I'm going to deviate from my normal posts a bit to go on about an exciting event coming on April 2nd - the publication of Guy Gavriel Kay's latest novel, River of Stars. Kay is a very personable writer, and is taking to the whole social media/web thing in a pretty big way - Twitter account, FaceBook page, web site and most importantly, a Tour Journal where he keeps fans updated on the latest progress on the book. He's an engaging writer (as you would expect), and most of the posts include non-book related topics as well. Here's the brief synopsis for the new book:
From the bestselling author of Under Heaven comes an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, nomadic invasions, and of a woman fighting to find her place in the world.
For those not familiar, Guy Gavriel Kay is a Canadian author who lives in Toronto, and happens to be my favourite contemporary author. He comes out with a new book every 2-3 years, and I eagerly wait and anticipate each new release. He writes was is loosely described as 'historical fiction' or fantasy, depending on your take on his writing. He's unlike any other author I've read in that he takes a period of our real history (in this case ancient China) and creates a slightly distorted version of that history to place his stories in.
This is his second novel in this Chinese setting, and I thoroughly enjoyed Under Heaven, the previous work. I started reading Kay with his first set of novels, The Fionivar Tapestry, a very traditional work of epic fantasy that is, after The Lord of the Rings, in my opinion the best fantasy trilogy ever written. From that point on, each of Kay's successive novels started to drift away from the pure fantasy, into this historical fiction.
I'd highly encourage anyone to pick up any of his novels. Don't hesitate to ask if you're looking for a good starting point). Kay is an amazing story teller, and I find his prose to be, in a word, beautiful. You just can't say that about most writers.
April 2nd is almost here! Go buy the book - you won't regret it.