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Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title:Under Heaven
Author:  Guy Gavriel Kay
Publication Date:  April 27, 2010
Synopsis from GoodReads:
The world could bring you poison in a jeweled cup, or surprising gifts. Sometimes you didn't know which of them it was...

Under Heaven...takes place in a world inspired by the glory and power of Tang Dynasty China in the 8th century, a world in which history and the fantastic meld into something both memorable and emotionally compelling.

In the novel, Shen Tai is the son of a general who led the forces of imperial Kitai in the empire's last great war against its western enemies, twenty years before. Forty thousand men, on both sides, were slain by a remote mountain lake. General Shen Gao himself has died recently, having spoken to his son in later years about his sadness in the matter of this terrible battle.

To honour his father's memory, Tai spends two years in official mourning alone at the battle site by the blue waters of Kuala Nor. Each day he digs graves in hard ground to bury the bones of the dead. At night he can hear the ghosts moan and stir, terrifying voices of anger and lament. Sometimes he realizes that a given voice has ceased its crying, and he knows that is one he has laid to rest.

The dead by the lake are equally Kitan and their Taguran foes; there is no way to tell the bones apart, and he buries them all with honour.

It is during a routine supply visit led by a Taguran officer who has reluctantly come to befriend him that Tai learns that others, much more powerful, have taken note of his vigil. The White Jade Princess Cheng-wan, 17th daughter of the Emperor of Kitai, presents him with two hundred and fifty Sardian horses. They are being given in royal recognition of his courage and piety, and the honour he has done the dead.

You gave a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor.

Tai is in deep waters. He needs to get himself back to court and his own emperor, alive. Riding the first of the Sardian horses, and bringing news of the rest, he starts east towards the glittering, dangerous capital of Kitai, and the Ta-Ming Palace - and gathers his wits for a return from solitude by a mountain lake to his own forever-altered life.

I love Guy Gavriel Kay, and cannot wait to see what he does with this Chinese-sounding setting.  If you like your fantasy epic and historic-feeling, pick up some of Guy Gavriel Kay's work.  I fall in love with his characters and fall deeply into his worlds.

The UK cover

What are you waiting on this week? 

Jennifer G.


  1. This one sounds exciting! Gotta check it out!

  2. Looks very interesting. Great covers

  3. I'm a bad fantasy reader...I've never read any Kay! Need to fix that. :) This totally sounds like something I'd like! I'm excited to add this to my TBR list.

    My WoW post is over at bookwanderer!

  4. Whoa! Whoa! This sounds epic. I've never read this author and i actually don't think I've even heard of him. I will have to check him out and this book as well. Wowie! What a pick!

  5. That was a really in depth summary. It really sound fascinating. Like the cover art too.

  6. Oooh this one sounds really unique and interesting! Great pick. Mine is at The Crowded Leaf.

  7. I does look interesting. Will be looking into this one a bit more. I hope that you enjoy your book when you get it. Here's Mine.

  8. So many of you haven't read him! You will love him and his characters, I promise.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Have a great day!


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