Stand Alone Fantasy Titles, August 2012
So much of what Guy Gavriel Kay does is overflowing with beauty and elegance that it can be difficult to narrow down a favorite. Under Heaven, however, jumps out as one of the finest fantasy novels of the last twenty years, hands down. A stunningly superb mix of fantasy and history, Kay grafts the semblance of Tang Dynasty China onto his land of Kitan, and unravels the story of Shen Tai, a man who buries the dead from both sides of the opposing forces in war, and who steadily gains riches and who is protected by the spirits of those he has buried. Having been gifted 250 Sardian horses, Shen tries to find out who is trying to kill him, in this tumultuous land of power and honor. Those who swear they would never pick up a fantasy novel would do well to examine this book and see just what amazing work can be found in the genre.
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