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[Guy Gavriel Kay] Pdf River of Stars Free

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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. 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 at what could be the Song Dynasty 400 years after the original novel Under Heaven that resembled the Tang DynastyThis is historical escapism at its bestA educated woman making her way doing the best she can in this world A hero warrior turned bandit and later becoming the spark to ravage the land in civil war The only thing I could do was float away in the text Burning Attraction river of sta. Returning to Kay s The Numbers Game richly drawn worlds is like falling into poetry extensively Tall man riding. 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 at what could be the Song Dynasty 400 years after the original novel Under Heaven that The 7 Components of Transformative Organizing Theory resembled the Tang DynastyThis is historical escapism at its bestA educated woman making her way doing the best she can in this world A hero warrior turned bandit and later becoming the spark to The Big Golden Book of Poetry ravage the land in civil war The only thing I could do was float away in the text

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River of Stars

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. 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 with each new novel as if the actual events that served as inspiration are enough in themselves to interest the modern reader and we don t need fairies and trolls at the end of the garden to make the point One of the characters in the book can be considered as an alter ego of the author i Wai is a nobleman who gathers relics of the past preserving lost treasures and keeping a flame of reason burning while barbarians gather at the gates of the capital city I have been a small man carrying a small torch looking back and further back In particular for this latest book I noticed a better control of the passive melancholy voice singing paeans to lost glories and a ambitious plot construction weaving together the men of action soldiers the political animals emperors councillors and dissidents the artists poets archeologists musicians and the commoners who carry all of them on their backs There are battle scenes here than in the last five Kay books combined but to me this is a bonus not a shortcoming In fact if I were to resume the book to one major theme it would be the balance of power between brute force and civilized behaviour between those who build and those who destroyAs usual the chosen period of study is one of a great civilization on the point of collapse the moment of change when new forces new ideas are pushing the old ones aside In previous books we had the passing of the Moors in Andaluzia of the vikings in Ireland of the Age of Chivalry in southern France of the Romans into the Byzantines etc The Twelve Dinasty of Kitai ruled by the Son of Heaven Emperor Wenzong is threatened from outside by the rising power of the steppe riders and from inside by corruption incompetence and an effete lifestyle A hero is needed to bring back national pride and to energize a lethargic society Ren Dayan is a young boy with big dreams with a uick mind and a talent for archery The book follows him from the first confrontation with bandits on a minor country road through a successful outlaw career as a kind of Oriental Robin Hood and later as an oficial army commander rising through the ranks until he passes into legend Wolves howl I cannot find restBecause I am powerlessTo amend a broken world He is a good character to anchor this sprawling story but given his status as a mythical hero of the people he tends to act in a pompous and self righteous way and I found myself interested in the lesser characters of the epic Lady Lin Shan is my favorite a bit of a tomboy in an age where women are supposed to be decorative and useless a poet a scholar an independent spirit and a passionate woman who is forced to hide behind a facade of conformity and bow to the male egos around her Of special interest in her early manifestation of feminine emancipation is her horror at the fashionable bounding of young girls feet as a statement of their delicate and submissive nature Her poetry on its own may not be so impressive but taken in the context of the events it describes it becomes one of the most poignant moments in the whole story I stand upon my balconyLooking down on ancient bronzesBeside the courtyard fountainThe evening wind risesGeese fly overhead going southLeaves fall into the fountainOne and then anotherFar away mountains gather cloudsSomewhere it is rainingHere it grows dark under the river of starsThen the moon rises over houses and wallsShadows of trees lie along the groundI cannot keep the leaves from falling Xi Wengao is an old hand at the game of thrones the grey eminence behind the Emperor until ruthless adversaries push him into exile Divided between bowing to tradition and real politik power plays he is not capable of overcoming the age old distrust of the civil administrators towards the military competent leadersLu Chen is a dissident and a poet a descendent of another poet from Under Heaven Another exile banished from court on account of polemic pamphlets he turns to a life of contemplation seeking peace in a retreat from the world of backstabbing and kowtowing to power His own doctrines were about compassion the brush strokes of words painting conversation enduring friendship family Laughter Music Service to the Empire Wine The beauty of women and of rivers under stars Another particularity of the novel that I believe is new for Kay is the freuent use of minor one shot characters as narrators looking at society and at the events from the perspective of the common man a teenage guard at a war camp a young girl forced to marry in a small village an orphan boy helping the outlaws escape the guards in another village an itinerant spirit healer These episodes are very useful in fleshing out the society of Kitai in the times of the Twelve Dynasty Speaking of which there are freuent references throughout the novel to events and personalities from the previous dynasties underlining the weight of history and the continuity of civilization like a river without a beginning or an end a grandiose landscape in which individuals and their efforts count less than the whole After turning the last page I feel I have learned a great deal about the Song period that served as inspiration for the novel and also that there is so much to discover I hope I will find time to search for and to read other books set in China fiction or non fiction

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“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 Pegged and Plugged at the Club 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 Tunnel Through Time re going to make some famous characters your main characters and you Game of Bimbofication, Part 3 re going to diverge from what is known about them why then not just as well Game of Bimbofication, Part 2 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 Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions, Vol. 1 of 5 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 The Fatima Century rambling for what it coversI also hate his blooming sexism It just grated on me how he Leah Starrs Revenge repeatedly only talks about women as objects Kay seems to have insight into what a horse must be feeling and thinking when Pieces 8 (Pieces, ridden than all the women who were used and Time Flies and Other Short Plays raped as the spoils of war for instance And what about the concubines they Fall (VIP Book 3) (English Edition) 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 Drawing Dead (Faolan OConnor Book 1) read up on the period you will see that many upper class women were pretty well educated at the time so as to better Trails & Tales of Yosemite & the Central Sierra run their households since they were in charge of the household and often mostly of the household finances too Nothing of this is Chinas Son reflected in the novel and the fact that Lin Shan can Welcome to the Desert of the Real read and write is presented as something unusual as unfitting for a womanSure Confucianism was Dead End Bluff 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 King Noah Blindness and the Vision of Seers 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 Princess to Pleasure Slave Chronicles (Book Three): Lusty Prey of the Huntress (English Edition) run the household when their menfolk were away Some of these women even took on military Factory of Death 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 Thirteen Plus One (The Winnie Years, realized that a lot of it might have to do with the fact that I ve Rapid Math Without A Calculator recently been Almost Late for School reading a lot of the work of author China Mi ville a male author who manages to present a Seduced by My Doms (The Doms of Genesis, remarkably non sexist view of the world in comparisonI ve become spoiltAnother niggle not all that important but The Certainty of Violet and Luke (Volume 5) 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


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 early I remember it bei

  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 contro

  3. says:

    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

  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 personal development of the hero is accompanied by a grand scale devolution of his country If you expect a happy ending you got a wrong book“River of Stars” is a companion novel to “Under Heaven” and together they

  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 and someone who thoroughly enjoyed Shen Tai's journey through the dying days of the

  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 c

  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 immersi

  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 timeli

  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 pr

  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 retains the feel of historical work while engaging the reader in the intensely ch

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