Cover art for Guy Gavriel Kay's UNDER HEAVEN



The top one is the North American cover, while the other is its UK counterpart.

Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven will be published next spring, and it's one my most eagerly awaited SFF titles of 2010!

Here's the blurb:

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.

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

15 commentaires:

Todd said...

Kudos to North America for actually having a better cover for once! Usually they suck in comparison to the UK.

Well IMO anyways...

Anonymous said...

The US cover is gorgeous. UK cover looks like a bad video game.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the new GGK book! After reading the blurb, it looks very promising indeed.

Anonymous said...

Nice US cover, can't wait till it's released! However, that blurb, for some reason, didn't really catch my interest. Sounds kinda lame imo. =/

Anonymous said...

Agree with the others. That UK cover is just BAD. Usually the US have ones with the bad art, usually of 'characters' from the novel, whereas the UK has more simple ones, of a symbol or dragon or something.

One mans solitary vigil, digging graves while listening to the lamentations of the dead? I'm there!
The book itself sounds awesome for GGK. Dont know if I'd think that from some other authors.

Greyweather said...

sraets said...

The US cover is gorgeous. UK cover looks like a bad video game.


I disagree. The UK cover looks like a bad wuxia movie.

Gayweather said...

Yeah, the blurb wouldn't have worked as well as it did to me if I haven't read GGK's other books like Tigana.

The UK cover does looks like an asian movie. Very bad. What were they thinking?

Jaime said...

North American cover looks awesome.

Anonymous said...

Love the US cover.

Maurice said...

Greyweather is spot on! I thought Pat was revealing the book and a cheesy film adaption!

Memory said...

I love the North American cover, but the UK cover just doesn't do it for me. Here's hoping we'll get the NA one here in Canada.

alabrava said...

go read The Sarantine Mosaic now. One of the most beautiful sequences I have ever read in any genre.

Anonymous said...

i agree with all above, the US guzs have finallz beat the british... that british cover is awful.

Anonymous said...

z=y. sorry... romanian keyboard settings...

T'Shaya said...

GGK tackling ancient China is wonderful news. As soon as it's out, it's mine.

The good words about Tigana and The Sarantine Mosaic are enthusiastically seconded.