Blurb for Guy Gavriel Kay's new book

My bad. . . I meant to post this a few days ago, but I totally forgot all about it.

The good news is that Guy Gavriel Kay's forthcoming Under Heaven will be released in April 2010. Here's the blurb:

The world could bring you poison in a jeweled cup, or surprising gifts. Sometimes you didn't know which of them it was...

Penguin Group (Canada) is pleased to announce the new novel from World Fantasy Award Winner and international bestseller Guy Gavriel Kay.

UNDER HEAVEN will be published in April 2010, and 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.

Kay is definitely one of my favorite authors, and I can't wait to read this one! Unfortunately, so few genre readers seem to have given him a shot. It's a sad state of affairs, no question.

Last year I had the author's entire backlist up for grabs for a giveaway. I've just copied-and-pasted Kay's backlist here in the hope that some of you will be enticed to give him a chance:

The Fionavar Tapestry

- The Summer Tree (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The Wandering Fire (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The Darkest Road (Canada, USA, Europe)

- Tigana (Canada, USA, Europe)

- A Song for Arbonne (Canada, USA, Europe)

- The Lions of Al-Rassan (Canada, USA, Europe)

The Sarantine Mosaic

- Sailing to Sarantium (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Lord of Emperors (Canada, USA, Europe)

- The Last Light of the Sun (Canada, USA, Europe)

- Beyond this Dark House (Canada, USA, Europe)

- Ysabel (Canada, USA, Europe)

If you are not familiar with the author, begin with Tigana or The Lions of Al-Rassan, which are his two best works (in my humble opinion). Whatever you do, read some Guy Gavriel Kay, damn it!:P

15 commentaires:

alabrava said...

i sort of feel he gets lost in the shuffle of people who are fantastic writers in the fantasy genre but aren't writing huge epics. He is a wonderful writer, in any genre.

NoirKat said...

A new book by Kay is great news! I've been watching for this.
I am sorry I missed your giveaway, having only recently found your blog. It is something I would have loved a chance to win.

BrokenFiction said...

I saw this blurb a couple of days ago, and having passed him over (for no real reason in particular) in the past, I thought I'd give him a shot, so The Summer Tree is currently on it's way to me. He's so universally praised - I'm looking forward to it.

Bear said...

wonderful news, thanks for sharing!

Pissenlit said...

I've only ever read The Fionavar Tapestry but I quite enjoyed it.

Jacob Topp-Mugglestone said...

I'm certainly looking forward to this one! Though I haven't managed to get my hands on the Lions of Al-Rassan - my library system doesn't have a copy. :P Tigana and the Sarantine Mosaic duology are great, though

Cecrow said...

Fionavar Tapestry is, ironically perhaps, the only thing by him I didn't like - everything since has been wonderful. Kay goes to China ... that's enough hook for me, right there!

tomas said...

Haven't read the Fionvar Tapestry. I have read and enjoyed everything else except for Ysabel.
Looking forward to this

Patrick said...

The Fionavar Tapestry could well be Kay's weakest work to date. Though it's good, I don't know if the series has aged well and fits in the current market as much as it did in the 80s. . .

Still, well worth reading if other titles get you into Kay!

Memory said...

I can't wait for this! It's one of my three auto-buys for 2010.

Jeff said...

Those that haven't read it should definitely give Tigana a try. It's one of the best single-volume fantasy works I've read.

Khaled said...

I'll just add that A Song for Arbonne was also pretty strong.

Last Light of the Sun -- I enjoyed this one. It had a lull in the middle, but the ending was particularly emotionally strong for me.

Jeff said...

Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorite authors, but to me the Fionavar Tapestry felt derivative. It felt very Tolkien. The Lions of Al' Rassan is my favorite, but the Sarantium duology (is that a word) is right up there with it. I liked that the main character was a thinker, not a fighter. I can't wait for this one!

Wesley said...

I cannot wait for this! Kay is amazing! I would have to agree that Tigana and Lions are his best. That prologue in Tigana gets me every time I read it...

AJ said...

I usually find with Kay that the books that I did not particularly appreciate resonate deeper with me in time. The Fionavar Tapestry is an easy access to his works, but I remember reading A Song for Arbonne and not being that impressed by it. And then rereading it, and being blown away. I think The Lions of Al-Rassan is one of the best books I've read in the genre, and Kay in general is the author I refer to when people tell me that 'the Harry Potter books are the best fantasy novels ever.' "Ah," I say mystically, "you have no idea what you're about to discover..."