7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Under Heaven (Hardcover)
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For some reason, I'd never read Kay's work before so this book came as a revelation to me. It's a superb, stunning read written with the panache of a true writer. Lyrical in places, with some tremendous short sentences to end chapters. He also - a small point perhaps - uses brackets to great effect. I like the way he doesn't dismiss or forget some very minor characters; towards the end you learn that someone has been rewarded for something that happened long before, after you'd more or less forgotten about them. There's something touching about that. I liked the character of the poet Sima Zian very much!! The beginning of the novel is arguably the best part; I admit to having got a bit lost later on in some of the political infighting in the Imperial Palace. And yes, there's something very satisfying about the end which makes a statement about man and his puny wars which kind of reflects the beginning. In between, it's a jolly good story. Recommended!!