7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, enthralling and captivating - Guy Gavriel Kay's best yet?
This book, as is Under Heaven, is a re-imagining of China in the past. I'm afraid I don't know enough about Chinese history to be able to identify which period is being re-imagined, not that it matters at all. The action has moved forward by about three hundred years, and apart from odd mentions in the narrative of people or events that happened in the first book, there...
Published 20 months ago by Mrs. K. A. P. Wright
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A taste pedestrian.
Having enjoyed 'Under Heaven', I was excited about the prospect of this new novel from Mr Kay. I'm sorry to say I found it a disappointment. The characters are well-fleshed, the times and the settings are well-researched and the narrative prose is good, if long-winded. The plot is hazy, at least to begin with; the dialogue is sharp and well-written.
Published 19 months ago by Z. Herbert
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4.0 out of 5 stars un-put-down-able!,
Most of this historical novel deserves 5 stars, but it was slow to set the scene and given that the story is set in China, the characters and their relationships to and with each other were confusing at first. That said, however, once the plot had unfolded and I became familiar with the characters then it was un-put-down-able!
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good book by Kay.,
Kay moves to the Far East and a new world. All his stories are good and his characters are interesting.
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare talent,
There are few contemporary writers with Kay's skill.
The writing is effortless and rather beautiful. Each character is carefully crafted, yet consumately human and the storyline is meticulously researched and masterfully delivered.
I have read all of Kay's prose fiction and have never been disappointed. If you have never read any, please, please invest the time - you will be rewarded with an experience which will stay with you for some time.
Other reviews precis the plot of this sweeping novel. You should read those, too. This reviewer is more interested in the sumptuous simplicity with which Kay writes.
I will continue to buy every GGK novel as soon as it appears.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful fantasy fiction,
River of Stars is one of the literary `hits' of the summer and possible one of the best books of 2013. What Guy Gavriel Kay has created is a well researched beautifully written fantasy that will be read and loved by all who dip insides the pages. This is the first Kay book I have read and will be reading more after River of Stars as what I found was a complex, wide-ranging fantasy that just draws you in and feel as if you are there in the middle of the story.
The two central characters of this novel, Ren Daiyon and Lin Shan we watch them grow and how their intertwined stories become one. River of Stars themes, characters and events are based on China's Northern Song Dynasty one can see the mirror of these characters inspired by real people. Instead of China the state is called Kitai and this is the story of how Ren Daiyen will become a legend amongst the Kitai for his heroic skills as a soldier and commander. How in the end he does the right and honourable thing that will be the end of him, or is it? You will have to read to find out!
River of Stars is a book that you can very easily disappear in to and enjoy the fantasy as this beautiful story washes over you. This is a wonderfully vivid and very powerful story that was inspired by the Tang Dynasty. This is a wonderfully fantasy based on fact and history that fires the imagination. The words used by Kay evokes powerful imagery that is stunningly beautiful at the same time.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough; it is a big book with a powerful story but well worth taking your time with it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating,
Usual high quality story telling, founded on detailed research and built with pure imagination. Can't wait for the next GGK novel!
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph,
His sense of history is impeccable. His poetry shows through his writing. Crisp and absolutely believable storyline, even for an occidental. Until this arrived I could not see how 'Under Heaven' could be bettered.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, engaging story,
Guy Gavriel Kay's second book set in China (some hundreds of years after the revolution of Under Heaven) is engrossing and thought provoking. His usual high standard of storytelling telling is set within a philosophical framework that blends seamlessly into a satisfying whole. Read it, enjoy, and then go back for a second time!
5.0 out of 5 stars River of Stars,
As usual, interesting and thoughtful fantasy from Guy Gavriel Kay. Perhaps the characters were not so memorable as those in 'Under Heaven', set in an earlier epoch, but, in general, a good yarn.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed GGK Fan,
I will caveat my review that as a long time GGK fan my expectation of his work may have clouded this book review.
He is my favourite author and A Song for Arbonne and Lions of Al Rassan would be in my top 5 books of all time. I enjoyed Under Heaven and felt that the culture and history was a good fit for GGK's style and musings. I am 80% of the way through and I have finally started to "get involved" - if it were not for GGK then perhaps I would have not bothered...
The reality is that for once GGK's style has overcome the substance of the actual story and characterisation and because it seems that he has made a concerted effort to write a certain way his normally poetic/lyrical style feels a bit false almost try hard. I have little doubt that as i reach the climax he/the book will hit its stride.
So for those new to GGK you might enjoy this book but know that it this along with Ysabel are GGK's weakest offerings (in my view).
For those like me who are long time fans - you might feel different but for me this is not the classic cross over GGK whose work has created such a loyal fan base.
5.0 out of 5 stars and never been disappointed. River of stars is no exception,
I have read most of Guy's books, all except the poetry one, and never been disappointed. River of stars is no exception, I loved and GGK remains one of my favourite authors of all time.
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River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay (Hardcover - 18 July 2013)