I just finished "Under Heaven" by Guy Gavriel Kay (which is the most SCA-worthy name I have ever seen in ages) over pints and a burger.
FSM-damn, but I loved this story!
Set in a land known as "Kitai" (a faux Tang-era China), the story is of Shen Tai, a second son of the family of a famous general and a gift he receives that leads to chaos, war, love, and death.
The narrative had me hooked almost from the very beginning and I found I had to force myself to read it slowly so as to enjoy it properly. The plot goes between several characters, mainly Shen Tai and his sister Shen Li-Mei and the crazy stuff that happens.
It's a gorgeous story, for the most part. I wish Kay had split this into multiple volumes so I could get a better sense of some of the "off camera" things that happened as well as several of the sub-plots. The ending felt a little rushed, but was satisfying enough.
There's a sort-of-sequel set centuries after the conclusion of "Under Heaven" that is in hardback now. I have to get my hands on this.
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