[Summary River of Stars] epub BY Guy Gavriel Kay

10 thoughts on “River of Stars

  1. says:

    What is it to fall out of love? It is has been a long time since I’ve done it and so I don’t remember From what I recall it was something unconscious for a long time Something in your turn of phrase in the explanations that you seek out and find the articles you share and how often you choose to go to bed ear

  2. says:

    444 I just finished and honestly this book has left me completely depressed Almost than the second Malazan and this is saying something because that one had me crying for days The complete helplessness of regular people and their lack of control over their own lives is absolutely devastating The storytelling was gorgeous as always but I feel like crying The human drama and tragedy is so overwhelming I need a drink or at least a we

  3. says:

    I feel cheated I hate these wishy washy anti climactic Kay endings and the wishy washy over virtuous flat characters but t

  4. says:

    “Our lives aren’t only ours”There are plenty of fantasy books that take us along the “from zero to hero” path “River of Stars” is similar but the ingenious variation comes with the fact that the pe

  5. says:

    A seuel in terms of setting and history if not character or plot River of Stars sees Guy Gavriel Kay return to the Chinese inspired world of Under Heaven It's a book that can be enjoyed by new readers as a standalone volume but one which holds added significance for readers already familiar with the firstAs a fan of Kay's work an

  6. says:

    With every Kay book I read I'm tempted to say 'This is the best one yet' River of Stars is no exception It may be only the fact that it is fresh in my memory but I believe the author has reach a new height in his uest to conjure and breath life into ancient histories I have also noticed that the supernatural elements feature less and less wi

  7. says:

    Returning to Kay's richly drawn worlds is like falling into poetry extensively researched history and the becoming one with the horrors that beset these wonderful contemporary protagonistsI'm tempted to call this silkpunk but I must admit there is almost no fantasy and definitely no SF in it Instead it is just an immersive look a

  8. says:

    45 Stars Review also posted at The BiblioSanctumBecause I've read and enjoyed Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven I became intrigued and very excited when I first found out about River of Stars Set in the same universe and timeline but approximately four centuries after the events of the first book this isn't truly a seuel and can definitely be read as a standalone Still in my humble opinion it wouldn't hurt to read Under He

  9. says:

    TornWhat do I say about this book? The trends that I hoped were an aberration in Under Heaven seem to have increased and not waned I read the book it was well enough written but there was no magic no sense of intimacy no prose that made me want to stay on a page indefinitelyLike Under Heaven the scope of the canvas was enormous; the dilemmas faced by the characters seemed less poignant and inevitable In addition the distance plac

  10. says:

    of Stars is the twelfth novel by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay and is based loosely on twelfth century China during the Song Dynasty Like many of his works Kay weaves historical names places and events into a fictional tapestry that still re

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Read ✓ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF È Guy Gavriel Kay

