Tuesday, April 2

Book Review: River of Stars

Title: River of Stars

Author: Guy Gavriel Kay

Pages: 630

Summary: Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life—in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later—and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north.

Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor—and alienates women at the court. But when her father’s life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has.

In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: A very interesting, and almost mythical read, I found myself enjoying the book from beginning to the end, and the ending was one that left me wanting more.

I found the book to be very interesting, the time period and how the author told the story was extremely well done. While, it took me a while to get used to the authors writing style, I think it worked almost perfectly with the story and its characters. The level of care the author took to create the detailed history of the setting, along with the characters and their backgrounds was incredibly done. Everything was well researched, or imagined in a way that tied together well to create a solid, almost mystical story.

There were times I found I had to plough through. Not a lot happened, and while it was essential to move the plot and the characters forward, I found that there were a few parts that I had to tread through. Also, while the characters were superbly done and extremely complex I never had that one character that made me love the book and the story. Ren Daiyan came close at times, but for me the characters were missing something to make them become extraordinary. Although fans of the authors work will likely love Ren Daiyan .

I loved the ending, the last few pages really made the book and I found it to be a very fitting ending for the characters in the story. I think the ending was probably one of my favourite aspects of the book. The last few pages really picked up for me, and when I was finished I was left with wanting a little more.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, I think fans of the authors previous works would enjoy it. Along with anyone who enjoys historical fiction, fantastical fictional works. It may even be a good place to start with the author.

What to read next: Under Heaven

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI

Please note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.


  1. I love this author, and have read 2 of his books and just adored them.He has such a gift for storytelling, and his style is wonderful. If you want to read one of his best, and best loved books, look for The Lions of Al-Rassan.

    1. If you love the author, than I think you'll love the book. I've only read on other book Ysabel, which I wasn't a fan of, but I've heard experts from other books. Thanks for the recommendation for one of his other books. I'm hoping to read The Sarantine Mosaic series this year - I hope they end up being enjoyable reads.

  2. i haven't yet read anything by this author. I did meet him and listen to a reading a year ago and was quite captivated. it's the thickness of the book that daunts me. I know I will read it as my sister wants her book back specially after he autrographed it for her.