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Under Heaven, Chapter One by Guy Gavriel Kay

March 17, 2010

As far as I’m concerned, this is how marketing a book is done. Penguin Group (Canada) has done an amazing job putting together a fully functional website chock full of goodies in order to promote Guy Gavriel Kay’s newest work, Under Heaven. So, please, do yourself a favor and check out all that they have to offer, from wallpapers to bookmarks, and including a number of beautiful music files by the internationally acclaimed Liu Fang featuring traditional Chinese Pipa music, an inspiration for Under Heaven in fact.

Talk about style and substance:

In his first year the lake froze, he could walk across to the isle for a few weeks. The second winter was milder and it did not freeze over. Muffled in furs then, hooded and gloved in a white, hollow stillness, seeing the puffs of his mortal breath, feeling small against the towering, hostile vastness all around, Tai took the boat out on days when waves and weather allowed. He offered the dead to the dark waters with a prayer, that they might not lie lost any longer, unconsecrated on wind-scoured ground here by Kuala Nor’s cold shore, among the wild animals and far from any home.

Under Heaven Chapter One .pdf download

Incidentally, I thought the humility of the principle character in the introductory chapter was very impressive, if I caught that sliver of insight into his character correctly. It may very well be that Tai is not a devout man, or even a good one, but I get the impression that his informing the reader of the fact, in light of the honorable work he appears to be doing and the reverence he pays his family, is more a sign of deep humility than an indication that we actually take him at his word. Thought that was rather cool in such a short introduction, alongside the haunting atmosphere as a whole that I found very refreshing in the prose.

Consider it pre-ordered.

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