Tuesday, April 30, 2013

review: river of stars

I've read everything that Guy Gavriel Kay has ever written. I've given my opinions on a couple of his works already. Once I made my way through my first book of his, I got my hands on everything else I possibly could, and I've been utterly impatient about buying new releases in hardcover (I usually try to hold off from buying hardcover, both for price and size). So of course, when I first saw River of Stars in the bookstore, with a 30% off sticker no less, it was evident that yes I was going to have to buy this book.

With all that said, River of Stars had some high expectations to live up to. It didn't disappoint. There's been a definite shift in the writing style from what tends to be seen in his earlier books. The narrative shifts between a third person focus on various main characters and a narration that calls to mind the telling of an oral history around a fireplace, or a historian looking back on times long past. It's pure, masterful storytelling at its finest, really.

The characters are beautifully written and fully realized. Even the supporting characters seem thought out, as if Kay truly knows and understands the people he is writing. The blend of history and fiction is so seamlessly done that it's only at the end, during the acknowledgments (and as I delve into my own research) that I can parse out the fiction and reality.

Mostly, this book makes me want to pull out my copy of his last book, Under Heaven and see if I can immerse myself in a little more of this style of storytelling.

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