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Under Heaven

von Guy Gavriel Kay

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

Reihen: Under Heaven (1)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,6751068,051 (4.12)227
Award-winning author Guy Kay evokes the dazzling Tang Dynasty of 8th-century China in a story of honor and power.
  1. 140
    Die Löwen von Al-Rassan von Guy Gavriel Kay (Anonymer Nutzer)
  2. 10
    Shōgun von James Clavell (ajwseven)
  3. 10
    Sommer der Zwietracht. Die magischen Städte 01. von Daniel Abraham (souloftherose)
  4. 32
    Die Brücke der Vögel von Barry Hughart (Cecrow, MyriadBooks)
    Cecrow: A more playful fantasy take on ancient China.
  5. 10
    The Court of the Lion: A Novel of the T'Ang Dynasty von Eleanor Cooney (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A historical fiction novel of the Tang Dynasty, ably relating the same events upon which 'Under Heaven' is based but in their actual Chinese setting.
  6. 00
    Der Paladin. von C. J. Cherryh (Anonymer Nutzer)
  7. 00
    Chinesische Poesie von François Cheng (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: A historical novel about a Tang poet and the poetry of the period. If you like one, you should try the other
  8. 02
    Wildfire von Sarah Micklem (lottpoet)
    lottpoet: I think these books have in common a person caught up in the machinations of a highly formal society.
  9. 36
    Schwertgewitter von George R. R. Martin (axelsabro)
    axelsabro: alternate earth fantasy
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As Kay says in his Afterword, he isn't sure why he writes history as fantasy -- but to me it seems obvious that he has a freedom to explore beyond facts, to find the emotional truth of the rise and fall of a culture, in this case the Tang dynasty in China. The main characters are vivid and there are plenty of minor characters too, all in a dance of a kind and most of them pivotal in what transpires. Kay leads us from moment to moment to the 'choice' or 'turning' points. Demonstrating how some events are random/accidental, some are the result of an independent and free decision, and some are taken entirely out of the hands of those that experience them. Every aspect of the novel is pitch perfect. It is a work, entirely, of the imagination but has weight and is grounded in the realities of human nature. Lovely. ***** ( )
2 abstimmen sibylline | Sep 24, 2021 |
The beginning was strong, and I enjoyed that part a lot. Good development, backstory reveals, mystery and some drama. The middle was enjoyable, but not nearly as strong as the beginning. Moves a little slowly. The end wraps things up acceptably, but more wistfully than happily. ( )
  jercox | Jun 2, 2021 |
[This is a review I wrote in 2010]

**Very accomplished 'historical' fantasy**

A very good book. This is a novel that can't be pigeonholed. Some reviewers have had problems with 'Under Heaven' largely because they haven't been able to fit it neatly into a genre; therefore saying that its failing, is that it doesn't fit into their personal perceptions of what it should be, or should have been. Don't be put off by these reviews. Call it fantasy, call it magic realism, historical fantasy, historical romance, literary fiction, supernatural - whatever - it doesn't matter! It's a superb book and its ready to be judged on its own merits, whatever the genre of fiction you generally favour.

The story is that of Tai (Shen Tai), a young man in his late twenties (or thereabouts), searching for a sense of self and his life's purpose during a period of official mourning for his late father, General Shen Gao. Events take a surprising turn for Tai when he discovers that someone is out to kill him and he is simultaneously honoured with a prize which thrusts him reluctantly into the limelight. The setting is a 'sort of' alternate Eighth-Century China, so war is not uncommon, values and strict moral codes are of great importance, birthright and inheritance may decide your future, women can be warriors, or palmed off by their menfolk for marriage as prizes of war or enemy alliance. Poetry is revered but punishment is swift for words spoken agains the Empire.

Kay's storytelling is deft; he weaves thoughts through multiple layers of plot, all the time playing on your emotions in a quite subtle way. A major theme throughout is 'the past' and in particular how the past distorts through the years - with the retelling and with the documents we are left to pick through and learn from. An historian (or a storyteller) cannot delve into all places, all people, all events of time, but has to choose from material that has been left behind; they have to select, and in this way 'the past' is selected for us, shaped by records, and not necessarily by the experiences of the majority. As well as the historiography, philosophy, shamanism, spiritual thoughts and poetry all add additional dimensions - and don't forget the great story too. ( )
1 abstimmen ArdizzoneFan | Nov 12, 2020 |
Long and wandering.... I enjoyed it, and Kay's writing is quite nice, but it wasn't compelling at all. No urgency to it. ( )
  JenniferElizabeth2 | Aug 25, 2020 |
At some point while writing this lengthy, evocative, and beautiful account of Tang Dynasty China, Mr. Kay forgot to put in a PLOT.

He is also getting seriously lazy. Exposition does nearly all the work in this book. It's practically criminal that he took such a promising setting and a potentially interesting cast of characters and didn't do anything at all with them. ( )
  RJ_Stevenson | Aug 19, 2020 |
keine Rezensionen | Rezension hinzufügen

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Kay, Guy GavrielAutorHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Springett, MartinMapCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Vance, SimonErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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With bronze as a mirror one can correct one's appearance; with history as a mirror, one can understand the rise and fall of a state; with good men as a mirror, one can distinguish right from wrong.
—LI SHIMIN, TANK EMPEROR TAIZONG
Widmung
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to Sybil,
with love
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Amid the ten thousand noises and the jade-and-gold and the whirling dust of Xinan, he had often stayed awake all night among friends, drinking spiced wine in the North District with the courtesans.
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And it isn't worth hating. It really isn't. . . . You did need to decide what mattered, and concentrate on that. Otherwise your life force would be scattered to the five directions, and wasted.

He would be among them today. And he couldn't learn that rhythm, not in the time he had. So he wouldn't even try. He'd go another way, like a holy wanderer of the Sacred Path choosing at a fork in the road, following his own truth, a hermit laughing in the mountains.
Sometimes fear is proper. It is what we do that matters.
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Award-winning author Guy Kay evokes the dazzling Tang Dynasty of 8th-century China in a story of honor and power.

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