T 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 exuisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far 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 sta. 45 Stars Review also posted at The BiblioSanctumBecause I ve read and enjoyed Guy Gavriel Kay s Under Heaven I became intrigued and very excited when I first found out about River of Stars Set in the same universe and timeline but approximately four centuries after the events of the first book this isn t truly a seuel and can definitely be read as a standalone Still in my humble opinion it wouldn t hurt to read Under Heaven first like I said I thought it was a good book but it also gives insight into the setting and a deeper understanding of the people s sorrow in River of Stars for their once powerful empire with strong leaders that has gone soft and in declineIt s no secret that Kay is one of my favorite authors when it comes to historical fantasy One of the reasons is that his stories which are often analogues of real places set in real historical periods and in many cases infused with very powerful messages and themes Set in a world inspired by Song Dynasty China Rivers of Stars is no exception I find it difficult to just present a description of the novel because that simply wouldn t do the book any justice On the surface Altai barbarians from the northern steppes invade Kitai taking advantage of a weak emperor whose decadence and lavish spending has emptied the treasury and run the empire into the ground A young boy grows up to become an Outlaw of the Marsh then goes on to become one of the greatest commanders the Kitai army has ever known An educated young woman ahead of her time changes the world with her songs and poetry River of Stars is about all that but also so much because of the way Kay writes the book is almost like a work of art His strength has always been his way with words and I swear his writing gets beautiful every time I pick up another one of his books Reading this was like reading a book of poetry And while I don t deny that his kind of prose can get a little tedious after a while that s okay too because I just put it down when that happens and pick it up again later I think novels like these are just meant to be savored anyway there s really no rushing through Guy Gavriel Kay booksHis dialogue writing can be very subtle too which is actually uite appropriate for this story in which so much unfolds within an imperial court of secrets and intrigue at a time and in a place where saving face is everything and what you say or don t say can get you killed While Kay can definitely tell a story his stuff is probably not what you d turn to if you want a rip roaring book of fast paced adventure or nonstop action For example though there is certainly no lack of battles in River of Stars I find many of them are only described after the fact Rather than the actual fighting we often see only the results and the aftermathAnd I think that is the point of the book really One of the themes in River of Stars is how a single person can shape your life and bring you to places you never thought possible how the decisions or actions or the destiny of someone can ripple through history to affect legions or even change the face of an empire The happenings behind major events are meticulously peeled back examined from different angles to show the significance of the repercussions that can be felt for generations It s another reason why it was hard for me at times to tease out a real clear thread of a plot while reading this The story is told in so many layers and not always linearly filled in with many narratives during the past present or even future Everything is woven together to form a whole in a very impressive way cementing the idea in my mind of Guy Gavriel Kay as a true artist

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River of Stars

“River of Stars is a major accomplishment the work of a master novelist in full command of his subject” Michael Dirda in The Washington Post“Game of Thrones in China” SaloncomRen Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate That moment on a lonely road changed his life in entirely unexpected ways sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws From. I feel cheated I hate these wishy washy anti climactic Kay endings and the wishy washy over virtuous flat characters but that was not the only thing that disappointed me hereI must say that although I loved most of the first three uarters I hated the endingThe book is supposedly based on the fall of the Northern Song Dynasty in China and a lot of the background does indeed portray thisSure there was a Chinese general who underwent a fate like this but since Kay changed and embroidered upon so much of the detail anyway couldn t he just as well have changed history to make the end satisfyingor written a parallel history a scenario of what ifIf you re going to make some famous characters your main characters and you re going to diverge from what is known about them why then not just as well re write a parallel history in a pleasing what if format Like for instance what if a character chose not to follow orders at a certain point in time How could that have changed history Since the author portrayed aspects of their personal lives differently in any caseAnyhow I think that the actual Chinese legends and history associated with the birth and end of Yue Fei are much interesting than Kay s rendition of themAlso the technological and infrastructural developments of the Southern Song Dynasty and the establishment of the Ming dynasty would have made a cool second half to this novel which was all too rambling for what it coversI also hate his blooming sexism It just grated on me how he repeatedly only talks about women as objects Kay seems to have insight into what a horse must be feeling and thinking when ridden than all the women who were used and raped as the spoils of war for instance And what about the concubines they re like paper puppets not to mention his version of one of the greatest female poets in Chinese history Shan is based on the poetess Li ingzhaoIn fact if you read up on the period you will see that many upper class women were pretty well educated at the time so as to better run their households since they were in charge of the household and often mostly of the household finances too Nothing of this is reflected in the novel and the fact that Lin Shan can read and write is presented as something unusual as unfitting for a womanSure Confucianism was repressive towards women but not to the point that upper class women were not allowed an educationFemale education was still subordinate to male education and women were subordinate to men of course but Kay s women are like totally flat paper cut outs like objects rather than people Never does Kay successfully manage to see the world through a woman s eyes we always just get a male chauvinist view of thingsAlso on the Northern Steppes women were not merely helpless sexual chattels They lived a hard life and had to run the household when their menfolk were away Some of these women even took on military roles So not uite the Gor like view that Kay paints of women being literally mindless animals I ve been musing about why Kay s apparent sexism seems to grate on me so and I ve realized that a lot of it might have to do with the fact that I ve recently been reading a lot of the work of author China Mi ville a male author who manages to present a remarkably non sexist view of the world in comparisonI ve become spoiltAnother niggle not all that important but really irritating are all the banal platitudes for instance It was an important day Some days are and the foreshadowings that never truly materialize all the hints about legends in the making and so on When the west wind blows the blinds asideI am frailer than the chrysanthemums Li ingzhao Li Ching chao 1084 1155 image error

