and minor second sons that change the world. Kay writes richly interesting people, intelligent and thoughtful and very humanly foolishly flawed, doing richly interesting things. the storytelling is as stately and deliberately paced as the formal poetry the scholars declaim at each other.

no, it's not The Lions of al-Rassan, but it's absolutely charming anyway.
I'm not quite sure what I think of this book.

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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It starts out interesting, and slowly builds from there. The whole story feels finely crafted and delicately balanced, like the poetry the characters are so fond of.

This books feels very different from other fantasy books I've read. I don't want to give up books that have fist-pumping "heck yeah!" moments, but I definitely I want to read more like this in the future.

It also has made me want to learn more about Chinese history, which is something to be savored all its own.
Oct 07, 2010 Steven marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Apr 16, 2010 Esther marked it as must-have
Aug 15, 2014 a_tiffyfit marked it as to-read
Lucija Vojnovic
Jan 02, 2014 Lucija Vojnovic marked it as to-read
Shelves: sf-challenge
Nov 08, 2013 Martin marked it as to-read
Annah Lång
Sep 21, 2013 Annah Lång marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2011 Kristen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dr M
Mar 03, 2013 Dr M marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
katayoun Masoodi
Nov 18, 2013 katayoun Masoodi marked it as here-on-shelf-tbr-ebook
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
Jul 23, 2012 Suz marked it as tbr  ·  review of another edition
Jun 27, 2012 Stacia marked it as to-read
Shelves: book-club
Sep 05, 2013 Jen marked it as considering
Jun 22, 2010 K marked it as to-read
May 04, 2010 Dima marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
May 01, 2010 Vivienne marked it as to-read
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