Kay, Guy Gavriel -- Under Heaven

GGK applies the GGK treatment to what Wikipedia tells me is the An Shi Rebellion (China, Tang Dynasty, second Thursday). Imperial China-I-mean-Kitai is one of those eras where saying the wrong word to the wrong person can easily get you decapitated, disemboweled, or exiled to Mongolia-I-mean-whatever. Thus, a perfect setting for Kay's love of silent realizations, knowing glances, and allegorical poetry. If you've read any Kay at all you should know whether you'll find this evocative or want to throw the entire historical period through a brick wall. I kind of went back and forth.

No, no, that's my love of sarcasm talking. I enjoyed this a lot. The storytelling has a very stylized tone, but again, that's the style of the period. The characters are all interesting and kick ass. It's not exactly subtle that the exotically beautiful women are the green-eyed blondes, but it fits, and they're as distinctive and relevant in the plot as the other female (and male) characters. There are ninjas and they think the protagonists are funny. I can go with it.

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