Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay
I sat knitting in my friend’s house discussing books. It was really all his doing , if you look back far enough. He had given me a book one birthday some years back titled A Song for Arbonne. It was one of the most beautiful things I had read, a historical fiction set in France during one of the crusades that targeted other Christians. And now my friend was asking if I had read the latest by the same author – Under Heaven. My friend highly recommended it, “even though not much happens.” That was two months ago.
Two nights ago I finished Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, one of my all time favorite authors. I have read all his works, including his book of poetry. If I told you that this book was simple and intricate, full of action and contemplation, history-moving events and simple personal choices, would you understand? When I finished the book, I understood what my friend met by “not much happens”. It’s the story of a handful of characters on the perimeter of greater events, set in China during the 9th dynasty. This book definitely meets up to the GGK standard that I know and love.
His others works include several other historical fictions; The Sarantine Mosaic set in the Byzantine Empire, The Last Light of the Sun set in the time when the Vikings are given lands in northern England in an effort to settle them,The Lions of Al-Rassan set in Spain when the coexistence of the three cultures of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish was coming to an end, and Tigana set in Italy when it was still several city-states. The Fionavar Tapestry is another telling of the Guinevere and Arthur story. Ysabel read more for the young adult and was set in Provence, France in contemporary times. If you haven’t read any GGK, check out his website.