This is the second book in the companion duology, which started with Under Heaven. While the first book is set during the Tang Dynasty, this instalment is set during the Song Dynasty – both are set in the world of Kitai. It is not necessary to read Under Heaven before reading River of Stars. To avoid spoilers I will not be talking about the plot in any detail.
River of Stars is a fantastic second instalment in the Under Heaven companion duology. While I didn’t love it as much as I loved Under Heaven, it is still a fantastic read. Aside from the shared world and history, these two books are quite different – Under Heaven was set during the height of the empires power, whereas River of Stars is set during its decline. The author once again creates a vivid and interesting world with plenty of intrigue and compelling plot. While I do think the characters are well written and have good development, I think some depth was occasionally sacrificed to be able to focus more on the world and the plot. Ren and Lin Shan are both great characters and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop through the book. Once again, Kay’s writing is fantastic and I found it so easy to become immersed in this world and story.
Overall this is a fantastic book, but Under Heaven remains by favourite book by Guy Gavriel Kay. If you enjoyed the first instalment in this duology then I think you’ll enjoy this second instalment too. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.