River of Stars book, by Guy Gavriel Kay

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River of Stars, On Sale Now

Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later, and his life changes again, dramatically, as he moves 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 the women at 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 exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading, under the river of stars, to events no one could have foretold.

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Guy Gavriel Kay has been named a Member of the Order of Canada for his outstanding contributions to the field of speculative fiction as an internationally celebrated author.
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“River of Stars finds its greatest success in that it is both a vast, grand portrait of an entire culture, and also a very specific, personal story…While the densely woven and ever-shifting web of intrigue is masterfully managed and often brilliantly surprising in all its complexities, and the sumptuous, poetic language are also highlights, it’s the connection to the characters that captures the reader’s attention, digs hooks deep into their heart, for all 600-plus pages”.
National Post

“From whatever angle you approach it, River of Stars is a major accomplishment, the work of a master novelist in full command of his subject. It deserves the largest possible audience.”
The Washington Post

River of Stars is the sort of novel one disappears into, emerging shaken, if not outright changed. A novel of destiny, and the role of individuals within the march of history, it is touched with magic and graced with a keen humanity.”
The Globe and Mail

“Kay has the uncanny ability to depict the grand sweep of historical events through the eyes of those living through them…What’s even more amazing is how through his careful rendering of character and environments we are drawn into this history…River Of Stars is an exceptional piece of work.”
Seattle Post Intelligencer

“The master of the historical fantasy has found a canvas large enough for his ambitions. Guy Gavriel Kay's second novel based on the Chinese past is his finest work so far, a vision of tremendous scope, achieved through precise, intimate observation of a brilliant culture in the throes of disintegration and rebirth.”
Locus Online

Hello. I’m novelist Guy Gavriel Kay AMA
Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Podcast: Interview with Guy Gavriel Kay, author of River of Stars

“Kay’s epic novel inspired by 12th-century China is one of the best new fantasies out there.”
What we’re reading: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay (Ars Technica Video Interview and Review)

“Here you’ll find all the scheming and skulduggery that give “Game of Thrones” its zest, refined to the subtlest of arts. Kay invokes a world of stylized manners and deadly gambits, infused with an aesthetic founded on the most exquisite appreciation of the beauty and melancholy of the natural world.”
“River of Stars”: Picture “Game of Thrones” in China (Salon.com)

Guy Gavriel Kay on Writing River of Stars

“Guy Gavriel Kay has a wonderful way with words that is as beautiful in this book as in any of his others. With sweeping themes and characters that are painfully easy to fall in love with, River of Stars is a masterpiece.”
Epic Chocolate Fantasy

“This is a voyage more than worth taking”
—Q&A with Guy at Fantasy Literature

Guy’s essay on rereading featured on io9

Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay GUY GAVRIEL KAY is the author of twelve novels (most recently River of Stars), and a book of poetry. He has written book reviews and social and political commentary for the National Post and the Globe and Mail in Canada, and The Guardian in England. Translations of his fiction exceed twenty-five languages and his books have appeared on bestseller lists in many countries. Kay has spoken and read on behalf of his publishers and at literary events around the world. He was been nominated for and has won numerous literary awards and is the recipient of the International Goliardos Prize for his contributions to the literature of the fantastic. In 2014 he was named to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour.
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Awards and Accolades

For River of Stars

  • Winner Copper Cylinder Award
  • Nominated for Sunburst Award
  • Nominated for Locus Award, Best Fantasy Novel
  • Nominated for Aurora Award, Best Novel
  • Best Books of Year Selection, Globe & Mail
  • Notable Books of Year selection, Washington Post

For Under Heaven

  • Best Novel in Translation 2014 - elbakin.net
  • ALA Best Fantasy Novel 2010
  • SF Book Club Editor’s Pick Book of the Year 2010
  • Washington Post Best Books of the Year
  • Globe and Mail Best Books of Year (“Top 100”)
  • Nominated for Locus Award, Best Fantasy Novel
  • Nominated for Aurora Award, Best SF/Fantasy Novel
  • Nominated for Romantic Times Best Fantasy Novel
  • Nominated for Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, Adult Literature
  • Under Heaven won the Sunburst Award for Excellent in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
  • Nominated for a World Fantasy Award
  • Long-listed for the IMPAC-Dublin Prize