Read ✓ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF È Guy Gavriel Kay

There he emerges years later and his life changes again dramatically as he circles toward 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 a. A seuel in terms of setting and history if not character or plot River of Stars sees Guy Gavriel Kay return to the Chinese inspired world of Under Heaven It s a book that can be enjoyed by new readers as a standalone volume but one which holds added significance for readers already familiar with the firstAs a fan of Kay s work and someone who thoroughly enjoyed Shen Tai s journey through the dying days of the Tang Dynasty I was uite curious to discover how Ren Daiyan s adventures in the Song Dynasty might compare Aside from a shared history the two stories couldn t be different While the first was a story of an empire at its height full of luxury decadence and self indulgence as told through the eyes of a noble young man nearly overcome by his fortune River of Stars is the story of an empire suffering through its own decline as told through the eyes of a young outlaw struggling to find his place in the worldEven if you aren t familiar enough with what has come before to recognize the little tidbits and snippets of news regarding characters and events from Under Heaven there s a feeling of melancholy here a sense of remorse for the lost days of glory that is inescapable Along with that comes a significant amount of foreshadowing almost to the point of implying a kind of inescapable destiny on the part of the narrator Whereas we never really knew what to expect should Shen Tai ever reach the Emperor we can see all to clearly where Ren Daiyan s choices are destined to lead him With this second tale it s less a matter of trying to seize one s own destiny and a matter of trying to escape itThe language here is once again beautiful in its poetic flow It s a heavy story and not one to be breezed through in a few sittings but also one that s very easy to become lost in constantly seducing you into reading just one chapter The style is appropriately evocative of the culture but still retains that literary flair for which Kay is known so well In terms of narrative however River of Stars is subtly different from Under Heaven There s less immediacy to the tale and of an omniscient narrative voice this time around We still get shifting POVs often putting us in the heads of characters to whom we become attached only to never see again but those are interspersed with an omniscient third person POV Fortunately Kay doesn t rely too heavily on that voice keeping the story intimate and personalAs far as the characters go Kay actually surpasses himself here Ren Daiyan as unlikable as he often may be is a fantastic protagonist He s a flawed young man who grows and develops significantly throughout the course of the novel He surprised me on several occasions committing himself to courses of action that initially seemed the wildest of whims but which justify themselves later on Lin Shan a young woman described at one point as the clever one too tall and thin overly educated for a woman a discredit it is widely said to her sex is a sort of co protagonist one with her own distinct story arc that nicely intersects that of Ren Daiyan She was one of those characters I expected to drift away from early on and was pleasantly surprised by how much of a role she had to play in events later onKai Zhen is another of those sympathetic antagonists that Kay crafts so well a character who is selfish and cruel but also uite vulnerable and too easily swayed by the women around him He s an entirely distasteful gentleman that you want to hate but that hatred is tempered with a significant amount of pity and at times even a bit of admiration Speaking of the women around him Tan Ming the concubine who so cleverly escalates herself to becoming his wife is a richly painted woman of opportunity whose role in the story ends far too soon Tuan Lungis is another character whom we part ways too soon but it s interesting the ways in which he touches Ren Daiyan s life at key moments Sun Shiwei the assassin who makes such a brief yet pivotal appearance is one character I felt was used perfectly as much as I would have liked to see of him the brevity of his role is entirely appropriate to his professionI wrote in my review of Under Heaven that I was actually reluctant to read River of Stars since it was all but unimaginable that an author could manage to capture such lyrical magic twice in a row but Kay has done just that It s another long story better paced than its predecessor and driven by a slightly stronger protagonist If it lacks some of the subtlety of the first it certainly eclipses it in terms of demonstrating how seemingly insignificant very personal choices can conspired to change the course of history Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins and Fantasy SciFi Lovin Reviews