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Under heaven
Guy Gavriel Kay
Adult Fiction KAY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Historical fantasist Kay (Ysabel) delivers an exquisitely detailed vision of Kitan, a land much like Tang Dynasty China. Shen Tai's father died leading troops in battle, so he spends his mourning year burying the bones of soldiers on both sides, laying their ghosts to rest. He attracts the attention of Cheng-wan, a princess of his people sent to wed one of the enemy. As her gifts make Shen Tai wealthy, an assassin kills his best friend. Shen Tai hires a bodyguard, Wei Song, to keep him alive while he figures out what to do with his riches and who wants him dead. Kay writes deftly of women who are sexually suborned by their societies, neither minimizing their constraints nor denying their agency, and the complex intrigues of poets, prostitutes, ministers, and soldiers evolve into a fascinating, sometimes bloody, and entirely believable tale. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

To honor the death of his father, an Imperial general, Shen Tai spends two years burying the dead at a battle site on the empire's border. When he receives a gift of 250 coveted Sardian horses from former enemies, he travels homeward to seek an audience with the emperor, knowing that the gift has not only conferred great power upon him but terrible danger as well. Just as he re-created an alternate Renaissance Italy in Tigana, the author of "The Fionavar Tapestry" series evokes the subtle politics and careful social intercourse of eighth-century Tang dynasty China. VERDICT Meticulously researched yet seamlessly envisioned, the characters and culture present a timeless tale of filial piety and personal integrity. Highly recommended for all collections and particularly for fans of the author's distinctive approach to fantasy. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Shen Tai
Male
Spends years buring the dead; shows respect to his father.



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