Under Heaven

Under Heaven

Audiobook CD - 2010 | Unabridged
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Publisher: Prince Frederick, Md. : Recorded Books, p2010, c2010
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781449824242
Branch Call Number: KAY
Characteristics: 16 audio discs (approximately 19 hours 30 minutes) : CD audio, digital ; 12 cm
audio file,CD audio


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Sep 16, 2019

"Under Heaven" by Guy Gavriel Kay is one of those books that sweeps you up in the grandeur of its story. Kay paints such a vivid picture of his simulacrum of 9th Century Tang Dynasty China, called Kitai in the book, that it becomes easy to simply imagine the locales an the character's dress. The story focuses on the tale of a young aristocrat, named Shen 'Tai, as he is mourning his father by burying the dead of some far off and long forgotten battlefield. During this time in this far off land Shen 'Tai receives a gift that changes the Kitan Empire and his life in drastic ways. The story is set against the backdrop of the An Shi Rebellion and contains many allusions to other famous events from Tang Dynasty China. The cast of ancillary characters is just as rich. The ability of Kay to keep all of their stories moving and adding and building boggles the mind. I earlier reviewed this books sequel "River of Star" and it had been a few years since I had read "Under Heaven" it was well worth the revisit. It should also be noted that I technically "listened" to his book on tape and that I found Simon Vance, the narrator's reading of "Under Heaven" to be especially rewarding. Vance brings a great deal of playfulness to his work and the characters come alive during his reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction or other sweeping fantasy narratives.

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